Wanrug Suwanwattana

Background

After a graduate degree in French literature and language (Lettres Modernes) at the University of Grenoble III and Paris IV-Sorbonne, I continued my master degrees (Master I and II) at the University Paris IV-Sorbonne. My Master I’s dissertation was entitled ‘L’Île et l’Autre dans La Quarantine de Le Clézio et Alizés de Michel Rio,’ in which I discussed the interaction between exotic insular space and the construction of European identity and knowledge in the novels of two contemporary French writers. My Master II’s dissertation focused on Samuel Beckett’s oeuvre and its possible dialogue with Zen philosophy.  

Current Research

Using colonial literature written by the French on Indochina from 1880s to 1920s as a corpus, my current DPhil research looks into the fin de siècle Decadent movement and the French Empire from the perspective of postcolonial theory and a historicist approach. This requires me to do archival research in Paris (particularly at the BNF, Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève, INALCO), excavating forgotten works and journals from the colonial era. Inscribed within a transdisciplinary perspective, my thesis seeks to put into dialogue literary texts with others fin de siècle discourses such as ethnography, medical and life sciences, sexology, racialism and psychology. I find the Fin de siècle an extremely exciting period, as it witnessed an emergence of many of the modern disciplines whose legacy we are still living in today.

Although my thesis focuses on aestheticism, exoticism and colonialism, I am more generally interested in the history of ideas, historiography, the visual arts, and literary theory, with particular interests in cultural and gender studies.

Teaching

I am a mentor for undergraduates in Modern Languages at Merton College. This role allows me to give academic advice and personal support to students who face difficulties with their essays, collections and tutorials, but also to those who seek to improve their academic skills for graduate prospect. 

Publications

Book Review: Harry Hervey, Congaï, Mistress of Indochina, Florida, DatASIA Press, in Southeast Review of Asian Studies, vol. 37, 2015, pp. 103-6

Article: ‘Re-narrating a local myth, reproducing the Thai ‘royalist-nationalist’ narrative: The Myth of Sao Hai by Daen-arun Saengthong’, South East Asia Research (peer-reviewed journal), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Londonvol. 23, no. 4, December 2015, pp. 505-20

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