Inside Thailand: Secrets of the Siamese Royal "Harem" with Leslie Castro-Woodhouse

Inside Thailand: Secrets of the Siamese Royal "Harem" with Leslie Castro-Woodhouse


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

Westerners have not been allowed to step foot into the inner circles of Bangkok's Grand Palace since 1956 when "The King and I" wrapped up filming. The innermost chambers of the "Inner Palace" belong to only Thailand's king's queens, concubines, and children.

Our third conversation will uncover the important political roles played by royal consorts – who served as both hostages and diplomats in the palace. Together we will also explore the social hierarchy and daily lives of the women who exist only in this space. Our expert will also reveal what transpired after the practice of royal polygyny ended in 1925, how it impacted the roles of women in Thai politics, and how royal polygyny has made a comeback in present-day Thailand. 

During this multi-part series, we will be guided through the social and political history of Thailand’s palace women by Dr. Leslie Castro-Woodhouse, author of Woman Between Two Kingdoms: Dara Rasami and the Making of Modern Thailand. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, this series will provide participants with a deeper understanding of Thai women’s contributions to politics and culture, and the role of the palace in Thai politics and society from yesterday to today. 

For more in this series, we invite you to explore:

Dr. Castro-Woodhouse has studied Asian cultures and histories since her first visit to Thailand in 1987. After earning a master's degree in Asian Studies in 2000, she went on to research Thai history and culture, landing a Fulbright IIE grant in 2004-05. Since completing her PhD in Asian History in 2009, she has taught at UC Berkeley and the University of San Francisco. She has published several articles on her research, and her first book, Woman between Two Kingdoms, will be published by Cornell University Press in May 2021.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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Anonymous (Clayton, US)

I thought I knew quite a bit about Thailand but Leslie Castro-Woodhouse opened up so much more for me.

A
Alison Johnston (Sausalito, US)
Enjoyable and fascinating history lesson

I'm so happy to know about Context Conversations and to attend my first one. What a pleasure to spend time with Dr. Castro-Woodhouse and learn about a fascinating time in Thai history. If only my previous history lessons had been such fun. Thank you!

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
Anonymous (Clayton, US)

I thought I knew quite a bit about Thailand but Leslie Castro-Woodhouse opened up so much more for me.

A
Alison Johnston (Sausalito, US)
Enjoyable and fascinating history lesson

I'm so happy to know about Context Conversations and to attend my first one. What a pleasure to spend time with Dr. Castro-Woodhouse and learn about a fascinating time in Thai history. If only my previous history lessons had been such fun. Thank you!