Contesting Visions of the Lao Past: Laos Historiography at the Crossroads

Overview

While the birth of any nation is always more complicated than official historiographies purport, the complex positioning of Laos at the crossroads of a wide range of historical, geographical and cultural currents makes this particularly true. It is well known that Laos' emergence as a modern nation-state in the 20th century owed much to a complex interplay of internal and external forces. This book argues that the historiography of Laos needs also to be understood in this wider context. Not only do the ...
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Overview

While the birth of any nation is always more complicated than official historiographies purport, the complex positioning of Laos at the crossroads of a wide range of historical, geographical and cultural currents makes this particularly true. It is well known that Laos' emergence as a modern nation-state in the 20th century owed much to a complex interplay of internal and external forces. This book argues that the historiography of Laos needs also to be understood in this wider context. Not only do the contributors to this volume consider how the Lao have written their own nationalist and revolutionary history 'on the inside', they also examine how others - the French, Vietnamese, and Thais - have tried to write the history of Laos 'from the outside' for their own political ends. Rather than divorcing these two trends, this book demonstrates that they were inter-linked. Nationalist historiography, like the formation of the nation-state, did not emerge within a nationalist vacuum but was rather contested from the inside and the outside. The volume's approach has applications and implications far beyond Laos and shows that studying small countries counts.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788791114021
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/1/2003
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Two historical records of the Kingdom of Vientiane 3
2 Chiang Khaeng 1893-1896 : a Lue principality in the upper Mekong valley at the centre of Franco-British Rivalry 35
3 Historiography, power and identity : history and political legitimization in Laos 71
4 Different paths : Lao historiography in historical perspective 97
5 Sila Viravong's Phongsawadan Lao : a reappraisal 111
6 Narrating 1945 in Lao historiography 129
7 The Nyuan in Xayabury and cross-border links to Nan 165
8 Luep Phasun (extinguishing the light of the sun) : romance, religion and politics in the interpretation of a traditional Lao poem 181
9 On the trail of an itinerant explorer : French colonial historiography on Auguste Pavie's work in Laos 209
10 Making Laos 'our' space : Thai discourses on history and race, 1900-1941 239
11 Revolutionizing the Indochinese past : communist Vietnam's 'special' historiography on Laos 265
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