The 10th International Conference on Thai Studies will be held in Bangkok for 3 days early in 2008. For some of us, this might seem like a lifetime away but the handsome conference website is already starting to take shape and a wide-ranging call for papers has been issued.

The theme of the conference is “transnationalism” which is defined in a framework of what the organisers call “border crossing”. They write:

Under transnationalism, the world is in transition to a new phase of modernity with an entire array of new phenomena, new communities, new threats and new cultures, all of which need to be identified, described and interpreted.

The organisers also provide a number of illustrative umbrella topics to prompt paper and panel proposals on the theme. I couldn’t help but notice that one of their suggestions is “Globalizing Civic Engagement and Transnational Advocacy”.

I suppose that the blogosphere could even get a jersey under that rubric.

A few bloggers, and their critical commentator discussants, could put together a nice little panel (or three) that exposes academic blogging – with its emphasis on what I think we can call “engagement” and “advocacy” – to the wider world of Thai Studies. Pundit, Curious, Patiwat, Vichai, James Haughton, Nganadeeleg and many others are all making consistent, “trans-national” contributions on this score.

Some of New Mandala‘s more critical contributors would also definitely have something to offer. I reckon that Ant, Nirut and Tim would make a particularly interesting lineup for a Thai Studies conference panel.