Telling a Missing Story

Pasuth Thothaveesansuk
Pasuth Thothaveesansuk is a PhD candidate within the Department of History at Carolina. This summer, he was awarded the James L. Peacock III Summer Research Fellowship as he works to complete his dissertation.

Thothaveesansuk caught up with The Graduate School for an internship on his Summer Research Fellowship’s impact on his work this summer.

“My dissertation looks at the history of liberal internationalism in East and Southeast Asia during the 20th century. I’m interested in this because it offers a lens into understanding the role Asian statesmen and diplomats played in the reorganization of the world after World War II,” he explained.

“I want to show that there was also a moment where there were Asian leaders who had liberal and internationalist visions. It’s not just that Western observers are missing the point, but that Asian actors themselves are missing their own story or what their predecessors tried to do. “

Thothaveesansuk plans to work in archives in North America, Europe and Asia to create a global picture of the influence and viewpoints of Asian politicians on the creation of the postwar international order and support for liberal internationalism beyond what is often recorded in history books. So far, he has visited archives in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Private funding opportunities through UNC-Chapel Hill, such as the James L. Peacock III Summer Research Fellowship awarded to him this summer, have allowed Thothaveesansuk to pursue such a global project during a time of dwindling humanities graduate funds.

“History as a discipline is moving toward more global projects engaging with archives beyond the North Atlantic, which is much more expensive than if research was only taking place in the U.S.,” said Thothaveesansuk. “The funding means a lot in supporting graduate students doing what I believe is at the cutting edge of historical scholarship.”

“I think the generosity of the donors at Carolina is a critical part of the academic community at UNC-Chapel Hill, which is what makes it such a great place to get a PhD.”

Read the complete interview…

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