Dr. Ratanaporn Sethakul

Dr. Ratanaporn Sethakul
Associate Professor of History, Thai and Southeast Asian Studies



Prof. Sethakul grew up in Chiang Mai, Thailand and completed a BA and MA in History from Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok) and then a Ph.D. in History from Northern Illinois University. Considered a significant authority on Northern Thai ("Lanna") history, Dr. Sethakul has published numerous articles and books in both Thai and English on this subject. Her current research involves the history of the Tai-speaking peoples in the area of mainland Southeast Asia, particularly Northern Thailand, Lao, Myanmar and Southern China. She also researches the local histories of Thailand, social and cultural history of ethnic groups in Northern Thailand and related issues of tourism.

Dr. Sethakul spent the Fall 2010 Semester (August-December) as a Visiting Professor in Asian Studies at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York (USA).


Publications in English

"Political Relations between Chiang Mai and Kengtung in the Nineteenth Century" in Changes in Northern Thailand and the Shan States , 1886-1940, Singapore: Southeast Asian Studies Program, 1988.

"Lan Na History in the Lue Chronicles" paper presented in the International Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, Hawaii, April 11-14, 1996.

"From Sipsong Panna to Lan Na : the Lue in Nan Province" paper presented in the International Conference of the International Association of Historians of Asia, Chulalongkorn University, May 20-24, 1996.

"Lue Communal Rights and Obligations: the Trace of Tai Primitive Society", paper presented in the International Conference on Thai Studies, Amsterdam, 5-9 July, 1999.

"Tai Lue of Sipsongpanna and Muang Nan in the Nineteenth Century" , in Andrew Turton (ed.) Civility and Savagery, Social Identity in Tai States Richmond Surrey: Curzon, 2000.

"Community Rights of the Lue in China, Laos and Thailand: a Comparative studies", Tai Culture, vol.V, No.2, December 2000, pp.69-103.

"Community Rights of the Lue in China, Laos and Thailand: A Comparative Study", research granted by the Thailand Research Fund, 2000.

"The Tai Ya in Thailand", paper presented in the International Conference on Huayao Dai Culture, Xinping, China, 6th February, 2001.

"Lawa, Lua, Kha and Loi: their Hidden Histories in the Tai Tamnan" paper presented in the International Conference on Dai-Thai Culture, Kunming, December 9-12, 2004.

"Yunnan-Lan Na: the Revival of Historical Trade Routes of Southwestern China and the Upper Mainland Southeast Asia", paper presented in the International Conference on Southwestern China and Upper Northern Thailand Relationships: from Regional Trade to International Cooperation, Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, January 31-February1, 2005.

"The Fountain of Life: Water and Its Central Role in the History of the Tai Culture", paper presented in the International Conference on Water Culture and Water Environment Protection, 6-8th September, 2005, Kunming, PRC.

"The Lua of Kengtung and Chiang Mai: a Comparative Study of the Indigenous People in the Tai States", paper presented in the 2nd Forum on China and Southeast Asian Ethnic Groups, September 16-18, 2006, Nanning City, Guangxi, PRC.

Cooperation to Develop Ethnic Cultural Tourism Between Guangxi and Neighboring Countries & Promotion Mutual Prospertiy and Stability and Friendly Relationship , Co-research project with Professor Li Fuchen, Centre for Zhuang Studies, Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences, 2006-2008.

"Khao Pen Chao (Rice is the Master): the Rice Culture of Zhuang-Tai People," paper presented in the panel on The Zhuang-Tai-Lao Ethnic Group: Identity & Cultural Exchange at the 16th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Science, Kunming, China, July 27- 31, 2009.


Publications in Thai

"History of Muang Chiang Tung" in Ruang Muang Chiang Tuang Chiang Mai: Suriwong Books, 1993.

Zhuang People Chiang Mai: Suriwong Books, 1995.

Lue People in Nan Province, research report supported by the Ministry of University Affairs, 1995.

"Five Muang in the West and Six Muang in the East: Sipsong Panna before the Reform of 1950" The Study of Tai People’s Culture Bangkok: Khurusapha, 1995.

The Persistence and the Adaptation of the Society of the Tai Ethnic groups: the Case Studies of the Yong People in Buakkhang Subdistrict, San Khamphang District, Chiang Mai., research project supported by the Office of the National Commissioner of Culture, 1996.

State of Knowledge of Tai Study: History, research project supported by Thailand Research Fund, 1998.

The Influence of the Social Ideology on the Development of the Tai States: the Case Studies of the Black Tai, Lue and Yuan. Research project supported by the Office of the National Commissioner of Culture, 1999.

History of Sipsong Panna, (second edition) Bangkok: Sangsan, 2008.

Community Rights of the Hill Tribes People in the Northern Part of Thailand: Past and Present Bangkok: Nititham, 2003. (research team including Mr.Phiriya Sihakulang and Mr. Uthit Chamnibannakorn)

Economic History of the Village Communities in the Northern Part of Thailand(1899-1999) Bangkok: Sangsan, 2003.

"The Elephant is on the North the Tiger King is on the South: the Tributary States and Siam in the Reign of King Mongkut", paper presented in the seminar on The Wisdom of King Mongkut, 21 September, 2005, the Sirinthorn Conference Hall.

"The Local History: How and Why", paper presented in the Seminar on From the Oral Tradition to the Record of Local History, 4 July 2005, Lotus Pansuan Kaew Hotel.

"The History of Buakkhang Yawng", paper presented in the seminar on the Reconstruction of the Yawng Wisdom and Culture: the Roots, Movement and Changes, 11-12 September 2006, The Conference Hall of the Graduate School, Chiang Mai University.

The Gathering and Study of the Handicraft Knowledge of the Hill Tribes in the Royal Project, the research project supported by the High Land Research and Development Institute, 2007.

"The Archives Document: the Historical Data of the Lan Na Study", paper presented in the seminar on the Archives, Movies, Communities and Locality, 19 June 2007, the Ratchamanglaphiseck Conference Hall, Chiang Mai.

"The Traditional Tai Roots in the History and Culture of Sipsong Chu Tai", in Thought, Movement, History Society and Culture of the Tai Peoples Chiang Mai: Yuppharatwittayalai, 2007.

"Tai Lue from Sipsong Panna to Muang Nan", paper presented in the seminar on Tai Culture in Sipsong Panna, 25-26 December, 2007, Mae Faluang University, Chiang Rai.

"The Coming of the West to Lanna and Its Effects on the Relationship between Siam and Lan Na", in Phrabarameepokkhlao Yuppharatwittayalai 100 Years of the Royal Given Name Chiang Mai: Saengsin, 2007.

"From Muang Yawng to Sankhampaeng: the Yawng Comminities of Buakkhang Subdistrcit, San Khampaeng District, Chiang Mai" in Khuang Phaya Chiang Mai: Ratchapat University, 2008.

History of Sipsong Panna, second edition, Bangkok: Sangsan, 2008.

"From the Yun to the Ping State: the Territorial Expansion of King Mangrai from the Kok to the Mekong river basins", paper presented in the seminar on Wiang Kumkam and the Chiang Mai: History, Culture and Tourism,Chiang Mai Hill, 19-20 February, 2009.

"The Chiang Tung War: the Opening up of the Northernmost War of Siam in the Reign of King Mongkut", the paper presented in the seminar on The Chiang Tung War Document, 28 March – 2 April, 2009.

Economic and Cultural History of the Chiang Mai-Lamphun Basin, Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2009.