The King of Bangkok: the making of an ethnographic graphic novel

A talk by Dr. Claudio Sopranzetti, Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Anthropology and Central European University

Talk abstract:
The King of Bangkok is an anthropological graphic novel that tells the story of contemporary Thailand through the life of Nok, an old blind man who sells lottery tickets in Bangkok. Through an alternation of reflections on contemporary Bangkok and flashbacks to his past, we reconstruct Nok’s story, his love story with Gai, the ups and downs of their migrant lives, as well as those of an entire country around them. The King of Bangkok is a story of migration to the city and distant families in the countryside; a story of economic development eating its land and children and of political protests choked in blood. Ultimately, it is a story about contemporary Thailand and how the waves of historical changes lift, engulf, or crash two ordinary people. In this talk, one of the authors discusses the process of transforming 10 years of ethnographic research into a comic, from the conceptual, narrative, graphic, and theoretical point of view.

More about Dr Sopranzetti:
Claudio Sopranzetti is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Central European University and a Quodnam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford University. He is the author of  Red Journeys (Washington University Press 2012) and Owner of the Map (California University Press 2018) which was awarded the 2019 Margaret Mead Award. His latest book The King of Bangkok was published in Thai and Italian and is now out in the Toronto University Press EthnoGRAPHIC series.

November 8, 2021
2 – 3:15 pm EST, Zoom
Admission: Free, with registration
Registration: Register here

View the full fall schedule here.

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