Samson W. Lim F'11
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2011
Siam's New Detectives: A History of the Police, the Press, and Conspiracy in Thailand
This dissertation traces the parallel histories of police science, sensational crime news, and detective fiction as they relate to the generation, dissemination, and believability of information about violent crime in Thailand. It argues that the narrative structure, vocabulary, and tropes of the newly introduced detective novel traveled across oceans and then crept out through the boundaries of fiction to help define the way in which the police, the press, and the public understood and continue to understand violence. That is, the emerging narrative forms found in fiction became connected with modern investigation techniques transplanted to Siam at the same time to materially change the way violent crime could be proved true in courts of law and in the public imagination.