Barend Terwiel, born in Ginneken en Bavel, the Netherlands, in 1941. Ph.D. from the Australian National University, Canberra. Chair of Thai and Lao Languages at Universität Hamburg.
Fellow (1 September 2003 – 30 June 2004)
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MAN AND NATURE IN THAILAND DURING THE LAST 500 YEARS
As a member of the theme group on the Environmental History of Southeast Asia, I wrote a long paper entitled, “The Physical Transformation of the Central Thai Region in Early-Modern Times”. A shortened version of this essay was presented as a paper during our Workshop: The Wealth of Nature: How Natural Resources have shaped Asian History. This essay sketched some major misunderstandings in the way the Thai past has been perceived. It also summarized the geographical conditions between 1600 and 1850, gave an outline of the distribution of natural resources, described the state-controlled methods of exploitation and drew attention to the role of Chinese entrepreneurs in changing the landscape. I also presented a paper during a conference in Bangkok, prepared a paper for a conference to be held September 2004 and thoroughly revised a previously published book, which was accepted for publication.