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Emily Donald

Graduate Student

Emily Donald

Mcgraw Hall, Room B1

Educational Background

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History from The University of Queensland, Australia 


My research project, tentatively titled "The Sexual Politics of Hierarchy: Ladies, Tomboys, & Women-Loving Women in Thai History," looks at queer sexuality in modern Thailand. I work with archival sources and oral histories to examine how various layers of social hierarchy, such as those based on class difference, vernacular Buddhism, gender, family, occupation, and locality, work to not only shape sexuality but to provide spaces and concepts for the formation of sexual personhoods. Focusing on queer female subjectivities, which are signified by the hybridized Thai terms, “ladies” (di), “tomboys” (thom), and “women-loving women” (ying-rak-ying), I want to address certain assumptions in queer and gender and sexuality studies that privilege the notion of an interiorized sense of self and an explicit politics of visibility, both of which constitute tropes that have limited applicability for examining queer social relations and personhood in Thai historical and contemporary contexts.


  • History

Graduate Fields

  • Modern Southeast Asian History
  • Queer History
  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


  • Southeast Asia Program


  • Thailand & Southeast Asian History  
  • Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • Queer History
  • Sound Studies 


Fall 2021