TS4 Webinar | Of Harems and Eunuchs: Theravada Buddhist Courts of Mainland Southeast Asia in Comparative Perspective

For the inaugural TS4 webinar, we are delighted to host Professor Katherine A. Bowie (University of Wisconsin-Madison) to delve into the complex world of harems in the Theravada Buddhist courts of mainland Southeast Asia.

Unlike Europe, Asian courts were characterized by the presence of harems whose members ranged from empresses to eunuchs. Once the focus of prurient interests, recent scholarship on harems has increasingly highlighted their complex roles in ensuring the continuation of dynasties over time and forming political linkages, both within and across empires. These studies have typically focused on specific courts. However a comparative perspective reveals that the structure of harems varied widely and that its members were embedded in very different networks of power.

Join Professor Katherine A. Bowie for the inaugural TS4 webinar, as she considers ways in which the harems of the Theravada Buddhist courts of mainland Southeast Asia differed from those of the Chinese, Mughal and Ottoman empires, highlighting differences in the power of court women, the regulation of sexuality, the rules of succession, the selection of queens, and the role of eunuchs.

About the TS4 Series:
Sponsored by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC), the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) and the New York Southeast Asia Network (NYSEAN), this virtual seminar series brings together social science experts from across the globe to discuss pressing issues facing Thailand. In addition to providing in-depth scholarly analysis of social issues in Thailand, this series will foster new opportunities for networking between those working in Thailand and around the world.

Registration here