Pimpawan Chaipanit is an early career researcher and a Lecturer in English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Prince of Songkla University. Her research interests include global anglophone literature, ecocriticism, reception studies, and digital humanities. Her latest publication on the ecogothic and contemporary Thai fiction and film can be found in Universiti Malaya’s SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English. E-mail: pimpawan.c@psu.ac.th


(Re)imagined Bangkok: An Ecocritical Reception Study of a Thai Cli-Fi Novel

Abstract: Pitchaya Sudbanthad’s Bangkok Wakes to Rain (2019) is a cli-fi novel with strong ties to Bangkok, a capital of the Global South. While it is interesting to interpret the author’s anthropocenic imagination and dystopian worldbuilding, a reception study of online global reviews may be more constructive to discuss the urgency of the climate crisis. Beyond close reading the text and its representation of post-climate apocalyptic Bangkok, this presentation will explore how readers perceived and responded to the ecocritical themes in their online reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. It will also discuss whether cli-fi novels are effective agents of change or mere commodities in contemporary culture. The researcher hopes to demonstrate how reception studies should be practiced alongside traditional close reading and critical discussion of literary texts as part of an effort to connect texts with social reality.
Keywords: Bangkok, cli-fi, ecocriticism, global anglophone literature, Thai literature, reception study