Publications, Lectures and Other Stuff
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Peter Smith
Dr. Peter Smith graduated from the University of Bristol in England with a degree in Education and Geography in 1973, and after working as a school teacher for some years completed a Ph.D.in the Sociology of Religion at the University of Lancaster in 1983. He has been teaching at Mahidol University since 1985, when he first came to Thailand from the UK, working initially as a Lecturer in Religious Studies in the Department of Humanities of the Social Science Faculty.
Also in 1985, he was appointed as a member of the original planning committee which set up the International Students’ Degree Program (the precursor of Mahidol University International College [MUIC]). ISDP opened in 1986 under the Directorship of Prof. Dr Serene Pibooniyom, and Dr Smith has been teaching in ISDP/MUIC since the College’s inception. He also wrote and developed the initial course catalogue for the whole College.
In 1998, as part of MUIC’s expansion, he was appointed as Divisional Chairman and Program Director of the MUIC Social Science Programs, which post he retained until his retirement in September 2013. During this time he designed and implemented a new Social Science Major, with concentrations in Southeast Asian Studies, International Studies and Modern World History. He also developed the Social Science Minor and Certificate Programs, notably those in Psychology, World History, International Studies and Southeast Asian Studies, and wrote the successive editions of the Social Science Catalogue.
In 1999, he was appointed as Deputy-Director for Academic Affairs in MUIC, remaining in that post until early 2003. During that time, in collaboration with the responsible program directors, he coordinated all academic programs in the College, including curriculum development and the development of new majors, and worked to increase planning effectiveness, maintain and enhance academic standards and increase the amount of effective communication and consultation between administration, faculty, and students. He also produced a teaching guide for MUIC instructors and an introduction to MUIC’s program structure and curriculum.
Before the establishment of the Social Science major, Dr Smith taught the introductory General Education courses in General Psychology, Sociology, Physical Anthropology, and World History. With the establishment of the Major, he developed and taught new courses in Social Theory (Paradigms in the Social Sciences I); Major Social Institutions; Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing; History of Psychology; and three overview course on World History (for c.1450-c.1763; c.1763-1914; and 1914-1945).
Up to now, Dr Smith has published five books – two of them with the highly prestigious Cambridge University Press in England, as well as editing another two books and publishing a significant number of articles, chapters and encyclopaedia articles. One of his books was also translated into Hungarian and another is presently being translated into Portuguese. He serves on the editorial boards of two academic journals.
In recent years, he has been active in using the internet for educational purposes, and has produced over one hundred educational videos for You-tube and developed several academic Facebook groups and pages. He also has his own blog-site, which is largely focussed on academic material.
In 1993, he was awarded Commander of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand, Third Class.
Dr. Smith finds that one of the most enjoyable things about teaching at MUIC is the enthusiasm and good heartedness of the students. He is full of praise for those students who join MUIC and work hard to meet the challenge of studying for a university degree in what for most of them is a foreign language. They are a credit to themselves and to their families.
He is also very appreciative of the kind support and encouragement of his academic colleagues and support staff at MUIC over the years, in particular the members of the Social Science Division with their traditions of straight speaking and humour.
He has a strong belief in the ideal of excellence in education, the value of hard and demanding courses, and the concept of liberal arts programs with their emphasis on providing a broad philosophical introduction to students and developing the critical thinking skills which will enable graduates to better evaluate the relevance of their particular skills to the wider world and its needs.