Character and Experimental Animation faculty member Maureen Furniss is traveling throughout Thailand this week as an “animation ambassador” on behalf of the U.S. Embassy Bangkok’s Speakers Program. She’s been lecturing at several universities across Thailand, and holding workshops for both students and professionals while in Bangkok.
Funded by the Department of State, the program was created to help connect U.S. Embassy officials with the Thai people, especially through their education system. The Embassy brings in speakers on a number of cultural topics, and Thai students are encouraged to discuss and share ideas with guests speakers.
As founding editor of Animation Journal and Chairman of the Board for the Society of Animation Studies, Furniss proved to be at the top of the Embassy’s speaker’s list. As an unofficial ambassador, public diplomacy officials in Thailand hope that Furniss will inspire the youth through animation while also helping to improve American-Thai relations.
Above is an interview with Furniss in which she discusses the role of animation scholars and the importance of a dialogue between practitioners and theorists in the field.
– Sallie Goforth (Theater MFA 3) contributed to this story.