For the Late Ajarn Danny

Ajarn DannyThis was literally my last picture with the late Professor Danny Unger. Taken last year when I attended a conference in Bangkok, it was also my last time to meet him in person. Great minds oftentimes gone too soon.
A specialist on Comparative Politics and Southeast Asian Studies particularly Thailand, his vast knowledge on politics and stuff never failed to fascinate me (though I figured he had more collections of novels and other literary works than books on politics at his house). This is the guy whom I referred to as, just like the way I introduced him to my students, “the guy who knows (almost) everything.” Like, seriously he can talk about stuff – Chinese rural politics in revolutionary transition, early modern state formation processes in Western Europe, debates in philosophy of science, you name it. I had the privilege to work with him as a teaching assistant, a graduate student, and a junior colleague. I also enjoyed every class that I took with him.I will remember many things about him – his intelligence, warmth, and supportive attitude toward young scholars in training. His hilarious expressions and clumsiness (once he asked me to google search and put some pictures for his class presentations, oh and don’t even start asking me about those unfoldered files flooding his desktop). Oh, mustn’t forget his peculiar hobby of woodworking.

My colleagues and I will certainly cherish our memories of him. He set the example for many of us in the field.

Goodbye, Ajarn Danny Unger. May you rest in peace. You will be greatly missed.

*For another beautiful obituary by T.F. Rhoden, see this link.

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