Ashley Thompson is a professor at SOAS University of London. She is a Hiram W. Woodward Chair in Southeast Asian Art. She is also an Academic Lead of the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme at SOAS University of London.
Ashley Thompson received the degree of Bachelor of Arts at Harvard University, and the degree of Master of Arts at the Université de Paris 3. Later she received her Ph.D. at the Université de Paris 8.
Professor Ashley Thompson is a specialist in Southeast Asian cultural histories. She also specializes in Southeast Asian arts, aesthetics, and literature. Her scientific interest in this area is notably focused on the cultural history of Cambodia. She is the author of elaborate works on Cambodian arts and literature of both classical, pre-modern and contemporary periods. She can be called a prominent expert in this area as she spent around ten years in Cambodia and Thailand. She was working there on art, archeology, education, cultural heritage research and management reconstructions.
Such forms of fine and performing arts as Buddhist and Hindu sculpture, as well as ritual and cult texts and practices, serve as the objects of her research and analysis.
In her works, Professor Thompson uses the methods of psychoanalysis and deconstruction. She studies the questions of sexual difference and subjectivity in conjunction with the questions of memory, political and cultural transition; sometimes these questions are revealed by textuality and language itself. Her recent works are influenced by the post-colonial critical perspectives.
Professor Ashley Thompson is a creator of a long-term project, dedicated to staging a Khmer language production of Hélène Cixous’ epic Cambodia play, “The Terrible but Unfinished Story of Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia.” Professor Thompson was a Historical and Linguistic Director of the production. It came to the first stage of completion in 2013 under the aegis of Ariane Mnouchkine’s Théâtre du Soleil.