Burma Past and Present: Religion, Ethnicity and Power is an event series of readings and discussions of works in progress. We focus on issues of identity, conflict and religion in Burma from the nineteenth century to the present.

This is a pivotal moment for Burma and the study of Burma. The next years will see a huge transition for the country and its diasporas. It is key to think through both the long history of the current fractures in Burmese society (religious identities, ethnic identities) as well as how the contemporary situation reconfigures these in important ways. The speakers are organized in four thematic clusters: Religious Minorities; Ethnicities and Belonging; Critical Studies of Buddhist Monasticism; Economy, Activism and Politics. The series is organized by Alicia Turner (Humanities).

All are welcome. 

Series events

Ma Ba Tha in Myanmar: Contesting and Shaping Modern Buddhist Subjectivities with Matthew J Walton, University of Toronto | 28 March 2023

A Political Lexicon of Myanmar with Nick Cheesman, Australian National University | 10 February 2023

‘Peace’ as ‘peace for business and development’ or ‘peace’ as ‘an end to violence, oppression’ and ‘presence of justice’?: Understanding Karen people’ assertion of ‘genuine’ peace and peacebuilding process through the Salween Peace Park with Sheila Htoo, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University | 25 November 2022

Making Religion through Moral Practice in Colonial Burma: Intoxication, Women and Inter-religious Collaboration with Hitomi Fujimura, York Centre for Asian Research, York University | 28 October 2022

Discourses on Secularism and Burmese Anti-colonial Subjectivities with Htet Min Lwin, Religious Studies, York University | 14 October 2022

Real Change: Converting Politics in Myanmar with Michael Edwards, Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge | 12 April 2022

Imagining an Overseas Chinese Community in Colonial Burma with Siew Han Yeo, Doctoral Candidate in History, University of Toronto | 7 April 2022

Women’s Participation and Visibility in the Anti-Military Online Movement in Myanmar with Isabella Aung, PhD Student, Department of Political Studies, Queen’s University | 15 March 2022

Exposing Enlightenment: The ‘Living Arahant’ in Photography and Print in Post-colonial Burma with Tony Scott, Department of the Study of Religion, University of Toronto | 01 March 2022