ISEAS and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) at the National University of Singapore are co-organising the 2014 International Burma Studies Conference on 1-3 August 2014, under the theme "Envisioning Myanmar: Issues, Images, Identities".
About The Conference
Recent reforms in Myanmar have reinvigorated scholarly, business, legal, policy, media, and advocacy interest in the country, as domestic and foreign observers attempt to understand the immediate and long-term dynamics surrounding the issue of transformation. With the widening of participatory political and media spaces, new and old voices within the domestic socio-political landscape continue to debate each other over the country’s future through locally and trans-nationally defined issues and images. Crucial to understanding these debates is the recognition that Myanmar’s many communities have historically envisioned the country’s past, present, and future in very different ways.
Envisioning Myanmar invites panels that consider the various ways in which the country has been conceptualized by scholars, stakeholders, and other social groups within and without the country. We welcome studies that examine how varying experiences by researchers, writers, ethnic groups, artisans, performers, NGO’s, business groups, politicians, shopkeepers, soldiers, activists and cultivators, have produced different concerns and conversations about Myanmar. As such, scholarship on any topic or theme is welcomed, but participants are also asked to think about how particular issues---scholarly, political, economic, legal, social, cultural, and humanitarian---have produced commensurate images or understandings of Myanmar. For instance, how have issues concerning monarchy, Buddhism, the state, the periphery, ethnicity, colonialism, nationalism, or democracy created particular notions of the nation-state? How has diplomacy, capitalism, communism, marketing, tourism, or advocacy produced representations that reflect certain worldviews and experiences? How have debates concerning human rights, migration, development, translation, vinaya, civil liberties, gender, rule of law, stability, or unity created expectations about what Myanmar is, who belongs in Myanmar, and what trajectories should Myanmar pursue?
Panelists and participants are thus encouraged to think about the relationship between these issues and the images that have emerged within scholarly, policy, and public debates over the definition and circumstances surrounding the conceptualization of Myanmar. In this way, participants might think about how their own research, careers, work, or projects have contributed to both the process of “envisioning” Myanmar and the various images and identities that emerged from these experiences. We welcome presentations that rigorously investigate the perspectives and perceptions of different stakeholders and communities that have contributed to the construction of Myanmar.
For more information and to register, please visit this link. Online registration is available till 3 August 2014.