Blackburn, Anne : Small Grant, 2014-2015


Anne Blackburn (Asian Studies)

Language Resource Center
Department of Asian Studies
Project Title: 
Burma/Myanmar Research Forum: Rethinking boundaries in and about Burma/Myanmar
Project Abstract: 
This small grant will help to support the creation of a second Cornell conference on Myanmar/Burma to be held in October 2015. The first conference was so successful that participants were asking when the next conference would be held, even before the final session had ended. The proposed conference—or “forum” -- follows recent scholarship on borderlands to investigate these spaces in their own right, and also as openings onto wider political, conceptual, and historical terrains. Borders include, yet also exclude; they separate, yet also connect. Organizers hope the focus on borders will raise questions about overly “centralized” narratives about religious, ethnic, colonial, and other histories of Burma. They also hope the theme of “rethinking boundaries” will invite scholars from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives to participate, with various dimensions of borders and boundaries (spatial, biological, ethno-political, religio-cultural, conceptual, etc.) used as parameters of analysis. To explore such themes, this conference will bring together senior scholars, junior faculty, and graduate students to consider the new opportunities and new challenges raised by the uneven and rocky transition process for researchers and scholars working in Burma/Myanmar at a time of considerable political and economic change. This project will support the participants' research on Burma/Myanmar and create networking opportunities that support timely and collaborative work in a rapidly changing region.