Call for papers: Myanmar Update 2019

We’re pleased to share this call for papers on behalf of the Australian National University’s Myanmar Research Centre.

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Myanmar Update 2019: Living with Myanmar

Proposals due by Friday, 3 August 2018, with the conference to take place at the Australian National University on 15-16 March 2019.

The next Myanmar Update conference will be held on Friday, 15 March and Saturday, 16 March 2019 at the Australian National University, Canberra. Hosted by the ANU’s Myanmar Research Centre, in the College of Asia and the Pacific, the conference has as its theme ‘Living with Myanmar’.

The conference theme is a response to the challenges that people in Myanmar continue to face in living with the legacies of sixty years of military rule. Since 2011 Myanmar has experienced profound changes and reforms. The formation of a new government in Myanmar, led by the National League for Democracy, was also a crucially important milestone in the country’s transition to a more inclusive form of governance. And yet, for many people everyday struggles remain unchanged, and have often worsened in recent years. Key economic, social and political reforms are stalled, conflict persists and longstanding issues of citizenship and belonging remain. Since the last conference in 2017, Myanmar’s restive borderlands have been the site of escalating military campaigns, driving more than 800,000 Rohingya, Kachin, Shan and Karen people to flee internally or across borders. These dynamics have complicated Myanmar’s diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries and exposed the fractures at the heart of Myanmar’s transition to partial civilian rule.

Building on the 2017 Update which probed the theme of “Transformations”, the 2019 conference seeks to explore the contradictions, ambiguities and complexities of ‘Living with Myanmar’. What is it like to live with and navigate the institutions, socialities and political ideals that shape life for many people in and outside of the territory of Myanmar? How are people engaging in creative and productive ways with Myanmar’s historical, geographic and institutional complexities? We invite scholars and practitioners to probe these questions, focusing on how everyday people, activists, state officials and external actors craft lives and worldviews as they live with Myanmar.

Paper Proposals

The Myanmar Update conference convenors invite paper proposals from interested academics, analysts, researchers, and professionals, that address the overall theme of ‘Living with Myanmar’ in any of the following topic areas: Politics and Governance; Economic Change and Stagnation; Law and Justice; Conflict and Peace; Citizenship and Identity; and Society and Culture. We also welcome proposals for our Burmese-language panel, which can be submitted in Burmese on any one of the preceding themes, following the same format as for English-language papers. The organisers are particularly interested to receive proposals that explore the nuances and dynamics of living with Myanmar from urban and rural areas. And papers that challenge the theme are also very welcome!

Papers will be grouped into sessions addressing these different themes. In addition to these sessions, the conference will include a keynote address, and Political and Economic Update papers, presented by invited speakers.

As in previous Updates, the conveners are interested in receiving proposals from new voices, both within academia and outside it. We are particularly interested, of course, in new voices from Myanmar. We are happy to provide advice and guidance to participants who may have limited experience in international conference presentations. Paper proposals in Burmese will be accepted and, if required, translation services will be available for their presentation at the conference in a non-Burmese language session.

To submit a proposal, please fill in your details at the following link:

This should be submitted no later than Friday, 3 August 2018.

If you have any problems using this link, you can also send your abstract, paper title and CV to [email protected].

The abstract should be no more than 300 words and show how the paper will address the overall theme of ‘Living with Myanmar’. Please also provide a one-page CV. Burmese-language submissions should be in Zawgyi and not exceed half a page. Please be aware that only proposals of the highest quality whose contents are consistent with the conference themes will be considered. Those persons whose proposals are accepted will be notified within four weeks after the deadline. The Conference organisers may also request persons whose papers are accepted to revise their proposals in order to address issues not covered by other presenters.

The Convenors are also interested in receiving proposals to screen short films, launch books or for other conference related activities. Please contact [email protected].

Those persons whose submissions are accepted will be required to submit a first full draft of the paper of between 5000 and 8000 words by January 31 2019. A revised draft for publication will be required two months after the Conference in order to meet deadlines for publication in the Myanmar Update series.

Some funding will be available to support the travel and accommodation of presenters. This will be allocated at the convenors discretion.

About the Update Series

The Myanmar (Burma) Update is a major venue at which to present cutting-edge scholarship on political, social and economic affairs in Myanmar. Now in its third decade, it is one of only two longstanding, regularly held international conferences on the country, and is alone in routinely publishing papers presented at the conference. It is one of a range of Update conferences held at the Australian National University on countries across Asia and the Pacific. Details of previous Myanmar Updates and publications are available at the Update series website:

For further information, please contact the conveners: Charlotte Galloway, Director, Myanmar Research Centre, ANU [email protected]

Nick Cheesman, Fellow, Department of Political & Social Change, ANU [email protected]

Justine Chambers, Associate-Director, Myanmar Research Centre, ANU, [email protected]

Gerard McCarthy, Associate-Director, Myanmar Research Centre, ANU, [email protected]

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