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Burma in the Context of Global Uprising against Militarized Violence
Co-sponsored by York Centre for Asian Research
June 18 2021 | 8:30 am CDT/ 9:30 am EDT | Virtual

In his response to a student in Burma asking for some consideration given the violence happening around them, a York University Math instructor wrote “people don’t get shot for just protesting, but for a lot deeper reasons.” The reality is that people are randomly murdered by the security forces in Burma, with students and workers being particularly targeted, and people in Canada and the US are regularly murdered by the police for being black or Indigenous. This instructor's ignorance and insensitivity, however, highlight the global interconnections of militarised police violence.


This panel seeks to think about the situation in Burma conversation with the multiple uprisings against:

  • murder of black and indigenous people by militarized police in the US and Canada

  • crack downs on democracy protesters in Hong Kong

  • military violence against civilians and social movements in South Asia

The teach in has two purposes.


First, to bring together conversations about the connections and divergences between these movements, what they can learn from each other and what thinking about militarized police violence happening across cultures can teach us.


Second, as online teaching has made our classroom literally global, the teach-in seeks to train faculty and students to resist the implicit ways racism and colonialisms shape our teaching, including and especially in the ways such violence shapes the experience of the students in our online classrooms and how instructors policing students reinforces such violence.

The roundtable will be in English. Attendees can choose to join the post-roundtable workshop in the following week to reflect on their practices and experiences working with the international students. You can express your interest to join the workshop in the registration link.

Free & Open to public, especially academics working with international students and students with heritage ties to war-torn parts of the world.



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Jasnea Sarma is an ethnographer and political geographer. She works on borderlands, resource frontiers, identity and climate-vulnerable regions across Asia. She’s currently a postdoctoral research fellow at NUS, Singapore. Her Ph.D. thesis, ‘Seeing like a border’ is built on four years of ethnographic fieldwork across the Shan, Kachin, Chin and Rakhine borderlands of Myanmar with northeast India and southwest China. She’s from Assam, India.

Dr. Emily Hue is faculty in the UC Riverside Ethnic Studies department whose current book manuscript considers the performance and visual cultures of primarily asylum-seeking and refugee artists from Burma/Myanmar. She is a 2nd generation Asian American feminist of Shan and Chinese descent whose family left Burma in the 1970s, in the prolonged aftermath of an earlier military coup. She teaches classes on human rights, diaspora, and Asian American feminist theory and politics.


Aye Min Thant is a Burmese-American journalist who has covered business, politics, and conflict in Myanmar, Thailand, and the United States. Aye holds degrees in gender studies, anthropology, and Asian studies. They won a Pulitzer Prize in 2019 as part of the Reuters team covering the Rohingya crisis and its aftermath.

Htet Thiha Zaw is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. His research interests lie in historical political economy, education, and formal theory. Substantively, He is interested in understanding the development of education policy in colonial-era Southeast Asia and its relationship with anti-colonial resistance, focusing on British Burma. Another line of his research explores topics in international education policy, such as education efficiency and early-childhood education.

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Panel Moderator


Chu May Paing is the founder and current Director at Aruna Global South. She holds a BA in linguistics and MA in cultural anthropology and currently doing her PhD in cultural anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research on images as political communication in contemporary Burma is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is from Yangon.

Workshop Facilitator

Bailey Duhé is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder in Cultural Anthropology and is set to graduate in December 2021. Her research looks at interracial group interactions and multiracial experiences. She is a race educator with over 5 years of adult education on race and 3 years of race, equity, inclusion, and diversity consulting and has thus far worked with nonprofits, corporations, collegiate academic departments, and K-12 educators. Her seminars, courses, and consultations focus on fostering space for transformative dialogue based on individual understanding and meeting participants where they are with consideration for where they want to be.

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