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Chu May Paing

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Born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar, Chu May Paing (she/they/no pronouns) is a first-generation Burmese diasporic writer currently pursuing a PhD in Cultural Anthropology at University of Colorado Boulder. Chu is currently a Honorary Associate Fellow at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at University of Wisconsin Madison.


Chu is interested in the way Burmese citizens and its diaspora interact with social media to reimagine the sociopolitical pasts and sense the futures beyond national borders. Chu is also one of the 2000 fellows selected nationwide from the US National Science Foundation in 2019.

Chu's interest in anthropology and ethnography stemmed from her childhood memories of watching people from the second floor window of her childhood home located at a busy corner of a street in Hlaing township in Yangon. As an (auto)ethnographer, she approaches her scholarship from the reflexive storytelling perspective. She wants to experiment with various communicative and expressive media in her work.

When she is not working on her doctoral research, she is dedicated to writing and speaking against neocoloniality in academia. Her writings have been published on The New Ethnographer, Society for Linguistic Anthropology, American Ethnologist, Agitate Journal, and more. She also writes in Burmese under the pen name မခြင်္သေ့ (Ma Chinthe). Her writings can be found at

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