Chu May Paing (current director)


Born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar, Chu May Paing is a first-generation American citizen currently pursuing a PhD in Cultural Anthropology at University of Colorado Boulder. She is interested in the way ordinary Burmese citizens interact with images to reimagine the sociopolitical pasts and sense the futures. 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 mother's house located at a busy corner of a street in Hlaing township in Yangon. As an ethnographer, she approaches her scholarship from the human-centered storytelling perspective. She wants to experiment with both still and moving images 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 Lingusitic Anthropology, American Ethnologist, and more. She co-hosts a Burmese-language podcast called Chu Toe Toe where she and her colleague Than Toe Aung discuss social "taboo" topics in Myanmar society.