to Nov 8

Writing and publishing workshop in Myitkyina, Kachin State, Myanmar


Myitkyina, Kachin State, Myanmar, November 5-8, 2018

A Writing and Publishing Workshop

Across a  four day workshop a group of junior and senior researchers joined to present ongoing research in Myanmar, Yunnan, Northeast India, and Bangladesh, and to discuss means and ways of publishing research in print and digital media.

The workshop was organised locally by the Kachinland Research Centre. It brought together researchers from China, Myanmar, Mizoram and Manipur in northeast India, Bangladesh, China, Singapore and Japan, who all shared their experiences and compared the different challenges they face in reaching a wider audience through publishing their work more broadly and in English. In addition to the India-China Corridor project team, the workshop included members of the School of Oriental and African Studies’s staff, including Dr Patrick Meehan (Development Studies) and Professor Emma Crewe (Anthropology) who spoke about making successful grant applications, and a former History MA student, Golan Naulak, who presented a paper on the history of identity politics in Mizoram. Dr Gustaaf Houtman, editor of Anthropology Today, gave advice on setting up and running online journals. A well known Japanese academic of Burmese origin, Dr Chosein Yamahata, talked about his experience of working as an academic across multiple trans-Asian academic contexts and publishing in different languages.

The event was funded jointly by the British Academy and the India-China Corridor project.

The aims of the workshop was

1. To provide information about the nature of the academic publishing industry to improve the ability to take informed decisions about what, where and when to publish and the alternatives that might be available to them

2. Give support for developing a personalized strategic publication plan to suit their individual career and other goals

3. Contribute to outline a specific publication plan for the paper presented at the workshop, or an alternative paper if that should be more appropriate

4. To give advice on other forms of output that bring academic prestige (grant applications) and/or enhance their professional profile

5. To make sure the participants will leave with a clearer understanding of the competing demands on researchers to publish and how they can manage these pressures to best advance their professional lives and manage the pressures upon them to publish

November 5th 2018

Session 1: 9.30am – 11.00am

Global-local interactions; aspiration and transformation; generational divides; youth; imaginaries of change, revolution and of the future; connectivities; information flows; education; globalization, life strategies, neoliberal globalization, contemporary Bangladesh

Chair: Professor Gunnel Cederlӧf

Discussant: Dr Chosein Yamahata

Dr Kazuyo Minamide, Associate Professor, Faculty of International Studies and Liberal Arts, St. Andrew’s University, Japan

Pursuing Contemporary Young Generation in Bangladesh: locating their life strategies and identity politics in global settings

Dr Cao Yin, Associate Professor, Department of History, Tsinghua University, China

Bombs in Beijing (1910) and Delhi (1912): Connecting Marginalized Histories of Modern China and India

Session 2: 11.30am – 1.00pm

Authority; traditional systems’ state vs. non-state; justice; legitimacy; construction or systems; sovereignty; regional systems; post-conflict; conflict resolution

Chair: Lahpai Zau Gun

Discussant: Dr Patrick Meehan

Yang Yi, PhD Candidate (Anthropology), East China Normal University

Settling on the Border: Emotion, Morality and Social Interaction of a Yunnanese Family in “the City of Golden Triangle”

Myat Thet Thitsar, Executive Director, Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation (EMReF), Yangon, Myanmar

Formality Phobia: Fear of Formality In Justice Provision In Myanmar

Session 3: 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Media; public culture; popular movements; resistance; rumour; inclusion and exclusion; religious conflict, resources; value chain; discourse power

Chair: Maran Ja Htoi Pan

Discussant: Dr Mandy Sadan

Yang Mingyue, PhD Candidate (Ethnology), Institute of Ethnology, Yunnan University

Dilemma of Discourse Power: An empirical study on profit distribution among groups in the value chain of cross-border trade in jade

Danseng Lawn, Director, Kachinland Research Centre

Research report on media and parliaments in Kachin State in 1950s

Session 4: 4.00pm – 5.30pm

History, narrative, symbol, cross-border relations, inclusion and exclusion, peace accords and ceasefires

Chair: Sai Kyi Zin Soe

Discussant: Professor Willem van Schendel

Chenxue You, PhD Candidate (History), National University of Singapore

Asia Enters European Game: The Border Making of between British Burma and China, 1894-1948

Golan Suanzamung Naulak, Independent researcher

The Reluctant Zo identity: Mediating state, nation and history in the Indo-Burma borderland

November 6th 2018

Session 5: 9.30am – 11.00am

Chair: Jasnea Sarma

Discussant: Dr Gustaaf Houtman

Dr Zhong Xiaoxin, Post-doctoral fellow of Institute of Myanmar Studies, Yunnan University

Strong-etiquette and Weak-attachment: Ethnographing the Social Structure of a Burmese Village

Sai Kyi Zin Soe, PhD Candidate (Health Studies), Centre for Disability Research and Policy, Faculty of Health Studies, University of Sydney

Impact of donor aid policy on disability inclusion in Myanmar

Resettlement, migration, effects, social norms and change, social structure, affect, place making, identity, symbols

Session 6: 11.30am – 1.00pm

Social memory, place-making, cross-border influences, affect, environment and contingency; urban development, social identities

Chair: Dr Cao Yin

Discussant: Professor Dan Smyer Yu

Jasnea Sarma, PhD Candidate (Asian Studies and Political Geography), National University of Singapore

Living Anatyoungmyay ‘the Black place’ - Moving bodies, borders and ethnonationalisms between India-Myanmar-China

Ja Htoi Pan, Associate Director, Kachinland Research Centre

The Politics of Drugs Eradication Grassroots Activism in Northern Shan State in Myanmar

Session 7: 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Place-making, cross-border influences, affect, environment and contingency; social identities, inclusion and exclusion, adaptation

Chair: Dr Kazuyo Minamide

Discussant: Professor Gunnel Cederlӧf

Dr Malem Ningthouja, Independent researcher

British Empire, Manipur Frontier and the Evolution of Manipur-Burma Boundary from 1826 to 1896

Dr Fariba Alamgir, Research Associate, Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath, UK

Making of Frontier in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh

Session 8: 4.00pm – 5.30pm

Group discussion on the papers and thinking about the writing workshop to follow. 

7-8 November

These days focused on publication and centred on the following themes:

  • Clarifying your personal publication needs and desires: Choosing routes to publication

  • Understandingand navigating the changing publication landscape

  • Navigating the publication process

  • Challenging the dominance of western publication hierarchies: setting up and contributing to local online journals. Case Study: Anthropology

  • Other forms of academic prestige (1): Writing grant applications, and (2): Building your online profile

  • Feedback about individual publication plans

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to Apr 19

Yunnan-Burma-Bengal Corridor: Process Geographies in the Making of Modern Asia

Yunnan-Burma-Bengal Corridor

Process Geographies in the Making of Modern Asia

The interconnection of Bengal, Burma, and Yunnan has a long history in both human and environmental terms. Since the advent of modern era in the 18th century, the variety and complexity of pathways, corridors, and networks of livelihood-making, commerce, religions, political systems, and ethno-linguistic families have become ever highlighted in colonial encounters, changing political systems, inter-ethnic flows of natural resources and human labors, and academic research. The works of Edmund Leach (1954), James Scott (2009), Willem van Schendel (2004; 2005), Gunnel Cederlöf (2008; 2014), Mandy Sadan (2013), Jean Michaud (2010; 2017), David Ludden (2003), C. Patterson Giersch (2006), Arupjyoti Saikia (2011), Bin Yang (2004), Dan Smyer Yü and Jean Michaud (2017), and more, all attest to the deep entanglement of the three regions and their wider connectivity with the eastern Himalayas, Southwest China, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. The transregionality and bordered connectivity of each of the three regions have simultaneously taken place in the modern era. 

This workshop aims to produce an interdisciplinary publication woven together with inter-related case studies and theoretical works with a focus on the concurrence of connectivity and disconnectivity between the three regions as a highly pronounced transregional characteristic in modern times. Invited participants are encouraged to address these questions: How did interregional caravan trade routes and commodities thread multiple communities together? In what ways did inter-ethnic marriage alliances ensure the continuity of trans-local commerce? How did environmental flows shape interregional human interactions? Did historical colonial encounters and local modern nation building process contribute to the concurrency of transregional connectivity and disconnectivity? How do we reconceptualize and reformulate the meanings of geography, space, place, corridor, network, and environment in these multifaceted nexuses of people, goods, and ideas?


5:00pm – 8:00pm                Inaugural session & YMU Presidential Banquet


·         Dan Smyer Yü, Director of the Center for Trans-Himalayan Studies, Yunnan Minzu University

·         Gao Dengrong, Deputy Executive Director, Yunnan Provincial Institute for Ethnic Studies


Inaugural speakers: Na Jinhua, President of Yunnan Minzu University, and Gunnel Cederlöf, Professor of History, Linnaeus University

Keynote speaker: Duan Gang, Vice President of Yunnan Minzu University

“‘Belt and Road’: the Construction and Development of Bangladesh-China-India-Burma Economic Corridor”

Translator: Li Yunxia, Department of Sociology, Yunnan Minzu University

April 18  

Venue: Seminar Room (B201), Yunnan Provincial Institute for Ethnic Studies (2nd floor)

Yunnan Minzu University (Chenggong campus), Kunming

9:00 – 10:30   Corridors and Transregionality of Modern Nation-states

·         Chairperson/Opening remarks: Gunnel Cederlöf, Linnaeus University


Willem van Schendel, Amsterdam University  

“Framing Spaces between India and China”

Mandy Sadan, SOAS Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, University of London

“Mapping and knowledge of the India China corridor in the early 19th century”

Discussant: Dan Smyer Yü, Center for Trans-Himalayan Studies, YMU

10:45 – 12:15 Early Modern Borderlands and Cartographical Practices

Chairperson/discussant: Gunnel Cederlöf, Linnaeus University


Joy LK Pachuau, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

“Circulatory regimes in the Indo-Burma Borderlands: A case study from the Chin-Lushai Hills, 19th century.”

Ma Jianxiong, Division of Humanities, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

“The dowry land system and chieftains of Shan-Dai borderlands between Yunnan and Burmese kingdoms from the Ming to the Qing dynasties: the construction of a decentralized institution in the frontier”

14:30 – 16:00 Ethnic Alliances/Conflicts in Sino-Burmese Borderlands, 1500s-2000s

Chairperson/discussant: Mandy Sadan, SOAS University of London


Wen-Chin Chang, Center for Asia-Pacific Area Studies, RCHSS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

“Clandestine Travel across the Sino-Burmese Border During the Cold War”

Wang Jianhua (Nyawrbyeivq Aryoeq), Yunnan Provincial Institute for Ethnic Studies, Yunnan Minzu University

"A Brief History of Special Region No. 4 of East Shan State: A Solution to Ethnic Conflicts in Myanmar?"

April 19

9:00 – 10:30 Environmental Flows and A More-than Human World

Chairperson/discussant: Arupjyoti Saikia, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati


Ambika Aiyadurai, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar

“From Obscurity to Popularity: Two stories of bird conservation from Northeast India,” co-authored with Sayan Banerjee

Iftekhar Iqbal, the Universiti Brunei Darussalam

“Ethnography of water: Mobility and space-making along the rivers of northeastern South Asia and mainland Southeast Asia.” 

10:45 – 12:15 Transboundary Migrations and Civilizational Encounters

Chairperson/discussant: Jianxiong Ma, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


Bryce Beemer, SSRC Transregional Research Fellow for InterAsian Contexts and Connections, University of Hawaii

“Manipuri War Captives in Upper Burma: Histories of Religious Creolization and Transcultural Exchange in the India-China Corridor”

Li Yunxia, Department of Sociology, Yunnan Minzu University

“The Haw Chinese on a Civilising Mission: the Influence of Yunnanese Immigrants in Northern Laos and Myanmar in the Late Qing Dynasty”

13:50 – 15:30 Hybrid Zones, Inter-ethnic politics, and Trade in Eastern Himalayan Borderlands, the 8th century – current

Chairperson/discussant: Willem van Schendel, Amsterdam University


Shen Haimei, Yunnan Provincial Institute for Ethnic Studies, Yunnan Minzu University

“The Erhai Regional History of the Pre-Nanzhao Kingdom in the Middle Ground of Multi-Civilizations”

Henrik Möller, Lund University

“Human-Animal Analogies in Ethnic Identifications, Alliances, and Conflicts among Rohingya Jade Traders in the Myanmar-China Borderlands”

Li Quanmin, Yunnan Minzu University

“Taste Identification and the Cross-border Flow of Sour Tea of De’ang on the China and Myanmar borderland”

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India-China Corridor Spring School 2017
to Mar 26

India-China Corridor Spring School 2017

The India-China Corridor Spring School, Guwahati, 25-26 March 2017

Modern Empires, Flows, Environments and Livelihoods

Organisers and instructional team:

  • Prof. Gunnel Cederlöf, Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, the Linnaeus University, Sweden (lead faculty member)

  • Prof. Arupjyoti Saikia, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati

  • Dr. Mandy Sadan, Department of History, SOAS, University of London

  • Prof. Em. Willem van Schendel, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam

  • Prof. Dan Smyer Yü, Director, Center for Trans-Himalayan Studies, Yunnan Minzu University

  • Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan, Ashoka University

Venue: Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Assam, India

Sponsor: IIT Guwahati, Swedish Research Council

For the first time in three hundred years, India and China are rapidly emerging as global powers in a world economy gravitating from the Atlantic to the Asia-Pacific. Deep histories of interconnection have materialized via enormously varied ecologies and eco-zones, and a broad spectrum of polities across times of interaction, alliances, and warfare. Borders and boundaries have variably hardened, softened and moved, from the times of imperial Mughal, Manchu and British domination until the formation of the nation-states we know today.

The transregional effects have not only cartographically reshaped the interconnected territories of the Himalayas, Northeast India, and the highlands of Southeast Asia. They have also engendered geopolitical perceptions of the eco-geological contiguities, and geo-economic alterations of traditional trade and religious networks between multiple nations and multi-centred ethnolinguistic societies.

Our two day spring school will emphasise processes of movement. The larger region is characterised by interaction, networks, and flows. As in a corridor, via its web of cross-cutting passages, intersections, rooms, entries and exits, people move together with material and immaterial value. Ideas, experiences, habits, and beliefs. Goods, technologies, practices, and skills. From large to small, from armies to vectors, there are processes of movement following geographies and seasons. A tiny stretch of a border crossing can manifest distance and alienation. Simultaneously, vast spatial expanses may host zones of mediated and renegotiated relations. Against this backdrop, the nexus of the region in focus here is not bilateral in nature. Rather complexly it covers a world region spanning from central Asia and the Himalayas to Northeast India and the Southeast Asian highlands.

The Spring School is envisioned as a master class for graduate students and young scholars to present fresh research findings and theoretical perspectives, and to explore new frontiers of transregional studies with leading scholars in the fields of anthropology, history, environmental history, gender studies, and religious studies. The conceptual gravity of this master class is set on the idea of “corridor” in both historical and contemporary contexts. Through the peer-sharing of case studies of modern imperial encounters, environmental conditions of state formation, and transregional networks of different capacities; invited participants will work with the faculty members to pluralize the idea of corridor and theorize it particularly from the perspectives of historical, ecological, environmental, geopolitical, and religious studies. The preferred geographical areas of the participants’ papers are Burma and its adjacent Southeast Asian highlands, Northeast India, Southwest China, the Himalayas, and Tibetan Plateau. 


25 March

Session I         On ‘corridor’, flows and hurdles: Imperial Encounters and local transactions (Gunnel Cederlöf)

                       Transregional Flows, Networks and Place-Making (Willem van Schendel)

Session II        River Connections and Environments, the Brahmaputra and beyond (Arupjyoti Saikia)

                       Nature beyond Borders, Borders for Nature (Mahesh Rangarajan)

26 March

Session III      Gendered Environmental Change (Mandy Sadan)

                      Trans-Himalayan religious networks and geopolitics (Dan Smyer Yü)

Sessions IV    Workshop

How to apply

The spring school will admit twelve participants who are either PhD students in their final stages of research or postdoc researchers who are midway in their projects.

Applicants shall submit an application including an abstract with a report on the ongoing PhD or postdoc research project, CV, diploma of the most recent academic degree, university affiliation, and contact infomration of a reference person.

Food and accommodation at IITG is free of charge for participants. Limited availability of travel support.

The Deadline for the submission of applications is 10 November 2016.

Submission of applications to:

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