SEAP Gatty Lecture Series: "How in Myanmar “national races” came to surpass citizenship"

Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Kahin Center
640 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Nick Cheesman, Fellow, Department of Political & Social Change, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. Australian National Univerity College of Asia and the Pacific

"How in Myanmar “national races” came to surpass citizenship"

“National races”, or taingyintha, is among the preeminent political ideas in Myanmar today. But because the term is translated from Burmese inconsistently, and because its usage is contingent, its peculiar significance for political speech and action has been lost in work on Myanmar by scholars writing in English. Out of concern that Myanmar’s contemporary politics cannot be understood without reckoning with taingyintha, in this talk I give national races their due. Adopting a genealogical method, I trace the episodic emergence of taingyintha from colonial times to the present. I examine attempts to order national races taxonomically, and to marry the taxonomy with a juridical project to dominate some people and elide others through a citizenship regime in which membership in a national race has surpassed other conditions for membership in the political community “Myanmar”. Consequently, people who reside in Myanmar but are collectively denied citizenship—like anyone identifying or identified as Rohingya—pursue claims to be taingyintha so as to rejoin the community. Ironically, the surpassing symbolic and juridical power of national races is for people denied civil and political rights at once their problem and their solution.

Event Type

Lecture

Departments

Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Government, Southeast Asia Program

Tags

isscal

Contact E-Mail

seapgattylectures@gmail.com

Contact Name

SEAP Graduate Student Committee

Contact Phone

607-255-2378

Speaker

Nick Cheesman

Speaker Affiliation

 Fellow, Department of Political & Social Change, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. Australian National Univerity College of Asia and the Pacific

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