Burma Studies Conference 2006 Communities of Interpretation
Date : 13 Jul 2006 - 15 Jul 2006
Venue : Grand Plaza Parkroyal Hotel
10 Coleman Street Singapore 179809
Download Abstract Booklet & Conference Programme

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The Asia Research Institute and the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are pleased to announce that the biennial International Burma Studies Conference will convene in Singapore on July 13-15, 2006. This session’s theme, “Communities of Interpretation”, seeks to recognize and explore the various ways in which the idea of Myanmar/Burma has come to be epistemologically understood in contemporary times. The field of Burma Studies and the knowledge that supports it has been produced through a variety of historical, economic, cultural, and political contexts, each adding important and sometimes competing ways of thinking about what has and what has not come to define Myanmar/Burma. Within these contexts, communities of interpreters have all contributed to its representation by imagining it through key issues, questions, paradigms, agendas, institutions and themes, effectively shaping the way in which we have interpreted and constructed the Myanmar/Burma we know today. We hope to investigate not what constitutes “Burmeseness” but rather how it has come to be known through those who write about, build, lead, criticize, sculpt, resist, perform in and travel to Burma. In doing, so this conference seeks to embrace intellectual and phenomenological diversity by exploring the Communities of Interpretation that have contributed to the conceptualizing of Myanmar/Burma.

Participants have been asked to consider the ways in which Myanmar/Burma has come to be known, produced, and understood through history, anthropology, politics, economics, sociology, art, religion, popular culture, media, and literature. Specifically, we encouraged panels and papers that explore how communities---scholars, colonial administrators, missionaries, politicians, artists, writers, students, musicians, villages, kings, leaders, ethnic groups and nations---have shaped multiple images of Burma/Myanmar that often reflect particular perceptions of the Burmese past, the present, and its possible futures. The conference organizers have welcomed presentations that rigorously investigate the nature of these communities, the basis for these linkages and their overall role in the fashioning of Burma/Myanmar. The list of functioning panels will hopefully reflect some of the diverse and interesting ways in which Burma has come to be understood by interpretive communities throughout the world.

Panel Listing:

  • Ancient Myanmar as Early Community
  • Constructing the Economy in Myanmar Studies
  • Constructing the Social in Myanmar Studies
  • Communities of Interpretation within the Historiography of Myanmar
  • Communities of Archaeology and the Fashioning of Early Burma
  • Considering the Mon Paradigm: Roundtable on Michael Aung-Thwin's Mists of Ramanna (Panel has not yet finalized, so we welcome interested participants by sending your abstract and institutional affiliation to the ARI Secretariat, ariaar@nus.edu.sg).
  • Democracy and the Construction of Myanmar/Burma
  • Fashioning the Foreign: Diplomatic Relations and the Image of Myanmar
  • Gender and Power: Political and Social Change in the status of Burmese Women
  • Health and History: Looking for healing in Contemporary Burma/Myanmar I & II
  • Interpreting Myanmar and its Traditional Culture
  • Interpreting Myanmar’s Intellectual History
  • Interpreting Civil Society as Myanmar
  • Inscribing Tradition: Literature and Text in Myanmar
  • Myanmar though the Environment
  • Myanmar though Education
  • National Reconciliation and the Construction of Myanmar/Burma
  • Political Discourse and the Representation of Myanmar
  • Readings, Rhymes, and Rules: Myanmar through Linguistics
  • Representing Burma through Politics: The Media Community
  • Religion and the Making of Myanmar
  • Shaping Burma through Popular Culture
  • Simple Beliefs and Uniform Truths: Questioning the Historical Reconstruction of Burma's Pasts
  • Typifying Burma: Ethnicity, Minorities, and the Periphery
  • The Myanmar Historical Commission as Interpretive Community
  • The Economics of Burmese Communities: The Burmese Diaspora in Thailand
  • The Politics of Identity and the Category of Community in Burma
  • The Shan Village in Peripheral Burma: Perspectives on Conflict, Community and Change
  • The Marginal Mons in their Diasporic Process: The Case of a Mon Community in Sanghlaburi, Thailand

Individual Papers

  • Shan Noises, Accented Voice: Consuming and Re-defining Shan Ethnic Identity through Songs
  • Interpreting a New Ethnic of Global Democracy and Human Rights in Burma
  • Myanmar’s Democratic Movement and ASEAN Response
  • Burma-India Border: Folk Migrations (1784-1948)
  • A Japanese to Myanmar Machine Translation System”
  • The Military and Politics in Burma/Myanmar: The Tatmadaw and State building since 1988
  • Before the YMBA: Burmese Colonial Society and the Promotion of the Sasana
  • Photo-Ethnography and Representing Myanmar
  • British Ideology and the Origins of the First Anglo-Burmese War
  • Burmese Yazawin and Thai Oral History
  • Why Aung San is not the author of the Blue Print
  • Influences and Non-influences of Aspects of Western Thinking and Law Regarding Madness and (Criminal) Responsibility in Burmese Social and Legal Discourse


Registration Fees (Standard) SGD 250 (Early Bird Registration before 30Apr2006 - $200)
Grad Students SGD 150

Registration fees include: conference sessions, conference kit, conference dinner on 13 July 2006, and tea breaks & luncheons during conference days.

To qualify for Student Rate, a copy of the Student ID must be furnished.

Registration is confirmed only upon receipt of payment.

No refunds will be made for any cancellations.

Payment in Singapore dollars (SGD$) only.

Applicants should send in their bank draft or cheques made payable to the “National University of Singapore” together with a completed registration form to the conference secretariat by 30 June 2006.



The following are links on the guides on public transport in Singapore. These e-guides will be a steady companion as it explains fares, use of transport systems and services and comprehensive tables which has detailed information on the different bus and train services.

You are able to search for a bus / MRT by its number, station, and street and even by places of interest and government buildings online. This electronic guide comes up with all bus and MRT numbers that lead to your chosen destination.

Websites on Public Transport in Singapore:

Mode of Transportation


Website Address /
Contact Numbers


Transit Link







Tel: (65) 6552 1111



Tel: (65) 6552 2222

The following is a link to an online map of Singapore:
Singapore Street Directory - http://www.streetdirectory.com/



Grand Plaza Parkroyal, Singapore

We encourage conference participants to stay at the host venue as it is located directly across Singapore's "Burmese" Mall, Peninsula Plaza. Boasting four Burmese restaurants, a Southeast Asian Foodcourt, and 3-4 floors of Burmese shops and businesses, the Peninsula Plaza offers conference participants the opportunity to take their meals at any one of the restaurants while conversing with local Singaporean-Burmese who are part of the 50,000-person community. We also recommend that you stay at least through the 16th April as many members of the community congregate at the Peninsula Plaza on Sundays (many attend the Burmese Christian fellowship service across the street), making the mall one of the most exciting centers for expatriat Burmese. The hotel is nearby the MRT (train), the National Library, the Singapore Art Museum, the Asian Civilizations Museum, the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Chijmes (shopping/restaurants/pubs), and the Raffles City Mall.

We have arranged a special accommodation rate at SGD 140+++ (single / twin) with The Grand Plaza Parkroyal for conference participants. Please book NOW to avoid disappointment. Limited rooms only, on a first-come-first-served basis.

Please click here for booking form

For reservations, kindly send it to:
Ms Maybelline Teo (Reservations Manager)
DID: (65) 6432 5558
Fax: (65) 6333 6202
Email: RESMGR@gpp.sin.parkroyalhotels.com

Ms Adeline Yap
DID: (65) 6432 5559
Fax: (65) 6333 6202
Email: ressupr@gpp.sin.parkroyalhotels.com

Travelling to the Hotel Plaza Parkroyal from Changi Airport

  • The most convenient way of getting to the hotel is by taxi, and will cost S$15 to S$20. Follow the directions to the taxi stand at the airport.
  • By MRT (underground/tube/metro/subway). Follow the signs to the MRT Station at the airport. You can purchase a single ticket from the coin-operated machine at the station. Board the train from Changi Airport station and alight at City Hall MRT station. The normal fare is S$1.50.

Grand Plaza Parkroyal
10 Coleman Street
Singapore 179809

Tel: +65 6336 3456
Fax: +65 6339 9311


YWCA Fort Canning Lodge

We have also arranged a special accommodation rate at SGD 85+++ for a single room and SGD95 +++ for a twin room at the Fort Canning Lodge for conference participants. Please book NOW to avoid disappointment. Limited rooms only, on a first-come-first-served basis.

For reservations at the YWCA Fort Canning Lodge kindly contact:

Mr. Max Suresh
Tel: (65) 6338 4222 Ext: 8018
Fax: (65) 6337 4222
Email: maxs@ywcafclodge.org.sg

Ms. Marie
Tel: (65) 6338 4222 Ext: 8085
Fax: (65) 6337 4222
Email: maxs@ywcafclodge.org.sg

Travelling to the Fort Canning Lodge from Changi Airport

  • The most convenient way of getting to the hotel is by taxi, and will cost S$15 to S$20. Follow the directions to the taxi stand at the airport.
  • By MRT (underground/tube/metro/subway). Follow the signs to the MRT Station at the airport. You can purchase a single ticket from the coin-operated machine at the station. Board the train from Changi Airport station and alight at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. The normal fare is S$1.50.
  YWCA Fort Canning Lodge
6 Fort Canning Road, Singapore
Tel: +65 6338 4222


For more details, please contact:


Contact Person(s)
ROZELLS Alyson Adrianne