23rd - 25th of May in Passau
Myanmar's transition over the past decade has created new opportunities as well as new challenges and uncertainties. A rapid transformation at the political, economic, social as well as the religious-cultural level has consequences for and a strong impact on the private sphere.
Economic development creates new opportunities for employment, new fields of work are opened up - mostly in urban centres. This leads, among others, to rural depopulation and the urban construction boom intensifies gentrification and social strife. New laws are being drafted, trade unions are being created or expanded, new special economic zones or major construction projects are correlated with a displacement of local communities, land grabbing and compensation payments. In rural areas, rising demand leads to the switch to cash crops, the use of pesticides and the emergence of new production relationships. New forms of social interaction and communication emerge through new media and technologies, new civil society organizations, opportunities for freer expression and a more diverse media landscape. Even though political transformations took place leading to an elected government, the ethnic minority problematic, which goes beyond the often-reported conflict in Rakhine state, remains and the nationwide peace process is stagnating.
These processes are often analyzed in a macro-perspective. Zooming in, the conference addresses the following questions: How are the common people affected? How is their everyday life changing, and how do they adapt and make use of these new opportunities or deal with the challenges? How do habits change? Is daily life really changing as much as it appears in public, or are there structures that remain fixed?
The transition over the past decade also marks a shift in Myanmar research that is now possible, after five decades of the country’s isolation. At the conference, the complex processes in Myanmar will be analyzed, both specific areas and the overall process in order to be able to understand and to some degree predict the directions of current processes and to initiate new research approaches and questions.
The Myanmar conference 2019 is being hosted by the Department of Southeast Asian Studies of the University of Passau. Head of Department is Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Korff. The focus of the Department of Southeast Asian Studies lies on the comparative study of social and political change processes in Southeast Asia, with the following specialist areas: Nation-building and conflicts, urban development, media organizational studies, development policy and process, culture, religion and gender. A key feature of Southeast Asian studies at Passau is the extensive language program, which offers courses taught by native speakers for beginners and advanced students in the following Asiatic languages: Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese.
Academic Forum Myanmar
The Wissenschaftsforum Myanmar (WiMya) was founded in 2012. The Academic Forum is an informal network of researchers from German speaking Europe -mainly Austria, Switzerland and Germany- who meet annually. The conferences took place in Passau (2012 & 2013), Halle (2014), Zürich (2015), Berlin (2016), Yangon (2017) and Berlin (2018). The aim is to promote synergies in research and academic cooperation. It supports collaborative work with colleagues in Myanmar and establishes contacts with organizations that are active in the country. The Director of the forum is Professor Rüdiger Korff from the University of Passau.
Myanmar Institut e.V.
In December 2016 the network was further institutionalized by the establishment of the Myanmar-Institut e.V.. The association facilitates transdisciplinary research and exchange and serves as a focal point to connect experts of the diverse fields with inquirers. The Myanmar conferences in Bonn (2017) and Konstanz (2018) took place in cooperation with the Myanmar Institut e.V.
The Wissenschaftsforum Myanmar and the Myanmar Institut e.V. are organizing partners of the Interdisciplinary Myanmar Conference 2019 in Passau.
Registration – Interdisciplinary Myanmar Conference 2019: here
For further questions about the conference please contact: