China Seminar | 14 February 2013

Myanmar-China Relations: the Past in the Present

Michael Aung-Thwin Michael Aung-Thwin

Continuing with our series of topics on China’s neighboring countries, this is perhaps the first time in China Seminar’s 36+ year’s history that a topic focuses on the Myanmar-China relations. Myanmar, aka Burma, considers it’s “front door” faces north and China, not the south and the “international” world, as often suggested. Professor Aung-Thwin will discuss the meaning of this “favored” gaze northward that goes back at least to the Bronze Age and continues today.

Michael Aung-Thwin is Professor and Chair of the Asian Studies Program, UHM. He earned his BA from Doane College, Nebraska; MA from the University of Illinois, Urbana; and PhD in South and Southeast Asian history from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prior to UHM, he taught and lectured extensively in Illinois, New York, Japan and Singapore, and was Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University. He has published many books (some are award-winning), as well as academic articles in peer-refereed journals, on Myanmar and other Southeast Asian related topics. Most recently he co-authored (with his son, also a historian at the National University of Singapore) a book called A History of Myanmar since Ancient Times: Traditions and Transformations (London, Reaktion Books, 2012). He is also the recipient of many distinguished awards and significant research grants.