Burmese Nationalism and the Dietary Habits of Peacocks and Crows

During my last visit to the British Library I found this cartoon strip in the Burmese nationalist newspaper ThĊĞriya, published in 1939. The cartoon character speaking on the platform is a reoccurring one in the newspaper. He is a bit of a hapless individual. His candid, ill-advised manner of speaking often gets him into trouble….

Anti-Colonial Primatology

Animal histories often attempt to de-centre the human in their narratives. They show instead how the actions of non-human animals have made possible and frustrated human activities. They also show how definitions of what it means to be human have been premised on contrasts with the animal other. In both of these arguments, animal historians…

Political Animals

I have just finished reading a story in which a community of pigs stage a revolution. No, not George Orwell’s Animal Farm, but a play called Sukra written by the Burmese nationalist U Nu in 1937. The play was published by the Nagani Book Club, a leftist nationalist publisher in the colony, and has been…