Histories for the Burmese Revolution

I delivered this as a talk to a public history event run by the History Department at the University of Durham and the Gala Theatre on 15 June 2021. It is tentative, unfinished, and I post it here, not as a definitive statement, but to share my current reflections. There are some events that are…

Charting Colonial Animal History

At the end of my module “Colonizing Animals: More-than-human Histories of Empire in Asia” my students and I charted the historiography. On a large sheet of paper I drew two axis. The vertical axis indicated the amount of attention the historian paid to the agency of the animals that they wrote about. The horizontal axis…

No, You’re Peripheral!

The Wa people of the borderlands of Northeast Burma and Southwest China have a foundational myth that claims that all of humanity emerged from a hole in the ground in Wa country. In this story, all human history is a tale of migration from the Wa lands, the centre of world. As with other stories…