SOAS University of London

Centre of South East Asian Studies

The Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar: the Historical Background and Possible Outcomes

Michael Charney Photo


Professor Michael Charney (Professor of Asian and Military History, SOAS)

Date: 28 February 2018Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 28 February 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 4426

Type of Event: Seminar

This seminar has been cancelled due to UCU strike action.


Attempts to evict an ethnic group of Rakhine, the Rohingya, have been a blight on Myanmar's international reputation for some decades. The effort to ethnic cleanse Rakhine of Rohingya coincided with efforts by the Myanmar state to secure state control of borderlands and top homogenise the population into a singular Bamar, Buddhist ethnicity. This talk discusses the role of historiography and geopolitics in aiding this effort, recent literature such as Francis Wade's Myanmar's Enemy Within (2017), and outlines what some of the possible outcomes will be for the Rohingya and for the future of Myanmar, in which a once lauded transition to Democracy appears to have stalled.

Speaker Biography

Professor Charney wrote his dissertation in 1999 at the University of Michigan on religious communalism in early modern Rakhine. He has since published several monographs on Burmese history, including The History of Modern Burma (CUP). His current research focuses on violence and militarism in Southeast Asia.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies

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