My research demonstrates a long-term commitment to working with and for the communities residing in Myanmar’s borderlands, especially in the Kachin region. But this is not a narrow focus as I use this learning to reflect upon much wider issues and concerns, extending the range of collaborations and conversations in ways that are meaningful to local problem-solving in multiple settings. My most recent collaborative project involvements funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) include:
1) 2018 – 2020 ‘Sustainable Lives in Scarred Landscapes: Heritage, Environment, and Violence in the China-Myanmar Jade Trade’. (PI) British Academy GCRF Sustainable Development Grant: Heritage, Dignity & Violence - £299,995.
My collaborating partners are Professor Dan Smyer Yu, Kuige Professor of Ethnology, School of Ethnology and Sociology and the National Centre for Borderlands Ethnic Studies in Southwest China at Yunnan University and the research team lead by Danseng Lawn and Naw Tun Lamai at the Kachinland Research Centre, Myitkyina, Myanmar.
2) 2017 – 2021 ‘Drugs and (Dis)order: Building Sustainable Peacetime Economies in the Aftermath of War’. ESRC GCRF Research Capacity Growth Call Major Grant - £7,231,221.
This large collaborative project is lead by Professor Jonathan Goodhand, Professor in Conflict and Development Studies at SOAS, with multiple partners in the UK but also in Myanmar (the Kachinland Research Center and Shan Herald Agency for News), Colombia (Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the Research Centre on Drugs and Security, Universidad de los Andes) and Afghanistan (Organization for Sustainable Development and Research and the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit). I am Co-Investigator on the project working alongside Myanmar Country Working Group lead Dr Patrick Meehan and local partners led by Danseng Lawn and Sai All.
3) 2018-2020 ‘Deepening Democracy in Extremely Politically Fragile Countries: Networking for Historical, Cultural and Arts Research on Parliaments and People’. AHRC GCRF Network Plus Grant - £1,999,999
As Co-Investigator and member of the Executive Committee, I supported the project focused on activities in Myanmar and Ethiopia. It is led by Professor Emma Crewe, Professor of Social Anthropology at SOAS, working with EMReF (Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation), the Forum for Social Studies, and Setaweet (both in Ethiopia).
- Illicit economies, gender, drugs, youth, oral history, cultural history, social history, environmental history, emotions, borderlands, business and enterprise, conflict and peacebuilding,ethnonationalism
- South East Asia, South Asia, East Asia
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