Surviving the State: Struggles for Land and Democracy in Myanmar

12:30 to 13:30
Lunch Talk

Join NIAS in their meeting room for a lunch talk by Dr. Hilary Faxon

During Myanmar’s attempted political transition in the 2010s, land was not only the basis of livelihoods and national development, but also a critical domain for negotiating citizenship after half a century of authoritarian violence and racialized exclusion. In this talk, Dr. Faxon will discuss her in-progress book on grassroots struggles over land, which draws on 26 months of participant observation, over 150 interviews, and three Participatory Action Research projects to offer a feminist ethnography of agrarian and political change. Turning on its head a rich tradition of scholarship in Southeast Asian Studies that posits land as a tool for state-making or an outlet for state-escape, the book argues that land is key to ‘surviving the state,’ a set of socioecological practices forged through cultivation and dispossession as well as the gendered work of care and connection. Centering the perspectives of small farmers and grassroots activists, the book show how embodied histories of state violence ultimately undermined reforms that aimed to redistribute land and recognize ethnic territory during Myanmar’s decade of democracy.

Dr. Hilary Faxon investigates environment, development and technology in Southeast Asia.

She is currently working on her first book and a second project that incorporates grounded perspectives into theorizations of development in the digital age. Her work includes recent publications in  Annals of the American Association of GeographersGeopolitics and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.  She is currently a Marie Curie Fellow in the Department of Food and Resource Economics at the University of Copenhagen.

Read more here.


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