Abstracts by Author
Volume 10 ()
"Deep Change? Burmese Wall Paintings from the Eleventh to the Nineteenth Centuries" pp.1-50
This article will compare the narrative constructions of early (eleventh to thirteenth centuries) and late (seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries) Burmese wall paintings to determine whether or not âdeep changeâ has occurred. Although many of the same stories were depicted in the murals during both time periods, the method by which the visual stories were portrayed changed from an emphasis upon iconic imagery to an exploration of narrative process. By analyzing the narrative modes employed during the two periods, the emphases of each are revealed. The changes that occurred in the Burmese murals most likely relate to the increasing orthodoxy of Burmese Theravada Buddhism and strengthening crown control over the country. Because the teleological purpose of the murals remains virtually identical, however, it is argued that no âdeep changeâ occurred in the murals between the eleventh and nineteenth centuries.
"Making a Name for Themselves: Karen Identity and the Politicization of Ethnicity in Burma" pp.84-144
The history of Karen nationalism has been interpreted in terms of inter-ethnic conflict and conceptualizations of ethnicity have influenced understanding of Karen political identity. While âKarenâ incorporated various linguistic, sociocultural, religious and political sub-groups, the Karen National Union (KNU) elite promoted a singular pan-Karen identity in order to minimize such diversity. As a result, factionalism emerged between different Karen groups, obstructing the KNUâs political vision and leaving many Karens dissatisfied with KNU attempts to represent their various interests. The fall of Manerplaw in 1995 was thus the result of intra-ethnic conflict as much as conflict between Karens and non-Karens.
Patricia M. Herbert
"U Pe Maung Tin Bibliography" pp.130-176
From age 23 until his death at 84, U Pe Maung Tin was a prodigious writer and editor in both Burmese and English. He was the editor of the important Journal of the Burma Research Society. He wrote the first book on Burmese phonetics. With G.H. Luce, he edited Inscriptions of Burma and translated The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma. This invaluable annotated bibliography lists these and more than 200 other works by U Pe Maung Tin, a dramatic illustration of the legacy of this important Burmese scholar.
"The Importance of the Dhammathats" pp.1-17
Burma's dhammathats are pre-colonial compilations of legal and ethical material. They provide vivid insights into the details of everyday village life and into the process by which Burmese authors adapted Pali texts from India to their own purposes. They appear to be at least as old as any other surviving Burmese literature and contain valuable lessons for contemporary Burma. This article hopes to rescue them from their unjust neglect.
"Three Nineteenth-Century Law Book Lists: Burmese Legal History from the Inside" pp.77-105
Through the investigation of three Burmese law book lists by Maungdaung Sayadaw, Tha Dwe, and Kyaw Htun this article seeks to construct a narrative history of legal traditions. By breaking each list into smaller units and comparing the results a common core of Burmese legal history emerges. The lists, shed light on who the typical authors of a dhammathat were while items that appear on some, but not all, of the lists help indicate controversies that were still matters of live debate during the nineteenth century.