Abstracts by Author
"Syphilis and the Kachin Regeneration Campaign, 1937â38" pp.115-149
This article discusses the introduction of a policy known as the Kachin Regeneration Campaign in the Kachin Hills from 1937 to 1938. Initiated by a belief that the Kachin people were on the verge of dying out because of an epidemic of syphilis, the campaign reveals much about the realities of Kachin dissociation from the late colonial regime, contrasting sharply with the conventional historical narrative of Kachin compliance with imperial control. A significant part of the Regeneration Campaignâs agenda was a less publicly acknowledged awareness that former Kachin soldiers were becoming a potentially volatile interest group and that there was increasing discontent across the Kachin Hills with regard to the administration, the military and the missions. The article uses the concept of a sick role to describe the approach of the Regeneration Campaign to Kachin society and discusses how the rhetoric of the campaign became embedded in the sermons of the local Christian missions, justifying changes to womenâs roles and more recently impacting upon early responses to the spread of HIV/AIDS in the region.
Alan Saw U
"Professor U Pe Maung Tin: A Gentle Genius, a Meek Master" pp.35-41
U Pe Maung Tinâs accomplishments as a Burmese scholar are well-documented. Less so are his teachings and writings about Christianity and the Christian ministry in Burma. Alan Saw U, executive secretary and editor of the Myanmar Christian Literary Society, reflects on U Pe Maung Tinâs life as a leading figure in the Anglican Church in Burma.
"Venerating the Buddha's Remains in Burma: From Solitary Practice to the Cultural Hegemony of Communities" pp.111-139
The veneration of Buddha relics and images is a neglected, yet central organizing principle of Theravada culture and religious practice. My essay is informed by a historised understanding of Eliade's hierophany, a manifestation of a universal Buddhist sacred reality that defines and identifies cultural orders at the centers of local, historical contexts. I further rely on Bells' work on ritual and Gramsci's writings on hegemony to describe Burmese veneration of the Buddha's remains in diverse social and religious contexts. These range from the solitary practice, meditation and personal service in the Ananda mode to the Royal mode that defines social hierarchy in public rituals and expresses socio-religious aspirations of individuals and communities through culturally salient metaphors.
Donald M. Seekins
"The North Win and the Sun: Japan's Response to the Political Crisis in Burma, 1988â1998" pp.1-33
Japan's response to the political crisis in Burma after the establishment of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in September 1988 reflected the interests of powerful constituencies within the Japanese political system, especially business interests, to which were added other constituencies such as domestic supporters of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's struggle for democracy and those who wished to pursue 'Sun Diplomacy,' using positive incentives to encourage democratization and economic reform. Policymakers in Tokyo, however, approached the Burma crisis seeking to take minimal risksâa "maximin strategy"âwhich limited their effectiveness in influencing the junta. This was evident in the February 1989 "normalization" of Tokyo's ties with SLORC. During 1989-1998, Japanese business leaders pushed hard to promote economic engagement, but "Sun Diplomacy" made little progress in the face of the junta's increasing repression of the democratic opposition.