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Tharaphi Than

Research Interests

In the course of following the footsteps of my mother, I enrolled at a medical school in Rangoon in 1996. But soon after we were formally welcomed to the school, the college was shut down after a series of student demonstrations. Fate took me to the cornfields of Iowa, and I ended up studying at a small liberal arts college called Grinnell for four years. Then I went to London to do an M.A. and then a Ph.D. My research interests include women of Burma and Southeast Asia, print media and migration. I am also working on producing intermediate Burmese language materials in both book form and digital formats. For non-academic work, I volunteer at a small charity based in Burma (Myanmar), Link Emergency Aid and Development (LEAD).


  • Women of Modern Burma. London: Routledge, 2014.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Book Chapters

  • "Black Territory to Land of Paradise: The Changing Political and Social Landscape of Mongla" in The Age of Asian Migration: Continuity, Diversity, and Susceptibility. Vol. 2. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (forthcoming 2015).

Journal Articles (non-peer reviewed)

Book Reviews, Columns and Encyclopedia Entries

  • Review of Authority of Influence: Women and Power and Burmese History by Jessica Harriden in Southeast Asian Research Journal 22.2 (2014), 277-278.
  • Review of "Local and Transnational Institutions in the Formation of Chinese Migrant Communities in Colonial Burma" by Yi Li in Dissertation Reviews, May 2014.
  • Review of Local Traditions, Global Modernities: Dress, Identity and the Creation of Public Self-Images in Contemporary Urban Myanmar by Georg Noack in Aséanie 29 (2012).
  • Review of The Return of Galon King by Maitrii Aung-Thwin in Journal of the Economic and Social History 55 (2012), 183-186.
  • "Do Elections in Myanmar Signal Real Change?" The Morningside Post, Columbia/SIPA (2012).
  • Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa: An Encyclopaedia in Volume 3: Cultural Sociology of East Asia; Part 3, 1900 to Present: "Burma (Myanmar)," 2012.
  • Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa: An Encyclopaedia in Volume 3: Cultural Sociology of East Asia; Part 3, 1900 to Present: "Chinese Diaspora," 2012.
  • "Clinton’s Visit to Burma: A New Political Frontier," The Platform (2011).
  • Review of Journal Kyaw Ma Ma Lay, "Man Like Him," South East Asia Research 18.3 (2010).
  • "Burma is No Closer to Democracy," The Guardian 8 Nov 2010.

In Preparation

  • Rabble-rousers of Burma: Women and Oil Strikers Movement of 1938
  • Trajectory of Modernity through Cartoon and Commercial Advertisements in Burma, 1910s -1950s
  • You Take the High Road, I’ll Take the Low Road: Factors Surrounding Migration between Burma-China and Burma-Thailand
  • His Brain is Not Red Anymore: Intergenerational Ideological Differences among Chinese Communities in Burma

Tharaphi Than
Assistant Professor
Office: WH 122
P: 815-753-6453


Ph.D., SOAS (University of London), History
M.A., SOAS, Southeast Asian Studies
B.A., Grinnell College, Sociology and Biology