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. Currently, I am working with Yangon and Mandalay Universities to help revitalize their curricula.


  • Women of Modern Burma. London: Routledge, 2014.
  • "Mongla and Borderlands Politics of Myanmar", Asian Anthropology, vol 15, issue 2, pp. 152-168, 2016.
  • "Black Territory to Land of 'Paradise': The Changing Political and Social Landscape of Mongla", in The Age of Asian Migration, vol. 2., Yuk Wah Chan et al., Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 131-156, 2015
  • "Nationalism, Religion, and Violence: Old and New Wunthanu Movements in Myanmar", The Review of Faith & International Affairs, 13:4, 12-24, 2015
  • "Understanding the Languages of Pyidawtha and the Burmese Approach to Development," South East Asia Research 21.4, 639-654, 2013
  • Debate on "Southeast Asia: An Idea Whose Time Is Past?" Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde/ Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia and Oceania, 168: 4, 508-510, 2012
  • "Understanding prostitutes and prostitution in democratic Burma, 1942-1962: State jewels or victims of modernity?" South East Asia Research 19.3, 537-566, 2011
  • "Commercial Burmanization: two adverts by Burmah Oil Company in postcolonial Burma", IIAS Newsletter, Spring 2012, p. 34, 2012.
  • 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.


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


Tharaphi Than
Associate Professor
Watson Hall 122