Tharaphi Than - NIU - Foreign Languages & Literatures


Tharaphi Than

Tharaphi Than

PhD, SOAS (University of London), History
MA, SOAS, Southeast Asian Studies
BA, Grinnell College, Sociology and Biology

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 MA and then a PhD. 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 & Development (LEAD).


Women of Modern Burma. London: Routledge, 2014.

Peer-reviewed Articles

"Understanding the Languages of Pyidawtha and the Burmese Approach to Development," South East Asia Research 21.4 (2013), 639-654.

"Understanding prostitutes and prostitution in democratic Burma, 1942-1962: State jewels or victims of modernity?" South East Asia Research 19.3 (2011), 537-566.

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)

Debate on “Southeast Asia – An Idea Whose Time Is Past?” Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia and Oceania 168.4 (2012), 508-510.

"Commercial Burmanization: two adverts by Burmah Oil Company in postcolonial Burma," IIAS Newsletter, Spring 2012, 34.

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

E-mail Tharaphi Than
Watson Hall 122
(815) 753-6453