Reflections on Myanmar : Identity, Heritage, Aspirations book cover
1st Edition

Reflections on Myanmar
Identity, Heritage, Aspirations

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after February 17, 2023
ISBN 9781032328874
February 17, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge India
180 Pages

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Book Description

Myanmar is known for its engaging history, rich cultural heritage, and diverse ethnic communities. Its tumultuous political past has been discussed by academics and policy makers for decades, however, the land of the Shwedagon cannot only be defined by conflict and contestation. Myanmar is complex and multi-layered with innumerable issues shaping its identity and manifold interpretations creating its distinctiveness. A deeper comprehension of its past glory with thoughtful deliberation on its socio-economic challenges help to understand the country better. This book fills this gap by focusing on four broad themes––reminiscence, restoration, re-evaluation, and resurrection. It studies interconnected issues ranging from nostalgia and belonging to Myanmar’s contribution to art and heritage (through its museums, cinema, folk traditions); from the problems of landlessness, resource dispossession and climate change to the experience of marginalized groups. The author weaves these themes into a common narrative of discovering Myanmar through a holistic lens. The book aims to explore the country through its history, culture, communities, and challenges.


A unique contribution, the book highlights the myriad facets of Myanmar by contemplating on its inherent strengths and visible weaknesses. It would be indispensable for scholars and researchers of Southeast Asian studies, Asian studies, area studies, Myanmar studies, political studies, cultural studies, and sociology.

Table of Contents





List of Abbreviations





Section One - Reminiscence 


Chapter 1: A Walk Down Memory Lane      


Chapter 2: The Diary of a Quiet Man


Chapter 3: Memories for a Lifetime


Chapter 4: Familiarity across Borders


Chapter 5: Eric Arthur Blair’s Burma



Section Two - Restoration


Chapter 6: Rhythms of Folk Traditions         


Chapter 7: Lost Glory: Reviving Arakan Art


Chapter 8: Museums Matter


Chapter 9: The Fading Spotlights


Chapter 10: Sour, Salty and Spicy (chin ngan sat)



Section Three - Re-evaluation          


Chapter 11: Climate Change: A Permanent Reality for Myanmar    


Chapter 12: Beneath the Still Waters


Chapter 13: Beyond the Silent Fields


Chapter 14: Feeding the Hungry Souls


Chapter 15: Boats and Balloons



Section Four - Resurrection  


Chapter 16: Justice for All     


Chapter 17: The Smile of the ‘Other’: Chin Refugees in India


Chapter 18: Plea of the Helpless        


Chapter 19: One Step at a Time         


Chapter 20: The Young Collective 









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Reshmi Banerjee is a political scientist based in London, UK and is currently a visiting research fellow in the King’s India Institute (KII), King’s College, London. She is also a visiting research fellow in the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi. She was previously an academic visitor at the Asian Studies Centre (Programme on Modern Burmese Studies) in St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, a post-doctoral fellow at the department of international relations, University of Indonesia (UI) and a researcher in the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jakarta. With a specialization in food security, agricultural policies and cross-border studies on the Indo-Myanmar region, she is the author of Land Conflicts across Frontiers: Contested Spaces in Myanmar & North East India (2018), and has co-edited three books: Fixed Borders, Fluid Boundaries – Identity, Resources and Mobility in Northeast India (2020), Gender, Poverty and Livelihood in the Eastern Himalayas (2017) and Climate Change in the Eastern Himalaya: Impact on Livelihoods, Growth and Poverty (2015). In 2022, she published 12 Months (a short memoir) and Potpourri – Yearning and Learning.