ANU Myanmar Update 2019: living with Myanmar


Auditorium, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU


Friday, 15 March, 2019 - 09:00 to Saturday, 16 March, 2019 - 17:30

Since 2011 Myanmar has experienced profound changes and reforms. The formation of a new government in Myanmar, led by the National League for Democracy, was also a crucially important milestone in the country’s transition to a more inclusive form of governance. And yet, for many people everyday struggles remain unchanged, and have often worsened in recent years. Key economic, social and political reforms are stalled, conflict persists and longstanding issues of citizenship and belonging remain.

Since the last conference in 2017, Myanmar’s restive borderlands have been the site of escalating military campaigns, driving more than 800,000 Rohingya, Kachin, Shan and Karen people to flee internally or across borders. These dynamics have complicated Myanmar’s diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries and exposed the fractures at the heart of Myanmar’s transition to partial civilian rule.

Building on the 2017 Update which probed the theme of ‘Transformations’, the 2019 conference seeks to explore the contradictions, ambiguities and complexities of ‘Living with Myanmar’. What is it like to live with and navigate the institutions, socialities and political ideals that shape life for many people in and outside of the territory of Myanmar? How are people engaging in creative and productive ways with Myanmar’s historical, geographic and institutional complexities? We invite scholars and practitioners to probe these questions, focusing on how everyday people, activists, state officials and external actors craft lives and worldviews as they live with Myanmar.

About the Update Series

The Myanmar (Burma) Update is a major venue at which to present cutting-edge scholarship on political, social and economic affairs in Myanmar. Now in its third decade, it is one of only two longstanding, regularly held international conferences on the country, and is alone in routinely publishing papers presented at the conference. It is one of a range of Update conferences held at The Australian National University (ANU) on countries across Asia and the Pacific. Details of previous Myanmar Updates and publications are available at the Update series website.

For further information, please contact the conference convener.

The full conference program will be available in February 2019. The conference is open to the public and registration is free but essential through Eventbrite.

Early career researchers and higher degree research students can register for the Myanmar studies get intensive, a one-day workshop on Thursday 14 March 2019, organised by ANU Myanmar Research Centre.

For conference attendees, a visa letter confirming your registration is available on request via

Image: Justine Chambers/supplied.




Yanhong Ouyang

Venue map

Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team