Join NYSEAN as Elliott Prasse-Freeman discusses the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. In the wake of the ethnic cleansing of more than 700,000 Rohingya from Myanmar, various debates have erupted: What do the Rohingya want (their own state, a safe return to Burma, relocation)? And who are they (an indigenous ethnic group, “Bengali" interlopers masquerading as Burmese autochthons, a religious minority)? This talk, based on on-going research in refugee camps in Cox Bazaar and with members of the Rohingya diaspora, considers Rohingya social and political identity from a number of sociopolitical contexts, presenting historical, linguistic, and political data to complicate narratives advanced by disparate sides of the debate. The talk reintroduces voices of non-elites - Rohingya widows forced to flee Burma; Rohingya youth attempting to 'pass' in Bangladeshi society - that have been excluded from many of these discussions.
Elliott Prasse-Freeman is an Assistant Professor at National University of Singapore in Anthropology/Sociology. His research focuses on social movements, daily politics, and ethnicity in Burma and Southeast Asia more broadly.
Hosted by NYSEAN.