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Myanmar: Perspectives on a Society in Transition

Christina Fink, George Washington University

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Library and Gallery, Albin O. Kuhn
Christina Fink, Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, George Washington University

Christina Fink, a cultural anthropologist and Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at George Washington University, will discuss the profound political, economic, and social changes that the nation of Myanmar has been undergoing. Throughout this process, the military leadership and political parties have both cooperated and competed in their efforts to impose their vision for the future. Meanwhile, citizens have sought to take advantage of greater freedoms and opportunities, while also re-imagining their country's identity and place in the world. Dr. Fink’s talk accompanies the opening of the exhibition Altered State: Painting Myanmar in a Time of Transition, on display from January 30th through March 26th in UMBC’s Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery. The paintings by 36 contemporary artists from Myanmar were created following the transition period of 2011, when a military-backed civilian government replaced the oppressive rule by military junta and the country once famous for its seclusion re-entered the world stage. They illustrate current artistic practice in Myanmar and present a series of creative viewpoints on a rapidly changing society. The lecture and exhibit provide a window into an important Southeast Asian nation going through a remarkable transformation. 

Christina Fink is a cultural anthropologist who has combined teaching, research, and development work throughout her career. Her areas of expertise are Burma/Myanmar in particular and Southeast Asia more broadly, equitable development, gender and development, civil society in ethnically diverse states. She received her B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Social/Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. She has taught at the Elliot School for International Affairs at George Washington University since 2011. She served as a visiting lecturer at the Pacific and Asian Studies Department at the University of Victoria in 1995, and from 2001-2010, she was a lecturer and program associate at the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute in Thailand.

Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, the Global Studies Program, the Visual Arts Department, and the Social Science Forum