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Being and Becoming Kachin: Histories Beyond the State in the Borderworlds of Burma by Mandy Sadan (review)

Being and Becoming Kachin: Histories Beyond the State in the Borderworlds of Burma by Mandy Sadan... SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 29, No. 2 (2014), pp. 467-82 DOI: 10.1355/sj29-2h © 2014 ISEAS ISSN 0217-9520 print / ISSN 1793-2858 electronic SOJOURN Symposium Being and Becoming Kachin: Histories Beyond the State in the Borderworlds of Burma. By Mandy Sadan. Oxford: Oxford University Press and the British Academy, Review essays by Nicholas Farrelly and La Raw Maran, with a response from Mandy Sadan. Keywords: Kachin, borderlands, Burma, Myanmar, historiography, Edmund Leach, James C. Scott, Singpho, Jingpo. Review Essay I: Nicholas Farrelly “What if they just change the name to ‘Northern Region’?” The question, when put to me, hangs awkwardly in the steamy tropical air. The subtext, a plea for recognition and status, is one that I have heard before. It is born of trepidation about the future of the Kachin, and their Kachin State, in Myanmar’s new politics. Names are powerful. In 2014 the notion that Kachin State makes a natural contribution to the world’s geopolitical imaginary is facing one of its most serious threats. The fear is that Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution could, under certain circumstances, be used to “re-name” Kachin State. For many Kachin, this is a direct rebuke to the multi-ethnic http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Being and Becoming Kachin: Histories Beyond the State in the Borderworlds of Burma by Mandy Sadan (review)

Being and Becoming Kachin: Histories Beyond the State in the Borderworlds of Burma by Mandy Sadan (review)


SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 29, No. 2 (2014), pp. 467-82 DOI: 10.1355/sj29-2h © 2014 ISEAS ISSN 0217-9520 print / ISSN 1793-2858 electronic SOJOURN Symposium Being and Becoming Kachin: Histories Beyond the State in the Borderworlds of Burma. By Mandy Sadan. Oxford: Oxford University Press and the British Academy, Review essays by Nicholas Farrelly and La Raw Maran, with a response from Mandy Sadan. Keywords: Kachin, borderlands, Burma, Myanmar, historiography, Edmund Leach, James C. Scott, Singpho, Jingpo. Review Essay I: Nicholas Farrelly “What if they just change the name to ‘Northern Region’?” The question, when put to me, hangs awkwardly in the steamy tropical air. The subtext, a plea for recognition and status, is one that I have heard before. It is born of trepidation about the future of the Kachin, and their Kachin State, in Myanmar’s new politics. Names are powerful. In 2014 the notion that Kachin State makes a natural contribution to the world’s geopolitical imaginary is facing one of its most serious threats. The fear is that Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution could, under certain circumstances, be used to “re-name” Kachin State. For many Kachin, this is a direct rebuke to the multi-ethnic foundations of Myanmar’s union. Yet any nascent plan to neutralize the widely understood ethnic nomenclature carries its own potent message about the multi-ethnic character of Myanmar as a whole, and of Kachin State as a place where the Kachin live side by side with Shan, Bamar, Chinese and so many others. But that perspective receives scant respect from those who have fought for the right to be Kachin. They live in a society dominated by a government in Reproduced from SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, Vol. 29, No. 2 (July 2014)...
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Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
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Copyright © Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
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1793-2858
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Abstract

SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 29, No. 2 (2014), pp. 467-82 DOI: 10.1355/sj29-2h © 2014 ISEAS ISSN 0217-9520 print / ISSN 1793-2858 electronic SOJOURN Symposium Being and Becoming Kachin: Histories Beyond the State in the Borderworlds of Burma. By Mandy Sadan. Oxford: Oxford University Press and the British Academy, Review essays by Nicholas Farrelly and La Raw Maran, with a response from Mandy Sadan. Keywords: Kachin, borderlands, Burma, Myanmar, historiography, Edmund Leach, James C. Scott, Singpho, Jingpo. Review Essay I: Nicholas Farrelly “What if they just change the name to ‘Northern Region’?” The question, when put to me, hangs awkwardly in the steamy tropical air. The subtext, a plea for recognition and status, is one that I have heard before. It is born of trepidation about the future of the Kachin, and their Kachin State, in Myanmar’s new politics. Names are powerful. In 2014 the notion that Kachin State makes a natural contribution to the world’s geopolitical imaginary is facing one of its most serious threats. The fear is that Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution could, under certain circumstances, be used to “re-name” Kachin State. For many Kachin, this is a direct rebuke to the multi-ethnic

Journal

Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast AsiaInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies

Published: Jul 17, 2014

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