Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 40 (3), 2009

Gravers’ edited volume, Exploring ethnic diversity in Burma, offers a much-needed interdisciplinary addition to Southeast Asian Studies in general, as well as Burma studies in particular, as it unites the work of eight scholars of Burma to discuss the various issues of ethnic categorisation, politics and conceptualisation in the country.

Gravers’ edited volume, Exploring ethnic diversity in Burma, offers a much-needed interdisciplinary addition to Southeast Asian Studies in general, as well as Burma studies in particular, as it unites the work of eight scholars of Burma to discuss the various issues of ethnic categorisation, politics and conceptualisation in the country. As Gravers rightly notes, the book is the first of its kind in several decades, and represents a crucial step in redressing the fact that much popular discourse conflates Burma Studies with Bamar Studies. In so doing, the volume not only surveys and problematises the ways in which political and geographic understandings of human diversity in the region have led both to conflict and resistance, but also seeks to examine how ethnic categories and exception have often defied those very categories as well.

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