Street in Myanmar

Myanmar Update 2019: Living with Myanmar

The next Myanmar Update conference will be held on Friday, 15 March and Saturday, 16 March 2019 at The Australian National University, Canberra. Hosted by the ANU Myanmar Research Centre, in the College of Asia and the Pacific, the conference has as its theme ‘Living with Myanmar’.

The conference theme is a response to the challenges that people in Myanmar continue to face in living with the legacies of sixty years of military rule. 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.

For proposals to screen short films, launch books or for other conference related activities. Please contact myanmar.research@anu.edu.au.

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 on countries across Asia and the Pacific. Details of previous Myanmar Updates and publications are available at the Update series website: http://myanmar.anu.edu.au/events/myanmarburma-update/2017-myanmar-updatere

For further information, please contact the convener at myanmar.research@anu.edu.au

  • Charlotte Galloway, Director, Myanmar Research Centre, ANU
  • Nick Cheesman, Fellow, Department of Political and Social Change, ANU
  • Yuri Takahashi, School of Culture, History and Language, ANU
  • Justine Chambers, Associate-Director, Myanmar Research Centre, ANU
  • Gerard McCarthy, Associate-Director, Myanmar Research Centre, ANU

Conference venue: Auditorium, China in the World Building 188, Fellows Lane, ANU

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

Myanmar studies get intensive - A one-day workshop preceding the 2019 Myanmar Update will be held on Thursday, 14 March 2019. The workshop is for Early Career Researchers and Higher Degree by Research students, more details here.

For conference attendees, a visa letter confirming your registration is available on request via myanmar.research@anu.edu.au

Register now

Date & time

Friday, March 15, 2019 to Saturday, March 16, 2019


Building 188, Fellows Lane The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 2601


Accommodation is to be booked directly by individual participants.

The following hotels are located on or near the ANU campus:

Additional information

Arriving in Canberra

Canberra Airport is served by most of Australia’s major cities, as well as several international connections. By road, Canberra is located approximately 3.5 hours from Sydney. There is a frequent coach service from Sydney to Canberra.


It is your responsibility to ensure visa documentation is correct and complete before you commence your journey. Information can be found here.

Useful links

Updated:  7 October 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director, Myanmar Research Centre/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team