Call for Submissions: 4th International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies (ICBMS4)

The International Conference on Burma /Myanmar Studies (ICBMS) committee would like to invite abstract submissions for ICBMS 4, which will be hosted at Chiang Mai University on the 2nd – 4th August 2024, titled: “Assemblages of the Future: Rethinking Communities after the State.”

Three years after the coup and amid desperate circumstances, the people of Myanmar have responded with renewed thought and action to reimagine the present and future for themselves and their communities. Traditional forms of authority, including the central state, are being eroded and displaced by multiple different modes of governance often rooted in localized ambitions and realities.

The “assemblages” refers not to some kind of vague appeal to ‘put Myanmar back together’, but instead highlights the relevance of a scholarly approach which pays attention to the complex, fluid social, economic and political realities which emerge in contested spaces. The conference title seeks to grapple with new “entangled ways of life”, and the “mosaic of temporal rhythms and spatial arcs” (Tsing, 2015) of Myanmar in 2024, asking scholars to situate their work within this contested reality, and ask critical questions about the emergent future. In particular, we refer to the complex and diverse constructions of Myanmar’s social reality, whereby many aspects of culture, power and life have been transformed after the coup, yet others remain stubbornly intact – for better or worse. In simple terms, in this state of flux, how are different actors, in different contexts, imagining, constructing, contesting and challenging different social, economic and political arrangements?

ICBMS4 in Chiang Mai therefore seeks to foster academic debate and facilitate dialogue to progress the scholarly understanding of what is happening in Myanmar. We would like to invite individual abstracts as well as panel proposals, roundtable proposals from interested academics, researchers, graduate students, and professionals, as well as practitioners engaged in the field of Burma/Myanmar studies. While we welcome submissions on any aspect relating to the study of Burma/Myanmar, we particularly encourage scholars to consider how their work speaks to this contested present and future, as highlighted through these suggested themes:

Conference Themes

Negotiating New Realities: Power, Practice, and Praxis

  • Emergent Governance and Civilian Protection
  • Multipolarity in a Contested Region
  • Resilience and Localisation in Service Provision: Education, Healthcare, and Religion
  • Energy, Infrastructure and Sustainable Development

Identity, Territory, and Belonging amidst Conflict and Climate Change

  • Ethnicity and Territoriality
  • Border Politics & Transnationalism
  • Migration, Forced Displacement and Refugees
  • Livelihoods, Agriculture and Food Systems

Uncovering Lived Experiences and Marginalised Narratives

  • Nascent, Marginal and Informal Economies
  • Inequality and Empowerment
  • Gender, Sexuality and Power
  • Civil Disobedience, Social Movements and Everyday Life

Remaking Knowledge and Finding Truth in Revolution

  • Discourses of Peace, Conflict, and Justice
  • Propaganda, Media and Information Landscapes
  • Arts, Literature and Popular Culture
  • Research Ethics, Decolonization and Methodological Challenges

Abstract & panel proposal submission
Interested participants should submit an abstract of not more than 300 words, along with keywords via the online system at the conference website here. Panel proposals should be not more than 500 words. Panel descriptions should contain a 300-word abstract for each presenter.

Registration and fee information will be available online soon at the ICBMS4 website.
For further information, please contact the ICBMS4 Secretariat at

Important Dates
Deadline of Abstract & Panel proposal submission: 30 April 2024
Announcement of accepted abstract and proposal: 31 May 2024
Early bird registration: 1 June 2024
Deadline for full-paper submission: 30 July 2024
Registration of Participants (Audience): TBA
Conference Dates: 2 – 4 August 2024

In July 2015, Chiang Mai University hosted the first International Conference on Burma / Myanmar Studies (ICBMS) entitled  ‘Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges.’ The second ICBMS conference was held at Mandalay University, co-hosted with Chiang Mai University in 2018, bringing together 543 participants from 29 countries, with 48 sessions of paper presentation and 7 roundtables. The third and largest ICBMS (to date) was delayed, finally being held as a hybrid event in March 2021. Over 1000 participants joined from across the globe under the title of ‘Myanmar / Burma in the Changing South East Asia Context.’