Research

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Interests

  • Archival Formations and Human Rights ``Fact`` Production
  • Critical Humanitarianism
  • Digital Technologies, Censorship, and Freedom of Expression
  • State Theory and Alternative Forms of Sovereignty
  • Legal Regimes
  • Geographic Expertise: Burma/Myanmar, Vietnam, and the Greater South China Sea

Selected Talks and Presentations

2015    “Constructing Vietnamese Statehood with Not Yet Built Infrastructure in the South China Sea,” for workshop on the Geobody of Vietnam, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Goettingen, Germany).

2015    “A Threat to Peace: Humanitarian Mine Action in Burma/Myanmar and the Mismanagement of Risk,” Monk Centre for Global Studies, University of Toronto.

2015    “Myanmar Accountability Planning Workshop,” for the International Human Rights Law Clinic, Harvard University.

2015    “The Techno-Politics of Anticipation: Constructing Vietnamese Statehood in the East / South China Sea with Yet to Be Built Infrastructure,” workshop on The State in Vietnam and the State of Vietnamese Studies at Harvard University.

2014    “Evidentiary Thresholds, Hierarchies of Proof, and the Technical Denial of Mass Atrocity Crimes in Burma: A Case Study in Failure,” Manufacturing Denial and the Assault on Scholarship and Truth,” Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, the Armenian Genocide Program at Rutgers University, and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR).

2014    “Participatory Research Methodologies for Unofficial Truth Projects,” workshop for the Peace Law Academy of the Burma Lawyers’ Council, Mae Sot Thailand.

2014    “The Greater South China Sea: Disassembling Crisis Narratives regarding the Greater South China Sea,” workshop on The Paracel Archipelago: Implications for Peace and Security, Harvard University.

2013   “Beyond the Lady: Genres of Non-Violence in Burma,” Massachusetts Humanities Teachers Institute on Nonviolent Movements in the Modern World.

2013   “Crossing the Line: (Self-) Censorship and the Limits on Political Dissent in Vietnam,” Center for the Book, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.

2013    “Amateur-Experts: Calculating Financial Non-Disclosure and Reckoning Corporate Liability in Myanmar’s Energy Sector,” Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

2014    “Participatory Research Methodologies for Unofficial Truth Projects,” workshop for the Peace Law Academy of the Burma Lawyers’ Council, Mae Sot Thailand.

2014    “The Greater South China Sea: Disassembling Crisis Narratives regarding the Greater South China Sea,” workshop on The Paracel Archipelago: Implications for Peace and Security, Harvard University.

2013   “Beyond the Lady: Genres of Non-Violence in Burma,” Massachusetts Humanities Teachers Institute on Nonviolent Movements in the Modern World.

2013   “Crossing the Line: (Self-) Censorship and the Limits on Political Dissent in Vietnam,” Center for the Book, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.

2012    “Human Rights Documentation, Archival Formation, and Fact Production: Mapping the Before and After of Conflict-Induced Displacement in Burma,” States at Regional Risk Project (SARR), Workshop on Engaged Scholarship, Emory University.

2012    Digital Patriots: Hacking in Defense of the Vietnamese Nation,” Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

2011    “The Politics of Protection: The Possibilities and Limits of Humanitarian Action,” International Summit on Armed Conflict, Scarce Resources and Congo, Clark University.

2011   “Digital Patriots: Hacking in Defense of the Vietnamese Nation,” Kahin Center for Advanced Research on Southeast Asia, Cornell University.

2011    “The Counter-Revolution that Never Came: The Illegibility of Sabotage in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1954-1958), Colloquium Program for Agrarian Studies, Yale University.

2011    “Spheres of Influence: Calculating Corporate Accountability in Burma,” Executive Session, Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

2011    “Misplaced Numbers: Revenue Transparency and Moral Accountability in Burma’s Natural Gas Sector,” Annual Conference on Critical Geography, Clark University.

2011    “Patriotism with Vietnamese Characteristics: A Genealogy of an Idea and its Effects,” Workshop on Rethinking Revolution in Vietnam, U.C.-Berkeley.

2010    “The Cultural Politics of Lines: Performing Sovereignty in the Greater South China Sea,” Asian Connections II, National University of Singapore and the Social Science Research Council.

2010   “The Cultural Politics of Lines: Vietnamese Perceptions of Territory, Identity, and Security Offshore,” Under Construction: Workshop on Social, Political and Commemorative Space in Vietnam, Harvard University.

2010    “The Rise of Private Indirect Government in Eastern Burma,” for the International Sustainable Studies Development Institute, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

2010    “The Sanctions Effect: The Rise of Private Indirect Government in Burma,” workshop “Finding Dollars and Sense: Burma’s Economic Dilemmas,” Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Washington D.C.

2009    “Maritime Nationalism and the Vietnamese Geo-body,” Biennial Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies Conference, University of British Columbia.

2009   “Sabotage in the Countryside: Rethinking the “Transition” to State Socialism in the Left Bank Region (1956-1959),” Property and Property Rights in Vietnam, Harvard University.

2009   “Audit Regimes and the Rituals of Compliance in Contemporary Vietnam, Soyuz Annual Symposium on Global Socialisms and Post-socialisms, Yale University.

2009   “The Ban and its Exceptions: Forced Labor and the Reconfiguration of Impunity in Burma,” Association of Asian Studies.

2008    “Satellite Surveillance: The (Sovereign) Right to Privacy Revisited,” International Law Clinic, Harvard University.

2008   “The Rehabilitation of an Uncomfortable Past: Remembering the Everyday in Vietnam during the Subsidy Period (1975-1986),” The College of the Holy Cross.

2008    “The First Execution: Nguyễn Thị Năm and the Land Reforms,” Vietnam Biography Workshop, Harvard University.

2008   “States of Non-Compliance: The ILO, Forced Labor and the Reconfiguration of Impunity in Burma,” Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

2008    “Uncertain Fixations: Reassessing the Experimental Wave of the Land Reforms (1953-1954),” Beyond Dichotomies: Alternative Voices and Histories in Post-Colonial Vietnam, U-Washington, Seattle.

2008   “Benchmarking Transparency: The Emergence of Audit Culture in Vietnam,” Annual Meeting of the Association of Asian Studies.

2007    “Liquefying Sovereignty: Sino-Vietnamese Relations and the Historical Force of Maritime Baselines Demarcating the Greater South China Sea,” Center for Southeast Asia Studies, UC-Berkeley.

2007    “Southeast Asian Diasporas,” Institute for Critical and International Studies, Emory University.

2007    “Flows of Enclosure: Actually Existing Governance along Burma’s Riverine Systems,” Annual Meeting of the Association of Asian Studies.

2006    “Imperial Anxieties and Revisionist Histories of the Sino-Vietnamese Border,” Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

2006    “Regulated Violence in Burma’s Extractive Zones: The Emergence of Governable Spaces in Nyaunglebin District,” Burma Update Conference, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.

2006   “Categories Out of Place: Internally Displaced Persons and Ethnic Indifference in Contemporary Burma,” Burma Studies Conference, National University of Singapore.

2006    “The Bắc-Hưng-Hải Irrigation Project: Making Socialism Manifest in the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam,” Annual Meeting of the Association of Asian Studies.

2006    “Ethnic Indifference and Regulated Violence in Burma’s Post-Conflict Zones,” The Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan.

2005    “Ceasefire Agreements, Resource Extraction, and Internal Displacement in Burma,” Institute for Critical and International Studies, Emory University.

2005    “Civilizing the Countryside: Village Conventions in Late-Socialist Viet Nam,” Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame.

Research Projects

  • Humanitarian Mine Action in Burma/Myanmar

    Humanitarian Mine Action in Burma/Myanmar

  • The Great Famine of 1944-1945 in Vietnam

    The Great Famine of 1944-1945 in Vietnam

  • The Land Reforms in the Northern Vietnam (1953-1956)

    The Land Reforms in the Northern Vietnam (1953-1956)

  • Digital Freedom and Surveillance in Vietnam

    Digital Freedom and Surveillance in Vietnam

Territorial Claims in the South China Sea

EastChinaSeaDispute