Tuesday, July 11, 2006

SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research 4.1 just released online

The latest edition of the SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research (SBBR), the online journal of research on Burma or Myanmar at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, has just been put online.

There are a lot good book reviews and articles on the history of smallpox vaccinations in colonial era Burma by Atsuko Naono, some colonial era microhistory about some of the rather strange low low level colonial functionaries who inhabited colonial era Burma by Gerry Abbott.

An article on the history of the Mon king Rajadhirat (r. 1383-1421) based on the recent translation of a Burmese classic by U San Lwin, written by me, Jon Fernquest, is also included.

There are also many good book reviews including Shelby Tucker's Burma, The Curse of Independence (2001), Burma at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century (2005) edited by Monique Skidmore (this book review is by the Political Scientist Robert Taylor and has some very important observations about historical accuracy in current Burma research and scholarship), Lord of the Celestial Elephant (1999) by Elaine Halton, and the collection of papers Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China edited by Stevan Harrell (tis collection of papers is a conceptually interesting collaboration between western and Chinese scholars that finds a compromise in the use of language and approach to subject matter). DIssertation announcements are also included.

Two older texts of historical importance have been published in their entirety including Standford’s Compendium of Geography and Travel: Asia by Augustus H. Keane and An Account of an Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava by Michael Symes.

The Symes work is quite a fascinating read with a detailed description of the southern campaigns during the 1750's of Alaungphaya, the founding king of the Konbaung dynasty of Burma. We're really lucky to have this important historical source for the early Konbaung era available online virtually everywhere.