[Tibeto-burman-linguistics] Write to support Burmese scholarship at SOAS

Randy J. LaPolla randy.lapolla at gmail.com
Fri Aug 26 12:50:25 UTC 2022

FYI: Write to support Burmese scholarship at SOAS

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <everettlinguistlist.org>

Date: 23-Aug-2022 
From: Justin Watkins <jw2soas.ac.uk>
Subject: Write to support Burmese scholarship at SOAS
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Dear Colleagues and friends in Burma Studies - 

With concern and sadness I'm sharing the news that the post of Professor of Burmese at SOAS, University of London, has been scheduled for termination and, if things go as SOAS plans, more than a century of scholarship and research in the lanɡuaɡes and linɡuistics of Myanmar and mainland SEAsia will draw to an end in just over a month. Some very limited Burmese language teaching may continue for now, but not by me, even after 23 years of service. It is some comfort that the late ဆရာကြီး John Okell is not alive to see his legacy being dismantled. 

It's not clear why the Professor of Burmese post has been selected for removal, now that SOAS is under new leadership and recovering well from the financial meltdown of 2020. It seems particularly at odds with the ethos of SOAS to be cutting UK scholarship in Burmese at a time when Myanmar is in such an awful position, and also at odds with the founding charter of SOAS "to accept a special commitment to language scholarship relating to Asia, Africa and the Middle East." 

I call upon colleagues, former students and all those who would wish SOAS to reverse this decision to write to the Director or Deputy Director of SOAS in the most persuasive and supportive way you can, making the case for keeping the Professor of Burmese post. Do share this news with others who may wish to voice support, and feel free to email me privately for further information if you would like. 

Justin Watkins 
Professor of Burmese 
SOAS, University of London 

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Burmese (mya) <https://linguistlist.org/forms/langs/LLDescription.cfm?code=mya>
Language Family(ies): Tibeto-Burman

Professor Randy J. LaPolla(罗仁地), PhD FAHA 
Center for Language Sciences
Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences
Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai
A302, Muduo Building, #18 Jinfeng Road, Zhuhai City, Guangdong, China

https://randylapolla.info <https://randylapolla.info/>
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6100-6196 <https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6100-6196>    


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