Tous les articles par yazidbenhounet

Judith Beyer – « Being Muslim in contemporary Myanmar. On community and the problem with ‘communal violence' »

« Being Muslim in contemporary Myanmar. On community and the problem with ‘communal violence' »

Judith Beyer, Professeure à l’Université de Constance (Allemagne)

6 mars, 17h-19h – séance exceptionnelle du Séminaire de l’équipe « Anthropologie comparative des sociétés  et cultures musulmanes » (LAS)

Salle des étudiants de l’IISMM, 1er étage, 96 bd Raspail 75006 Paris.

Abstract : In my talk, I take the example of Muslim communities in Yangon, the former capital of Southeast Asian Myanmar, in order to investigate the various groups’ strategic useage of their religious property (mosques and graveyards) as a form of material, symbolic and political capital. I argue that it is through their religious property that Muslims in Yangon make claims to their right of existence as communities in the public sphere. They thereby manage to fend off both the Buddhist majority, the state and private investors. In a time of increasing ethnonationalism, which results in the destruction of mosques and the writing of discriminatory laws against religious Others, property becomes part and parcel of these communities’ survival strategies. While the creation of ‘communities’ along ethno-religious lines had been part and parcel of colonial and post-colonial state-making, some communities who understand themselves in this way or have come to present themselves in this way, are now being pushed to the very margins of their own society and their own country. Some of them have been denied not only citizenship, but with it the right to exist and their name to even be mentioned. However, religious minorities were among the first inhabitants of Yangon in the 19th century. Burma, as the country was called formerly, had been part of the British Empire during the colonial period of 1824-1948 and was under colonial legislation of British India. Muslims were brought to the country from India in 1840. They worked in the colonial administration, as soldiers or as unskilled workers on the shipping docks. Around 1880, Burma became the third largest destination for Indian workers worldwide. This lecture questions the contemporary portrayal of communities in the country in terms of  ‘communal violence’ only. It traces the historical development of the ‘community’ concept from British colonial times to the contemporary era. Using ethnographic fieldwork data gathered between 2013 and 2018 as well as textual data, legal documents and other sources, I explore why the current invocation of  ‘the Muslim community’ has made living together in Myanmar more difficult.


Amrith, Sunil. 2013. Crossing the bay of Bengal: The furies of nature and the fortunes of migrants. Boston: Harvard University Press.

Bauman, Zygmunt. 2009. Community. Seeking safety in an insecure world. Polity.

Cheesman, Nick (ed.) 2017. Interpreting communal violence in Myanmar. Special Issue of Journal of Contemporary Asia.

Freitag, Sandria. 1989. Collective action and community. Public arenas and the emergence of communalism in North India. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Tönnies, Ferdinand. 2005 [1887]. Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft. Grundbegriffe der reinen Soziologie. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

Yegar, Moshe The Muslims of Burma: A Study of a Minority Group, Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1972



Call for 2019 workshops – International Institute for the Sociology of Law – Oñati

Appel pour l’organisation d’ateliers à l’International Institute for the Sociology of Law – Oñati  – deadline 9 février 2018.


The deadline for applications is February 9, 2018. Regulations for applications [+info] [+application form]. Further information:


La fecha límite para recibir las propuestas es el 9 de febrero de 2018. Normativa para presentar propuestas [+info] [+formulario de solicitud] Más información:


La date limite de réception des propositions sera le 9 février 2018. Les normes pour présenter les propositions peuvent être consultées [+info] [+formulaire de demande] Plus d’information:


Proposamenak bidaltzeko data-muga 2018ko Otsailaren 9a da. Proposamenak aurkezteko arauak [+info] [+eskaera-inprimakia] Informazio gehiago:

Malen Gordoa Mendizabal

IISL Workshops – IISJ Reuniones

International Institute for the Sociology of Law

Avenida de la Universidad 8 – Apartado 28

20560 Oñati (Gipuzkoa) – Spain

+34 943 71 88 89  – –

@IISJOnati  @MalenIISJ  #Workshops  #ResidenceGrants

CALL : CfP for the Penal « Archive, Promise, and the Future in African Contexts »

CfP for the Penal « Archive, Promise, and the Future in African Contexts » at the African Studies Association in Germany (VAD e.V.)

Conference, 27-30 June 2018 in Leipzig, Germany.

Deadline for handing in abstracts is (already) November, 30th 2017 via this link:

Penal Outline:

This panel addresses the relation between promise, archive, and the future, and how the archive forms memory and creates a tension between the past and the living present, the past and the future, and between the actual and the virtual in African contexts. The structure of the archive not only preserves but shapes memory and is always future-oriented. As Derrida explains in Archive Fever: “the archivization produces as much as it records the event.” We are interested in how the archive embraces contradictory experiences of irredeemable losses in the past and the future hope. In African contexts, the archive continues to remain instrumental in bringing to the fore these contradictory experiences and at the same time lies in the ‘experience of the promise.’

We are specifically interested in promises and well as challenges of the archive in regard to access to the past, the forming of memory and imagination of history, postcolonial and decolonial knowledge practices, the establishment of evidence and facts, the workings of denial and denunciations based on archival work and its prospect of comparison, the possibilities and limits of practices of critique.
Contributions should trace some of the connections and disconnections, conceptions and misconceptions, access and exclusion regarding knowledge and comparison in relation to archival practices. Specific interest will be paid to forms of organization, writing, technologies of inscription, laws, everyday practices and narratives that accompany the archive and its quest toward memory making, knowledge preservation, but also ignorance, denial, or forgetting.

Stefanie Bognitz (University of Halle-Wittenberg)
Fazil Moradi (University of Halle-Wittenberg)

Contact :
Stefanie Bognitz, PhD Fellow

Research Network Law, Organisation, Science and Technology
Chair of Prof Dr Richard Rottenburg
Department for Social Anthropology and Philosophy
Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology
University of Halle
Reichardtstraße 11
06114 Halle


Forthcoming publication: