Dr Jane Ferguson

Post-doctoral Research Fellow

F12 - Transient Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9036 9543

Website Contact details

Research interests

My field research deals with the changing political and cultural alignments of Shan insurgents, affiliates, and migrants in Mainland Southeast Asia. I have carried out ethnographic work in Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, and border areas on uses and appropriations of popular culture narratives by politicized Shans, and in so doing, taken interest in popular genres in Burma as well as the history of Burmese cinema and its relationship with social life in general.

Current projects

My current research project is on the politics and power relations (literally and figuratively) regarding a proposed dam construction on the Salween River.

Selected grants

2012

  • Sovereignty, Development and Regional Implications of Capital-Intensive Hydropower Projects on the Salween River in Burma/Myanmar; Ferguson J, Ferguson J, High H; DVC Research/Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Ferguson, J. (2012). From contested histories to ethnic tourism: Cinematic representations of Shans and Shanland on the Burmese silver screen. In David C.L Lim and Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Eds.), Film in Contemporary Southeast Asia: Cultural interpretation and social intervention, (pp. 23-40). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge.
  • Ferguson, J. (2012). The Silver Screen in the Golden Land: A History of Burmese Cinema. In Gaetan Margirier and Jean-Pierre Gimenez (Eds.), Southeast Asian Cinema: Le cinéma d'Asie du Sud-Est, (pp. 27-37). Lyon, France: Asiexpo.
  • Ferguson, J. (2011). Thai Airways Flight Attendant. In Barker, Joshua; Harms, Erik; Lindquist, Johan (Eds.), Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity, (pp. 117-118). Honululu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • Ferguson, J. (2010). Sovereignty in the Shan State: A Case Study of the United Wa State Army. In Nicholas Cheesman, Monique Skidmore and Trevor Wilson (Eds.), Ruling Myanmar - From Cyclone Nargis to National Elections, (pp. 52-62). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies).
  • Ferguson, J. (2008). Revolutionary Scripts: Shan Insurgent Media Practice at the Thai-Burma Border. In Krishna Sen and Terence Lee (Eds.), Political Regimes and the Media in Asia: Continuities, Contradictions and Change, (pp. 106-121). Abington: Routledge.

Journals

  • Ferguson, J. (2014). Terminally Haunted: Aviation Ghosts, Hybrid Buddhist Practices, and Disaster Aversion Strategies Amongst Airport Workers in Myanmar and Thailand. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 15(1), 47-64.
  • Ferguson, J. (2013). Burmese Super Trouper: How Burmese Poets and Musicians Turn Global Popular Music into Copy Thachin. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 14(3), 221-239. [More Information]
  • Ferguson, J. (2013). Is the Pen Mightier than the AK-47? Tracking Shan Women's Militancy Within and Beyond the Ongoing Internal Conflict in Burma. Intersections: gender and sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, 33, 1-11.
  • Ferguson, J. (2012). Sublime Rock: Burmese Popular Music, Language Code Switching and Sentimentalism among Shan Migrants at the Thai-Burma Border. Wacana Seni Journal of Arts Discourse, 11, 19-37.
  • Ferguson, J. (2010). Another Country is the Past: Western Cowboys, Lanna Nostalgia and Bluegrass Aesthetics Amongst Professional Musicians in Northern Thailand. American Ethnologist, 37(2), 227-240. [More Information]
  • Ferguson, J. (2009). Buddhist tradition and ritual excess in a Shan novice ordination. Contemporary Buddhism, 10(1), 65-73. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Ferguson, J. (2011). Insurgent Territories, Environmental Nostalgia, and the “Natural�? Boundary of the Salween River Gorge in Northeast Burma. 2011 Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting Joint conference, Honolulu: Association for Asian Studies.
  • Ferguson, J. (2010). A Half-Century's Slow Burn: Understanding Shan Separatist Politics Trans-Historically. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA: American Anthropological Association.
  • Ferguson, J. (2010). Questioning notions of Shan-ness and Shanland in Upland Southeast Asian History. Burma Studies Conference, Marseille, France.
  • Ferguson, J. (2010). Sexual Systems of Highland Burma/Thailand: changing notions of sexuality and gender amongst Shan sex workers in Northern Thailand. AAS-ICAS Conference 2010, Philadelphia: Association for Asian Studies.
  • Ferguson, J. (2009). The Killing Joke: Protracted Civil War and the role of humour and folklore in Shan Migration from Burma to Thailand. Australian Anthropological Society annual meeting, Sydney.
  • Ferguson, J. (2009). The Shan State(less) of Exception: Ethnic Categories, Cold War Histories and Shan Seekers of Refuge in Thailand. Association of Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Meeting, Chicago.
  • Ferguson, J. (2008). Sacred Geographies and Liberated Areas: Shan (sub)National Politics and Buddhist Practice at the Thai-Burma Border. Religion in Southeast Asian Politics: Resistance, Negotiation, and Transcendence, Singapore: National University of Singapore.
  • Ferguson, J. (2008). Sovereign Renunciations: The Case of Shan Insurgency in Burma and the shifting allegiances of the Home Guard Militias. American Anthropological Association 107th Annual Meeting: Inclusion, Collaboration & Engagement (2008), United States of America: American Anthropological Association.

2014

  • Ferguson, J. (2014). Terminally Haunted: Aviation Ghosts, Hybrid Buddhist Practices, and Disaster Aversion Strategies Amongst Airport Workers in Myanmar and Thailand. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 15(1), 47-64.

2013

  • Ferguson, J. (2013). Burmese Super Trouper: How Burmese Poets and Musicians Turn Global Popular Music into Copy Thachin. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 14(3), 221-239. [More Information]
  • Ferguson, J. (2013). Is the Pen Mightier than the AK-47? Tracking Shan Women's Militancy Within and Beyond the Ongoing Internal Conflict in Burma. Intersections: gender and sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, 33, 1-11.

2012

  • Ferguson, J. (2012). From contested histories to ethnic tourism: Cinematic representations of Shans and Shanland on the Burmese silver screen. In David C.L Lim and Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Eds.), Film in Contemporary Southeast Asia: Cultural interpretation and social intervention, (pp. 23-40). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge.
  • Ferguson, J. (2012). Sublime Rock: Burmese Popular Music, Language Code Switching and Sentimentalism among Shan Migrants at the Thai-Burma Border. Wacana Seni Journal of Arts Discourse, 11, 19-37.
  • Ferguson, J. (2012). The Silver Screen in the Golden Land: A History of Burmese Cinema. In Gaetan Margirier and Jean-Pierre Gimenez (Eds.), Southeast Asian Cinema: Le cinéma d'Asie du Sud-Est, (pp. 27-37). Lyon, France: Asiexpo.

2011

  • Ferguson, J. (2011). Insurgent Territories, Environmental Nostalgia, and the “Natural�? Boundary of the Salween River Gorge in Northeast Burma. 2011 Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting Joint conference, Honolulu: Association for Asian Studies.
  • Ferguson, J. (2011). Thai Airways Flight Attendant. In Barker, Joshua; Harms, Erik; Lindquist, Johan (Eds.), Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity, (pp. 117-118). Honululu: University of Hawaii Press.

2010

  • Ferguson, J. (2010). A Half-Century's Slow Burn: Understanding Shan Separatist Politics Trans-Historically. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA: American Anthropological Association.
  • Ferguson, J. (2010). Another Country is the Past: Western Cowboys, Lanna Nostalgia and Bluegrass Aesthetics Amongst Professional Musicians in Northern Thailand. American Ethnologist, 37(2), 227-240. [More Information]
  • Ferguson, J. (2010). Questioning notions of Shan-ness and Shanland in Upland Southeast Asian History. Burma Studies Conference, Marseille, France.
  • Ferguson, J. (2010). Sexual Systems of Highland Burma/Thailand: changing notions of sexuality and gender amongst Shan sex workers in Northern Thailand. AAS-ICAS Conference 2010, Philadelphia: Association for Asian Studies.
  • Ferguson, J. (2010). Sovereignty in the Shan State: A Case Study of the United Wa State Army. In Nicholas Cheesman, Monique Skidmore and Trevor Wilson (Eds.), Ruling Myanmar - From Cyclone Nargis to National Elections, (pp. 52-62). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies).

2009

  • Ferguson, J. (2009). Buddhist tradition and ritual excess in a Shan novice ordination. Contemporary Buddhism, 10(1), 65-73. [More Information]
  • Ferguson, J. (2009). The Killing Joke: Protracted Civil War and the role of humour and folklore in Shan Migration from Burma to Thailand. Australian Anthropological Society annual meeting, Sydney.
  • Ferguson, J. (2009). The Shan State(less) of Exception: Ethnic Categories, Cold War Histories and Shan Seekers of Refuge in Thailand. Association of Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Meeting, Chicago.

2008

  • Ferguson, J. (2008). Revolutionary Scripts: Shan Insurgent Media Practice at the Thai-Burma Border. In Krishna Sen and Terence Lee (Eds.), Political Regimes and the Media in Asia: Continuities, Contradictions and Change, (pp. 106-121). Abington: Routledge.
  • Ferguson, J. (2008). Sacred Geographies and Liberated Areas: Shan (sub)National Politics and Buddhist Practice at the Thai-Burma Border. Religion in Southeast Asian Politics: Resistance, Negotiation, and Transcendence, Singapore: National University of Singapore.
  • Ferguson, J. (2008). Sovereign Renunciations: The Case of Shan Insurgency in Burma and the shifting allegiances of the Home Guard Militias. American Anthropological Association 107th Annual Meeting: Inclusion, Collaboration & Engagement (2008), United States of America: American Anthropological Association.

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