Book Panel: The Politics of Love in Myanmar


Associate Professor Lynette Chua ’03 (NUS Law), author of The Politics of Love in Myanmar: LGBT Mobilization and Human Rights as a Way of Life, presenting a copy of her book to Professor Simon Chesterman (Dean, NUS Law)

The Centre for Asian Legal Studies (CALS) in NUS Law held a book panel on 18 January 2019 at the NUS Bukit Timah Campus to celebrate the publication of The Politics of Love in Myanmar: LGBT Mobilization and Human Rights as a Way of Life by Associate Professor Lynette Chua ’03.

Published by Stanford University Press, the book is an ethnographic study of how a human rights movement, the LGBT rights movement in Myanmar, understood and put human rights into action. The event was attended by about 60 faculty members, researchers, students, and members of the public.

At the event, Associate Professor Dan Puchniak (Director, CALS) gave a short speech to congratulate author Associate Professor Lynette Chua for her research accomplishments. This was followed by an introduction of the book by her.

There was also a panel discussion chaired by Dr Nyi Nyi Kyaw (Visiting Fellow, Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISEAS) - Yusof Ishak Institute) with panelists Professor David Engel (SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, State University of New York, Buffalo), Professor Andrey Yue (Department of Communications and New Media, NUS), Professor Antony Anghie (NUS Law), Mr Hla Myat (Deputy Director, Colours Rainbow) and Associate Professor Lynette Chua.

The Book
The Politics of Love in Myanmar offers an intimate ethnographic account of a group of LGBT activists before, during, and after Myanmar's post-2011 political transition. Lynette J. Chua explores how these activists devoted themselves to, and fell in love with, the practice of human rights and how they were able to empower queer Burmese to accept themselves, gain social belonging, and reform discriminatory legislation and law enforcement. Informed by interviews with activists from all walks of life—city dwellers, villagers, political dissidents, children of military families, wage laborers, shopkeepers, beauticians, spirit mediums, lawyers, students—Chua details the vivid particulars of the LGBT activist experience founding a movement first among exiles and migrants and then in Myanmar's cities, towns, and countryside. A distinct political and emotional culture of activism took shape, fusing shared emotions and cultural bearings with legal and political ideas about human rights. For this network of activists, human rights moved hearts and minds and crafted a transformative web of friendship, fellowship, and affection among queer Burmese. Chua's investigation provides crucial insights into the intersection of emotions and interpersonal relationships with law, rights, and social movements.

More information about this book is available at Stanford University Press


L-R: Professor David Engel (SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, State University of New York, Buffalo), Associate Professor Dan Puchniak (Director, CALS), Professor Antony Anghie (NUS Law), Associate Professor Lynette Chua ’03 (NUS Law), Professor Simon Chesterman (Dean, NUS Law), Dr Nyi Nyi Kyaw (Visiting Fellow, ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute) and Professor Audrey Yue (Department of Communications and New Media, NUS)



Associate Professor Dan Puchniak delivering his welcome speech


Associate Professor Lynette Chua giving an introduction of the book


Professor David Engel giving his comments


Professor Audrey Yue giving her comments


Professor Antony Anghie giving his comments


Panel discussion


Associate Professor Lynette Chua addressing questions from the audience


About 60 faculty members, researchers, students, and members of the public attended the event


Associate Professor Lynette Chua presenting a copy of her book to Associate Professor Dan Puchniak


Associate Professor Lynette Chua presenting a copy of her book to Mr Hla Myat (Deputy Director, Colours Rainbow)


Book signing by author Associate Professor Lynette Chua


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