A Tale of Sub-human: The Rohingyas in Myanmar and Bangladesh

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Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 20174:00PM - 7:00PMThe Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Place (Devonshire Pl. & Hoskin Ave.)
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A Tale of Sub-human: The Rohingyas in Myanmar and Bangladesh

The first discussion in the event series, Rohingya in Peril: Buddhist/Muslim tensions in Myanmar and beyond.

The Rohingyas, considered by the United Nations as the world’s most persecuted people, have recently experienced unprecedented violence and brutality committed by Myanmar security forces and vigilantes. Following alleged attacks on Myanmar police posts and a military base by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on August 25, 2017, Myanmar security forces indiscriminately fired on Rohingya civilians, burnt their houses down, raped girls and women, and killed thousands mercilessly in what the United Nations termed as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” This state-sponsored violence spurred 600,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh in the past two months. The Rohingyas have experienced intense, ongoing violence because they are non-citizens in Myanmar. In fact, citizenship is a legal status conferred by the state that makes non-citizens a new ‘other,’ a vulnerable category viewed as less than human that Uddin refers to as being treated as “sub-human.” This talk will focus on the state of the Rohingyas in Bangladesh and Myanmar illuminating an intricate relation of statelessness, human rights and the paradox of the “sub-human.”


Nasir Uddin is a cultural anthropologist based in Bangladesh and a professor of anthropology at the University of Chittagong. His research interests include statelessness and refugee studies; human rights and non-citizens; indigeneity and identity politics; the state in everyday life; the politics of marginality and vulnerability; and borderlands and border people, particularly those of Bangladesh and Myanmar, the Chittagong Hill Tracts, and South Asia. His publications include To Host or To Hurt: Counter-narratives on the Rohingya (Refugees) in Bangladesh (2012); Life in Peace and Conflict: Indigeneity and State in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (2017) and Indigeneity on the Move: Varying Manifestation of a Contested Concept (2017). Currently he is working on a new monograph, the Rohingyas: A Tale of Sub-Human (2018).


Sherry McGratten


Nasir Uddin
Professor, Anthropology, University of Chittagong

Yasmin Khan
PhD Student, Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Main Sponsor

Asian Institute


Global Migration Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs

Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs

Centre for South Asian Studies, Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs

Dr. David Chu Community Network in Asia Pacific Studies

Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Studies

Department of Anthropology

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