Michael Aung-Thwin, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Tel (808) 956-5962, Email:aungthwi@hawaii.edu

Educational Background

  • B.A., Doane College, 1969
  • M.A., University of Illinois, 1971
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1976


Dr. Aung-Thwin is Professor of Asian Studies and Chair of the Asian Studies Program of UH Manoa. His research specializations are on the history of Myanmar, myth and historiography of early Myanmar, the classical states of Southeast Asia.


  • ASAN 491S/620: Making of Modern Myanmar
  • ASAN 491S/620: Asia Through Fiction
  • ASAN 491S/620: Imperialism, Colonialism, and Nationalism in Southeast Asia
  • ASAN 671: The Splendor that was Southeast Asia
  • ASAN 750: Research Seminar on Southeast Asia


  • Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois
  • John D. Rockefeller III Fellow
  • Social Science Research Council/American Council of Learned Societies Fellow

Selected Publications

Books –

  • Pagan: The Origins of Modern Burma.Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1985.
  • Myth and History in the Historiograpy of Burma: Paradigms, Primary Sources and Prejudices (Ohio University Press, 1998) Choice List of Outstanding Academic Books of 1998
  • The Mists of Ramanna: The Legend that Was Lower Burma(Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2005).
  • New Perspectives in the History and Historiography of Southeast Asia: Continuing Explorations,With Kenneth R. Hall (London, Routledge Press, 2011).
  • A History of Myanmar Since Ancient Times: Traditions and Transformations [with Maitrii Aung-Thwin] (London, Reaktion Books, 2012).

Articles –

  • “Spirals in Early Southeast Asian and Burmese History”, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. XXI:4 (Spring 1991), 575-602.
  • “The ‘Classical’ in Southeast Asia: The Present in the Past,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, vol. 26, no. 1, (March 1995), pp. 5-91.
  • “The Myth of the ‘Three Shan Brothers’ and the Ava Period in Burmese History,” Journal of Asian Studies, 55, no. 4, November 1996. Pp. 881-901.
  • Hmnannan Mahayazawindawgyi In Making History: A Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing,Garland Publishing, 1997.
  • “Parochial Universalism, Democracy Jihad, and the Orientalist Perspective of Burma: The New Evangelism,” Pacific Affairs, vol. 74, no. 4 (Winter 2001-2002), pp. 483-505.
  • Mranma Pran: When Context Encounters Notion,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 39, no. 2 (June 2008), pp. 193-217.
  • “Ava and Pegu: A Tale of Two Kingdoms,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 42, no. 1 (2011), pp. 1-16.
  • “A New/Old Look at ‘Classical’ and ‘Post-Classical’ Southeast Asia,” inNew Perspectives in the History and Historiography of Southeast Asia: Continuing Explorations, edited by Michael Aung-Thwin and Kenneth R. Hall (London, Routledge, 2011), pp. 25-55.
  • “Continuing, Re-emerging, and Emerging Trends in Southeast Asian History, TRaNS: Trans-Regional and –National Studies of Southeast Asia, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1, no. 1 (January 2013), 87-104.
  • “Those Men in Saffron Robes,” Journal of Burma Studies, vol. 17, no. 2 (2013, pp. 243-334.