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Undergraduate Programs Information

Major or minor in Asian Studies.

Graduate Programs Information

Including: Master of Arts in Asian Studies, Master’s in Asian International Affairs, and Graduate Certificates in Asian Studies.

In Memoriam

Michael Arthur AUNG-THWIN, Emeritus Professor of Asian History,

died peacefully after a long illness on 14th August 2021, surrounded by his family in his Hawaii home.  Born in Yangon, Myanmar, in 1946, Michael attended high school at Kodaikanal International School in South India and later came to the United States where he earned a BA from Doane College (Nebraska), an MA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a PhD from the University of Michigan.  A scholar of early Myanmar and Southeast Asian history, Michael held positions at Elmira College, Kyoto University, Northern Illinois University, the National University of Singapore, and the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He published widely, including the books Pagan: The Origins of Modern Burma (1985), The Mists of Ramanna: The Legend that was Lower Burma (2005), A History of Myanmar Since Ancient Times: Traditions and Transformations (2013) and Myanmar in the Fifteenth Century: A Tale of Two Kingdoms (2017).  Michael loved swimming, tennis, soccer, cooking, and jamming on his guitar (usually to the Beatles). He is survived by his wife Maria, his sister Maureen, his sister-in-law Evelyn, his son Maitrii, daughter Amita, his daughter-in-law Eileen, and his grandson Shan. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Burma Studies Foundation are welcome.

Photos and memories of Dr. Aung-Thwin are posted at his memorial site.

Educational Background

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


  • 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


Dr. Aung-Thwin was Professor of Asian Studies at UH Manoa. His research specializations included 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

Selected Publications

  • 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).
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