ANTH 2237-01

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Fall 2017

Short Essay Responses Assignment #1 (Emma Larkin’s Finding George Orwell in Burma)

Please type and single-space your responses to the following questions, clearly labeling the question being addressed and utilizing standard margins and a 12-point font. Your responses will be based primarily on the Larkin text, along with the chapters by Aung San Suu Kyi (“In Quest of Democracy” and “Freedom from Fear”) and associated class materials (discussions, powerpoints, in-class video, and on-line exercises). Include a citation (any standard format is fine) if you are: a) referring to information gleaned from outside of the Larkin text or Aung San Suu Kyi chapters; b) using a direct quotation from any source. Responses getting high marks will demonstrate the following characteristics: a thorough treatment of the issues raised in the question, well written, tight organization, and thoughtful. The exam is due in class on Monday, October 30th. Late assignments will be penalized one full letter grade per day.

  1. For many decades, Burma’s government has      been widely considered one of the worst in the world, in terms of      governance, human rights, etc. Unfortunately, many “post-colonial” nations      (i.e., nations that were colonized in the past by Western nations but have      now been granted independence) have been saddled with corrupt, inept, and      tyrannical governments since gaining independence. A thread that weaves      its way through Larkin’s text is the similarities between the ways in      which the British colonial government ran Burma and the ways in which      Burma’s military regime has operated. Because of these similarities, Aung      San Suu Kyi has characterized the current period in Burmese history “the      second struggle for independence” (the first struggle being, of course,      against the British). Using at least five (5) specific examples      from the Larkin text, discuss how the military government of Burma has      been a sort of ‘reflection’ of the British colonial government that      preceded it, in terms of its practices, policies, attitudes, etc. (This response should be about 2/3rds of a page to      one page in length, single-spaced; 20 points possible.)
  1. A) Using the Larkin text      and the handout “Finding George Orwell in Burma: Some Notes on the      Exercise of State Power” as inspiration, discuss at least four (4) of the ‘tools’ the post-colonial      government of Burma has used to exercise power over the people of Burma.      Relate the concepts in the handout to specific examples from the Larkin      text, as well as class discussion. Among others, be sure you      include two primary ‘tools’ in your discussion: 1) the concept of fear;      Aung San Suu Kyi chose to title her most important book Freedom from      Fear. In what ways has the Burmese government utilized fear as a means      of controlling the populace?; 2) A central theme of Orwell’s writings was      the power of surveillance.      Use the term panopticon,      as we discussed in class and you read about for the on-line assignment of      week 7.

B) Leaving Burma for a moment, in what ways do governments in general (including your own government, whether it be the US, KSA, Kuwait, Nepal, etc.), powerful corporations, and the financial sector, employ fear as a tool of manipulation and control of people? Include the concept of surveillance/’the panopticon’ in your response. (This response should be about 2/3rds of a page to one page in length (A. and B. together), single-spaced; 20 points possible)

  1. I am curious to      know what you found particularly interesting or striking about your      readings of Larkin and Aung San Suu Kyi. Please mention three observations or descriptions      from the readings that intrigued you, and what you found interesting about      them. (This      response should be about ½ page, single-spaced; 10 points possible)

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