About Chu

Life through unmascaraed eyes & homes away home

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Chu is an anthropologist in training and a first-gen Burmese-American currently based in Des Moines, IA. As an ethnographer, Chu enjoys following people's life stories. As she pays attention to the actual things people say, she is also intrigued by many unspoken cues in people's gestures and manners. If the world is, as they say in Burmese, bawa zatkhone (theater-stage of life), all human beings would be storytellers in their own ways and Chu's job as an anthropologist is to ethically retell their stories.
Born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar, Chu is infatuated with the abundance of visual noise in the urban city Yangon. For Myanmar, visual displays and consumption can comment on the citizens' nostalgia of the country's past, disappointment of its presence, and hope for its future. Chu hopes to retell the stories of these feelings in her PhD research.
 
As a feminist decolonial scholar, Chu is committed to engaging with the people she studies about and with in her research. She believes that research must return to the community. When she is not challenging her own privileged background as an ethno-religious majority Bama-Buddhist woman, she writes against whiteness and neocoloniality in higher education.
Fun Fact about Chu: in her native language Burmese, her first name Chu has three meanings: coin money, floral arabesque (like the ones in the photo above), or stylized lion with a flowing mane. She picks the last meaning because lion with a flowing mane symbolizes, to her, strength, independence, and fierceness, all three qualities she aspires to emulate!

Social Media Committee Lead
 Department of Anthropology

University of Colorado Boulder

August 2019 - August 2020

Graduate Teaching Assistant
Department of Linguistics

University of Colorado Boulder

August 2017 - May 2019


Program Director
Literacy Practicum Program

University of Colorado Boulder
August 2017 - May 2019
 

PhD in Cultural Anthropology
Department of Anthropology

University of Colorado Boulder

August 2017 - May 2023


BA in General Linguistics
Queens College,

City University of New York

September 2015 - May 2017

AA in Secondary Education
LaGuardia Community College,

City University of New York

September 2013 - August 2015

Fellowships

2019 - 2024

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

2019-2020

Council of American Overseas Research Center Inya Institute Pre-dissertation research Grant

2017 - 2022

University of Colorado Boulder

Diversity, Equity, and Community Fellowship

2020 - 2021

University of Colorado Boulder

CU Engage Arts and Humanities Fellowship

Contact

1350 Pleasant St, 233 UCB

Boulder CO 80309

chu.paing@colorado.edu

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Chu May Paing (2020) In Need of Daughters of Good Lineage: Placing Gender in Myanmar's Buddhist Nationalist Discource. Journal of Southeast Asian Linguistics Society. Special Issue.

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Chu May Paing (2020) Viral Satire as Public Feeling in Myanmar. In "Pandemic Diaries: Affect and Crisis," Carla Jones (ed). American Ethnologist Website. May 20 2020.

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Chu May Paing (2018) To Know a Batha: Family Language Soicalization among Burmese Buddhist Immigrant Families in New York City. Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement 13 (1).

© 2023 By Lion with a Flowing Mane.

All Myanmar Image Courtesy by Chu May Paing.