Lalita H. Hanwong completed her PhD dissertation in history at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her PhD thesis explored the colonial perception of crime and how the British exercised their crime deterring practices upon Burma during the late 19th – early 20th centuries. Lalita has been teaching in 2 universities in Thailand, namely Mahasarakham University (2006-2016) and Kasetsart University (2016-present). After her graduation in 2012, Lalita has been working on research projects on a variety of themes regarding colonial Burma. Her latest research, ‘Hla Myint: Reflections on His Socio-Economic Thought, from the Colonial Time to a Postcolonial Era’, was funded by the Thai Research Fund (TRF) explores the role of Professor Hla Myint, the most prominent Burmese economist in international economic areana. Lalita also contributes to a weekly column called ‘Thailand Meets Burma’ (Thai Pop Phama) in Matichon Daily newspapers; as well as a monthly article on The101.world, a leading Thai web-based journal.
Lalita has a wide range of interests in humanities and social sciences especially within Southeast Asia and Asia at large. Her interest in contemporary politics and social problems in Thailand and Burma has driven to pay attention to social movements in Burma and in her own home. With the help of her former Burmese teacher, Dr. Tharaphi Than, she was introduced to IIAS-Mellon Foundation’s ‘Humanities across Borders: Asia and Africa in the World’ research project. Her research explores humanistic pedagogy involving social movement among youth activist group called ‘Dao Din’ (Star of the Soil) in northeastern region of Thailand. The group consists of past and present students from the Faculty of Law, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen Province, Thailand. The group visits villages affected by the exploitation of natural resources and land grabbing across the northeast. Their main task is to fortify ordinary villagers with the wisdom of self-esteem, human rights and legal education. This project requires working with affected communities and Dao Din youth group, as well as many activists familiar with the social issues in the area.