Khine Thant Su


Advisor: Anne Hansen
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Khine Su


My research focuses on the interconnections between Buddhist and Marxist thought among intellectuals in Burma from the 1930s to 1950s. I look at three key groups – leftist literati, monastic figures, and ethnic Chinese in Burma – to examine how and why each group understood democracy, decolonization, and world peace differently despite facing similar threats to their livelihood during the 1950s. I trace how Buddhist ideas, constantly reconstituted across different historical contexts, factored into each group’s political thinking. Considering these Buddhist-inspired pronouncements of freedom against the Marxist notion of overcoming alienation, I seek to understand how the global condition of capitalist modernity conditioned both the thought and actions of intellectuals in Burma even as they declared themselves resisting capitalism.


B.A., Middlebury College (East Asian Studies)


  • Southeast Asian History

MA Title

  • “Moral Reform as Method of Social Reform: The Evolution of U Nu’s Political Thought (1937-1960)”

Selected Publications

Selected Awards

  • Kate Everest Levi Second-Year Paper Prize

Courses Taught as TA

  • History 244 – Introduction to Southeast Asia: From Vietnam to the Philippines
  • History 246 – Southeast Asian Refugees of the Cold War