The Department of Anthropology in Yangon University was established in 1950, in Judson Hall. Its location on the campus has moved over the years: first, to the Social Science building, then in 1964 to Taungoo Hall. Since 1983 the Anthropology Department has been located in Yamanya Hall. The Department started small, with few staff and students but then expanded to include Sociology and even International Relations for a few years until Anthropology was reduced to a minor subject status under the new education system in 1964. At that point, the Department shrank in numbers of staff and students, until 1982 when Anthropology was restored to major subject status again.
In the early years of the Department, several overseas academics supported the teaching of Anthropology, Sociology and International Relations in Yangon, while several Myanmar academics furthered their studies in the USA and the UK. Nowadays the Department is staffed by Myanmar academics.
Anthropology can be taken by Arts students as well as Science students. Science students taking Anthropology as a minor subject can earn a B.A Degree. Post-graduate students have to carry out field research and collect survey data for their Masters thesis.
In the newly established Anthropology Department, from 1982, Daw Nwe Nwe took over as the Head of Department. There were only twenty students in the first year class, and the same in 1983. Six teaching members of staff taught them, including the Head of Department: Daw Nwe Nwe, Daw Kyin Kyin, U Wallace Kangyi, Daw Aye Aye Myint, U Sein Htun and Daw Tin Yi.
After Daw Nwe Nwe had retired, Daw Kyin Kyin succeeded her as Head of Department, followed in her turn by U Sein Htun, then Daw Tin Yi from 1990 to 1997 when she became a professor. After Daw Tin Yi retired in 2005, U Kyaw Han succeeded her, followed by Dr. Daw Mya Mya Khin. Dr Daw Mya Mya Khin has been Head of the Anthropology Dept from 2006 up until the present.
Meanwhile, in the Hlaing Campus of the University of Yangon, the first Anthropology classes started in 1982. U Wallace Kangyi was the Branch Head at that time. From 1991 to 1995 U Kyaw Han served as Branch Head.
Now the number of Anthropology students increases annually and ranges from first year undergraduate students to Masters Research students specializing in Anthropology. PhD courses have been running since a/y 2006-2007.
– To study bio-cultural diversity in the present and the past
– To develop students’ skills in research and theories, writing and the application of Anthropological knowledge to enhance academic excellence and professional development
– To offer the highest quality instruction in Anthropological implementation in community development
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