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Elizabeth Rhoads

I am currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Human Rights in Southeast Asia, splitting my time between the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies and the Centre for Human Rights Studies, also in the Department of History. I completed my PhD in Law at King's College London in 2019, where I was a Dickson Poon Fellow, my M.A. in Human Rights Law at SOAS in 2011, and my A.B. in Cultural Anthropology at Bryn Mawr College in 2007. Following completion of my PhD, I received a Blakemore-Freeman Fellowship for studying advanced Burmese language in Yangon, Myanmar and funding from the British Academy as a Co-Investigator and Post-Doctoral Fellow on the project Framing Living Heritage as Tool to Prevent Spatial Violence with University College London's Development Planning Unit.

My research is interdisciplinary, combining legal history, legal anthropology, legal geography, urban studies, and human rights studies in understanding the everyday lived experience of property relations and minority-state relations in Southeast Asia. I am interested in how shifting notions of belonging in times of political transition in Southeast Asia impact on property and citizenship.  My current project at Lund is a legal history of citizenship in Myanmar, combining more traditional legal research with archival methods and oral histories of Myanmar's minority South Asian and Chinese communities.

Prior to beginning my PhD, I spent four years living in Southeast Asia, in both Myanmar and Indonesia as a student, researcher, and an experiential education specialist. My work in Indonesia as a Fulbright Scholar focused on land and inheritance disputes related to the 1965 anti-communist massacres in Bali, but I've also worked on the linkages between memories of political participation pre-1965 and contemporary women's political participation, exclusive constructions of Balinese identity, and women and violent extremism. I've also worked on transitional justice as a research fellow at SOAS and the University of East London and my master's dissertation in Human Rights Law focused on unofficial truth projects in post-conflict Aceh, Indonesia.

My PhD work in Law at King's College London was a legal history of property law in Yangon, Myanmar, examining how access to property became increasingly contingent on citizenship, while eligibility for citizenship depended on shifting notions of belonging tied to constructions of race and religion. The dissertation also examines formal and informal methods of accessing property and covert and overt resistance to property regimes. Publications from this research are found in the State Crime Journal, Journal of Burma Studies, and an edited volume with the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies. I have served as a peer reviewer for journals including: Modern Asian Studies, Journal of Burma Studies, Independent Journal of Burmese Scholarship, European Journal of Development Research, and the International Journal of Drug Policy.

Recent Publications:

2020. Rhoads, E. “Informal Justice(?) Brokers: Navigating Property Transactions in Yangon”, in Everyday Justice in Myanmar, Ed. Helene Kyed, Copenhagen: NIAS Press.

2020. Rhoads, E., H. Kyed, Thang Sorn Poine and Cho Cho Winn. "Myanmar: Urban Housing Diagnostic & COVID-19 Rapid Assessment." Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group.

2019. Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation. "Youth Experiences of Pluralism and Diversity in Yangon, Myanmar", Yangon: UNESCO.

2018. Dwyer, Leslie and Elizabeth Rhoads. "The Role of Women in Violent Extremism in Asia." Washington, D.C.: USAID.

2018. Rhoads, Elizabeth and Courtney T. Wittekind. "Rethinking Land and Property in a Transitioning Myanmar: Representations of Isolation, Neglect and Natural Decline. Progress for Whom: And What? a special issue of Journal of Burma Studies, 22(2): 273-319.

2018. Rhoads, Elizabeth. "Forced Evictions as Urban Planning? Traces of Colonial Land Control Practices in Yangon" State Crime and Colonialism, a special issue of State Crime Journal, 7(2): 278-305.

2017. Walton, Matthew J. and Elizabeth Rhoads. "'Bridgegate' in Myanmar: privilege or politics?" East Asia Forum 12 April.

2012. Rhoads, Elizabeth. "Women's Political Participation in Indonesia: Decentralization, Money Politics, and Collective Memory in Bali" Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 31(2): 35-56.



Retrieved from Lund University's publications database



Retrieved from Lund University's publications database


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

Page Manager:
photo of Elizabeth Rhoads
E-mail: elizabeth [dot] rhoads [at] ace [dot] lu [dot] se

Postdoctoral fellow

Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University


Sölvegatan 18B, Lund


Postdoctoral fellow

Human Rights Studies


Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies
Lund University
Sölvegatan 18 B, 223 62 Lund

Phone: +46 46 222 38 61
E-mail: info [at] ace [dot] lu [dot] se