Alicia Turner (PhD, University of Chicago; BA, Kalamazoo College) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities at York University and specializes in the study of Buddhism in Southeast Asia with an emphasis on the period of British colonialism in Burma/Myanmar. Her research focuses on the intersections of religion, colonialism, and nationalism. Seeking to understanding the cultural aspects of British colonialism and how it transformed local ideas and categories, she investigates the key role religion played in the colonial encounter, both as an ordering category for colonial rule and as a mode of response. Her work on Buddhist lay movements in Burma from 1890 to 1920, studies issues of education, the performance of respect and campaigns for moral reform.
Her current projects also include a collaborative project on Europeans Buddhist monks at the turn of the twentieth century and the study of Buddhist networks from the margins in colonial Southeast Asia.
Alicia's recent publications include: “Religion Making and Its Failures: Turning Monasteries into Schools and Buddhism into a Religion in Colonial Burma” in Markus Dressler and Arvind Mandair eds. Secularism and Religion Making, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 226-42; and “The Bible, The Bottle And The Knife: Religion As a Mode Of Resisting Colonialism For U Dhammaloka” Contemporary Buddhism, 14, no. 1 (May 2013).
Alicia serves as editor of The Journal of Burma Studies (NIU-Center for Burma Studies/National University of Singapore), and her book, Saving Buddhism: Moral Community and the Impermanence of Colonial Religion is forthcoming from University of Hawai'i Press.