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Religion and the Politics of Legitimacy in Burma
Ingrid Jordt, associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, is a widely quoted commentator on Burmese politics, an active participant in the still-ongoing efforts to bring relief to Burma after the cyclone of 2008, and the author of Burma's Mass Lay Meditation Movement: Buddhism and the Cultural Construction of Power (2007).

Jordt's relationship with Burma began in 1984 when she was ordained as a Buddhist nun and made the first steps toward becoming an adept practitioner of vipassana meditation. Over the succeeding decades, her status as an "old yogi" gave Jordt unique access to the upper echelons of Burmese society and led to her fascinating study of Burmese political culture. In her lecture, Jordt will explain the unique role that religion and meditation play in Burmese politics, providing a terrain of struggle both for the regime and its opponents.