Visiting scholar and former Myanmar parliamentary candidate Nay Yan Oo will discuss the 2020 Myanmar election in the latest guest lecture for the Gatty Lecture Series hosted by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.
Oo is a visiting scholar in the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell. His talk will center on the elections in which he ran for parliament under the People’s Party, one of the country’s pro-democracy parties.
While he did not win the election, Oo says through his candidacy he was able to expose scandals of the National League for Democracy, the liberal democratic party of Myanmar, including concern regarding free and fair elections.
Oo has a master of public policy from the University of Oxford and an M.A. in political science from Northern Illinois University. His research focuses on the politics of Myanmar, civil-military relations, democratization, civil service reform, political parties and elections. Oo is also the founder and host of a political talk show “Trends” in Myanmar.
The Ronald Ph.D. ’57 and Janette Ph.D. ’58 Gatty Lecture Series features various graduate students from the Southeast Asia Program as well as academics, diplomats and researchers with expertise in Southeast Asia. The series is held as a platform for academics and Ph.D. students to share their research with interested students.
Past Gatty lecturers this fall semester have included Prof. Thomas Pepinsky, government, who discussed identity and politics in Malaysia and Prof. Joshua Plotnik, psychology, Hunter College, who discussed the cognition of elephants in Southeast Asia. Other lectures have included Prof. Geofrey Robinson, history, University of California Los Angeles, whose lecture centered on political violence and genocide in Indonesia.
The lecture series dates back to the 1970s, previously named “brown-bag lunch talks.” It has long featured guest speakers as well as Ph.D. students to present their research.
A graduate student committee formed the series, but little is known about its origins.
In 2015, the series was renamed to honor the Gattys for their donations to the department, which funds multiple graduate student-led programs.
“Speakers often mention feeling honored to present their work [at the Gatty Lecture], and SEAP Ph.D. candidates consider it a rite of passage,” reads a University press release about the lectures.