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Research Guides

Fifty Years of Opium and Conflict in the Shan State of Burma: A Visual Retrospective: Participants and Program

Conference and film screening

Participants and Program


Guest speakers:


Alfred McCoy, Prof. Department of History, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Bertil Lintner, Journalist and author writing on Burma

Patricia Zimmermann, Prof., Media Arts, Sciences and Studies, Ithaca College






Jane Ferguson, Post Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Sydney

John Buchanan,  PhC., Dept of Political Science, UW Seattle

James Bradford, Lecturer, Babson College

Ba Win, Independent researcher




Conference Schedule


Friday, May 29th, 2015

Odegaard Library, Rm 220, 9 am – 5 pm

Screening of Films by Adrian Cowell 


Morning Session

Introductions : 9.00 to 9.30

Welcome to UW Libraries: Judith Henchy, Southeast Asian Studies Librarian, Paul Constantine, Associate Dean of University Libraries, Special Collections

"The Adrian Cowell Film Archive:"  Hannah Palin, Libraries, Special Collections, Film Archivist

Introduction to Films: Bertil Lintner

Screenings of Films

Morning Session 9.30 - 12.00

Raid into Tibet (1966), ATV, 16mm black and white, 25 min 

The Unknown War (1966), ATV, 16mm black and white, 25 min 

The Masked Dance (1976), ATV, 16mm colour, 52 min

Lunch: 12 – 1 30 pm 


Afternoon Session: 1. 30 – 5.00 pm

Commentary on Films by Bertil Lintner/Patricia Zimmermann/Al McCoy

Opium - Series

   The White Powder Opera (1978), ATV, 16mm colour, 52 min

   The Warlords (1978), ATV, 16mm colour, 52 min

   The Politicians (1978), ATV, 16mm colour, 52 min


Reception:  5.30 - 8.00 Communications 220

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Huskey Union Building, Room 334, 9am - 5.00 pm

Panels and Discussion


Morning Sessions:

Panel 1, 9.00 - 10.30:  Creating the Shan State through media production

Andrew Weaver and Libby Hopfauf:  "Odds and Sods: The Hidden Music of the Adrian Cowell Films and Research Collection”

Jane Ferguson : "Mediating Insurgency: Sixty Years of Shan Media Production."

Discussants:  Patricia Zimmermann,  Al McCoy


Panel 2, 11.00 - 12.30 :  Opium and Conflict in Burma and Afghanistan

John Buchanan: “Conflict, Opium and Local Authority: The Rise of Opium and Resistance in the Shan State.”

Ba Win:  "An Overview of Politics and Opium in Burma."

James Bradford: "Poppies and Power in Afghanistan: The Evolution of Drug Control, from Taxation to Prohibition"

Respondants:  Ferguson/ Zimmerman


Keynotes Panel: 2.00 – 4.30: “Civil War and its Chaos in the Shan State”

Alfred McCoy:  Global Opium Trail: Tracking the Distinctive Dynamics of an Illicit Commodity

Bertil Lintner

Response from Patricia Zimmermann