Matthew Walton is Aung San Suu Kyi Senior Research Fellow in Modern Burmese Studies at St Antonys College. His research focuses on religion and politics in Southeast Asia, with a special emphasis on Myanmar. Matts dissertation (for which he conducted field work in Myanmar and Thailand) explored Burmese Buddhist political thought and its influence on Myanmars current democratic transition. He also specializes in ethnic and communal conflict in Myanmar, having published articles on this topic in Asian Survey and the Journal of Contemporary Asia.
Matt has also written book chapters on disaster relief practices in Myanmar, Buddhist theories of animal rights, and radical environmental politics. In addition to his academic writing, he occasionally publishes commentary on religion and politics in Myanmar in the news media, most recently in Asia Times Online and ISLAMiCommentary, addressing Burmese Buddhist nationalism and the current wave of anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar.
Before coming to Oxford, Matt was an adjunct professor in the political science department at George Washington University. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Washington and holds M.A. degrees in Political Science from the University of Washington and Syracuse University and a B.Mus with Honors in Music Composition, also from Syracuse University. Matt remains an active composer and his most recent opera is Sun Dance, based on the trial and incarceration of Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier (www.sundanceopera.com).