Born in Myanmar and raised in the United States, Bella has been a resident of Canada since 2017. She earned an honors degree in International Relations with a minor in Mathematics from Linfield College, Oregon, and completed a semester abroad in Politics, French, and Arabic at the University of Nottingham, UK, with first-class honors standing. Having been awarded an MA degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University, her recent research encompasses the electoral representation of visible minorities in North America, resettlement of newcomers to Canadian cities, and populism and nationalism in Burmese politics. She joined the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University as a doctoral student in September 2020. Her doctoral research focuses on women’s unprecedented political participation and leadership in the anti-military movement during the ongoing military coup in Myanmar. She is currently a UBC Myanmar Initiative Fellow. She also holds a doctoral scholarship, funded by the Research Network on Women, Peace, and Security at McGill University.
Decolonizing academia and incorporating the lived experiences of indigenous and minority people into academic discourse are her ultimate goals as a researcher. She holds these topics very dear to her heart since she is a visible minority in Canada due to her identity as a Burmese woman, and indigenous in Myanmar, having Mon and Karen grandparents. Her research interests include gender and ethnic representation in North America (Canada and the United States) and South and Southeast Asia, particularly Myanmar (Burma). She is also very passionate about gendered and racialized experiences of individuals with mental illnesses and/or disabilities in academia. She is a firm believer that strong mental health and wellness support needs to be continually accessible for marginalized academics. Outside of academia, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her cat.
Please send me an email request to obtain the latest version of my academic CV.
To obtain copies of my publications, please visit my research gate profile.
Aung, B. (2021, May 11). A Return to the Comfort Zone Is Not Enough: We Must Fight for Truly Inclusive Freedom. Teac Circle Oxford. Retrieved from https://teacircleoxford.com/opinion/a-return-to-the-comfort-zone-is-not-enough-we-must-fight-for-truly-inclusive-freedom/
Aung, B. (2020). Women and Visible Minority Representation on Vancouver’s City Council [Master's thesis, Simon Fraser University]. Summit - Institutional Repository.
Fourot, A. C., & Aung, B. (2019). Fostering Welcoming Communities in Moncton, Dieppe, and Riverview: A Report on Assets and Gaps in Newcomer Services (Rep.). Moncton, NB: Greater Moncton Local Immigration Partnership.
Fourot, A. C., & Aung, B. (2019). Favoriser des Communautés Accueillantes à Moncton, Dieppe et Riverview : Un rapport sur les Atouts et les Limites des Services aux Nouveaux (Rep.). Moncton, NB: Greater Moncton Local Immigration Partnership.
Aung, B. (2017). Women, Religion, and Democracy in Myanmar [Honors thesis, Linfield College]. Digital Commons at Linfield.
Conference Papers and Participation
Aung, B. (2021). Women’s Participation and Visibility in Anti-Authoritarian Social Media Movements, presented at the 35th biennial conference of the Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies (CCSEAS), Vancouver, 2021.
Aung, B. (2019). Underrepresented Visible Minorities in Vancouver Municipal Offices, presented at the British Columbia Political Science Association (BCPSA) Annual Conference, Vancouver, 2019.
Nowacki, D., & Aung, B. (2016). Regime Change and the Opening of Political Space for Women in Asia, presented at the Western Political Science Association (WPSA) Annual Conference, San Diego, 2016.
Panelist, 35th biennial conference of the Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies, Vancouver, BC, October 2021.
Organizer, Women in Politics: the Road to Equal Representation Speaker Series, Vancouver, BC, October 2019.
Participant, Congress 2019 of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Vancouver, BC, June 2019.
Panelist, British Columbia Political Science Association (BCPSA) Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, May 2019.
Delegate, representing Burnaby North – Seymour Federal Riding at Daughters of the Vote (Héritières du Suffrage), Ottawa, ON, March 31-April 5, 2019.
Participant, International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT) 2019 – Migration, Trondheim, Norway, February 2019.
Panelist, Western Political Science Association (WPSA) Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, April 2016.
Guest Speaker, Burma Past and Present: Religion, Ethnicity, and Power. Presentation on Women’s Participation and Visibility in the Anti-Military Online Movement in Myanmar, York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR), York University, March 15, 2022.
Guest Speaker, Women’s Representation in New Democracies: Underrepresentation of Ethnic Minority Women in Burmese Politics. Invited Talk as part of Grad Chat, a radio show by the School of Graduate Studies at Queen's University, March 16, 2021.
Panelist, Women in Politics: the Road to Equal Representation Speaker Series. Invited by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI) at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia, and Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia, October 11, 2019.
Guest Speaker, Greater Moncton Local Immigration Partnership (GMLIP) Council Meeting (with Dr. Aude-Claire Fourot). Presentation on Fostering Welcoming Communities in Moncton, Dieppe, and Riverview (Favoriser des communautés accueillantes à Moncton, Dieppe et Riverview), City Clerk's Office – City of Moncton, May 28, 2019.
Guest Speaker, Table Ronde: Faire de la Recherche en Sciences Politiques: Défis et Opportunités (with Justine Mallou and Nick Pollous). Invited Talk as part of the Printemps de la Francophonie, Bureau des Affaires Francophones et Francophiles (BAFF), Simon Fraser University, March 5, 2019.