Isabella Aung is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University, researching grassroots women’s digital activism in the ongoing anti-authoritarian movement in Myanmar. Her research explores how contemporary authoritarian power is both contested and sustained through social media. She earned an honors degree in International Relations with a minor in Mathematics from Linfield College, Oregon, and an MA degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University. She also completed a semester abroad in Politics, French, and Arabic at the University of Nottingham, UK, with first-class honors standing.
She is currently a UBC Myanmar Initiative Fellow. She holds a doctoral scholarship, funded by the Research Network on Women, Peace, and Security (RN-WPS) at McGill University. She also holds a Graduate Research Fellowship at the Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP). She has been recognized as an emerging scholar by le Réseau d’analyse stratégique/the Network for Strategic Analysis (RAS-NSA). She has recently been chosen as a Civil War Paths fellow at the University of York and an inaugural Public Scholarship Fellow at Queen's University.
Decolonizing academia and incorporating the lived experiences of women of Color into academic discourse are her ultimate goals as a researcher. Her research interests include Women, Peace, and Security (WPS), women of Color's political representation, and grassroots women's activism against authoritarianism. She specializes in Gender and Politics and Comparative Politics. In terms of methodology, she is trained in both quantitative and qualitative methods. Her regional expertise is in Canada and Myanmar.
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To obtain copies of my publications, please visit my research gate profile.
Aung, B. (2023, November 13). Myanmar’s Higher Education Sector Post-Coup: Areas for Improvement in Interim Education Providers. Tea Circle at the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Retrieved from
Aung, B. (2023, June 1). The Revolution is Female: Myanmar’s Women Fighting Against Min Aung Hlaing’s Junta. Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA). Retrieved from
Aung, B. (2023). Building National Identity Through Schooling and Language Policies: Burmanization As A Diversity Management Strategy. The Student Strategy & Security Journal, 2(3), 43–49.
Aung, B. (2023, February 17). Double Colonization: Residential Schools in Present-Day Myanmar. Population & Security. Retrieved from https://populationandsecurity.com/double-colonization-residential-schools-in-present-day-myanmar/.
Aung, B. (2022, December 2). A Double Standard for Students at Risk? Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2022/12/02/universities-should-better-support-students-fleeing-persecution-opinion.
Aung, B. (2022). Women’s Participation and Visibility in the Anti-Military Online Movement in Myanmar. Defence and Security Foresight Group (DSFG) Graduate Paper Series.
Aung, B. (2021, May 11). A Return to the Comfort Zone Is Not Enough: We Must Fight for Truly Inclusive Freedom. Tea 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. (2023). Social Media: A Battlefield for Authoritarian Repression, presented at the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA) Annual Conference, Toronto, 2023.
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.
Organizing Committee, Queen’s University Political Studies Graduate Student Association (PSGSA) Graduate Student Conference, June 2023.
Panelist, The Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA) Annual Conference, Toronto, ON, June 2023.
Team Lead, Creating a Declaration on Demilitarizing Women, Peace, and Security, Research Network -Women, Peace, and Security (RN-WPS) Symposium, St. Mary's University, Halifax, NS, March 2023.
Organizing Committee, Grassroots Women's Activism in Women, Peace, and Security Roundtable Discussion, Research Network -Women, Peace, and Security (RN-WPS) Symposium, St. Mary's University, Halifax, NS, March 2023.
Panelist, The 62nd Annual Meeting of the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (SEC-AAS), Richmond, VA, January 2023.
Panelist, Queen’s University Political Studies Graduate Student Association (PSGSA)
Graduate Student Conference, Kingston, ON, March 2022.
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.
Panelist, Education Disrupted? Legacies and Prospective Transformations in Myanmar’s Education Landscape. Invited by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. July 10, 2023.
Panelist, Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement. Presentation on Women, Peace, and Security in Myanmar: Gendered Experiences Post-Coup. Invited by the Motivate-Inspire-Connect Youth Conference, Branksome Hall. April 29, 2023.
Panelist, Grassroots Women's Activism in Women, Peace, and Security. Invited by the Research Network on Women, Peace, and Security (RN-WPS) Symposium, St. Mary's University. March 9, 2023.
Panelist, Teach-In on Protests and Democracy Movements in China and Burma – Past and Present. Invited by the University of Manitoba. December 15, 2022.
Moderator, Navigating Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) in Color. Invited by the Research Network on Women, Peace, and Security (RN-WPS), McGill University. November 28, 2022.
Panelist, Feminist Solidarities in Times of Crises Roundtable Event. Invited by the Gendering International Relations Working Group (GIRWG), the British International Studies Association (BISA). November 14, 2022.
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. Invited Talk as part of the Printemps de la Francophonie, Bureau des Affaires Francophones et Francophiles (BAFF), Simon Fraser University, March 5, 2019.