Associate Professor Helen James is a specialist on Southeast Asia currently with the Department of Anthropology, School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia Pacific, ANU. She took her PhD and MA from the University of Pittsburgh, and BA (Oriental Studies) from the ANU.
She has been the lead Chief Investigator for the ARC funded project, ‘Demographic Consequences of Asian Disasters: Family Dynamics, Social Capital and Migration Patterns’ (DP120100606). She researches and lectures in the Environment Management program, Crawford School, ANU on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Population, Climate Change and Sustainable Development for the Master of Social Research (2010 – 2013). Her multidisciplinary work draws on the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, politics, history, and international studies in relation to Southeast/East Asia, Thailand and Myanmar.
She has visited Myanmar 26 times for research and outreach since 1995 and formerly lived in Thailand for 14 years (1967 – 1980). She has published ten books and over 100 articles and chapters in books. She has been a Visiting Fellow at the Centre of International Studies, Cambridge University; the Swedish International Peace Research Institute, and the East-West Centre, Hawaii. In 2004 she was elected a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. Her current research interests lie in the fields of the anthropology, sociology and demography of natural disasters; governance, civil society, social capital and sustainable development; and citizenship, human security and international development.