Nuam Hatzaw

Thesis title: ​​Towards a pneumatology of in-betweenness: the experiences of 1.5 generation migrant Zomi women in Europe in conversation with Asian American perspectives​

Background

Nuam Hatzaw is from Chin State, Myanmar, and belongs to the Zomi people. She was born in Chin State but has spent most of her life in the UK. She did her BA in Social Anthropology and Development Studies at SOAS, University of London, and an MTh in World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh. She is an AHRC-funded PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh and her doctoral research examines the experiences of migrant ethnic minority women. An interdisciplinary scholar with training in qualitative research methods and frameworks, her research interests include World Christianity, Asian theology, postcolonial and feminist theology, social anthropology, and critical theory. 

Qualifications

MTh World Christianity - University of Edinburgh

BA Joint Honours Social Anthropology and Development Studies - SOAS, University of London

Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) - Higher Education Academy

Responsibilities & affiliations

Programme Associate - Chin State Academic Research Network (TheHills Myanmar)

Member - Society for the Study of Theology

Member - Yale-Edinburgh Group on World Christianity and the History of the Mission

Undergraduate teaching

Tutor

The Bible in Literature (Semester 1, 2019-2020)

Religion in Modern Britain (Semester 1, 2020-2021)

Global Indigenous Religions (Semester 2, 2021-2022)

Lecturer

Guest lecture on "History of Christianity as a World Religion 1B" on the topic "Christianity in Contemporary Asia"

Research summary

I am primarily interested in theologies of migration, identity, and diaspora; Asian theology and Christianity; and feminist and postcolonial theology. I am also interested in Burma/Myanmar studies, social anthropology, critical theory, and cultural studies.

Current research interests

My doctoral thesis critically examines theologies of migration and identity through the lens of 1.5-generation migrant Zomi women in Europe. An interdisciplinary project, I combine qualitative research methods with theology in order to move towards the construction of a Zomi women's theology of in-betweenness. The Zomi are a predominantly Christian ethnic minority from Chin State, Myanmar. Decades of ethno-religious oppression, poverty, and political instability in Myanmar have increased migration levels from Chin State. The term '1.5-generation' refers to those who were born and partly raised in one country but who've migrated and grew up elsewhere, resulting in a sense of in-betweenness as they struggle to find belonging and navigate their competing identities and cultures. Drawing on interviews with in-between Zomi women, my thesis compare their experiences with Asian American theologies (the most prolific scholarship on this subject) to ask how the lived experiences of marginalised, ethnic minority Christian women can shed new light on theologies of culture, community, and identity in migrant/diasporic contexts. My thesis aims to amplify the voices of minority women and construct helpful theological resources for other minority people in similar diasporic contexts.

Project activity

Research Associate - Global Christians in Edinburgh

The Global Christians project, led by Dr Alexander Chow and Prof. Emma Wild-Wood, seeks to understand the diverse ways migrant congregations and communities have formed in Edinburgh, their practices and beliefs, concerns and needs, and their engagement with other churches as well as wider society. The project culminates in a half-day workshop which will bring together church leaders and representatives from migrant congregations to discuss these topics. 

My role involves creating a database of migrant churches, congregations, and fellowships in Edinburgh and interviewing migrant church leaders on issues facing their congregations. I am also responsible for identifying and liaising appropriate church leaders for the workshop, delivering the workshop (inc. logistics, marketing, on-the-day coordination), co-facilitating discussion groups and writing the post-event report.

Voice of World Christianity podcast

Along with two other PhD students, I co-host the Voices of World Christianity podcast which interviews guest speakers on themes and issues within World Christianity.

 

Invited speaker

“Theologies of Nationalism and the Zomi” - Centre of South Asian Studies, workshop on ‘Axes of Difference in the Study of Burma/Myanmar’, University of Cambridge, UK (November 2020)  

Papers delivered

“How I’ve Seen God’s Goodness” – The Power and Presence of the Spirit in the context of Migration - Society for the Study of Theology Annual Conference, University of Warwick, UK (April 2023)

“no place to lay their head: towards a trauma-informed theology of migration for the 1.5 generation” - Centre for the Study of World Christianity, Research Seminar Series, University of Edinburgh, UK (January 2021)

“’Walking Through by Faith’: The Theologies of Migrant Zomi Women in the UK” - Faith Lives of Women and Girls Symposium, conference on ‘Identities, Experiences, Practices, and Beliefs’, The Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham, UK (March 2019)

“Reclaiming ‘Martha nasem’: a re-interpretation of Luke 10:38-42 for Zomi women” - Yale-Edinburgh Group on World Christianity and the History of Mission Annual Conference, University of Edinburgh, UK (June 2018)  

Chapters and Articles

Co-editor of Special Issue "Women in World Christianity" of Studies in World Christianity 29, no. 1 (2023)

“Editorial: Women in World Christianity: Navigating Identities” Studies in World Christianity 29, no. 1 (2023): 1-9

"The Trauma of Hybridity." In Bearing Witness: Intersectional Perspectives on Trauma Theology edited by Karen O’Donnell and Katie Cross, 40-57. London: SCM Press, 2022.

Book Reviews

Review of Ancestral Feeling: Postcolonial Thoughts on Western Christian Heritage, by Renie Chow Choy. Practical Theology 15, no. 4 (2022): 397- 398.

Review of Radical Grace: Justice for the Poor and Marginalised – Charles Wesley’s Views for the 21st Century, by S. T. Kimbrough, Jr. The Expository Times 130, no. 2 (2018): 97-98.

Review of Reading Ruth in Asia by Jione Havea & Peter H. W. Lau (eds). The Expository Times 129, no. 3 (2017): 140-41