The Burma Studies Foundation sadly reports the passing of our dear friend and esteemed colleague. A web site in memoriam has been designed by the Center for Burma Studies here. Our thoughts are with his family as well as all who knew, treasured, and learned from him.
FKL U Chit Hlaing (F. Kris Lehman), (PhD in Anthropology and Linguistics, Columbia University; BA in Mathematics, NYU) is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Linguistics, and Cognitive Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (taught 1952–2009). His academic specialities include: mathematical applications to ethnography, linguistics, and cognitive science. He has conducted research mainly in Burma, China and Northern Thailand, also NE India, with Chin-Mizo, Shan, Kayah, Wa, Nn Thai, Kachin, and Burman peoples and languages. Sayagyi Chit Hlaing's analytic work in linguistics is mainly on formal syntax-semantics in Burmese, Hakha Chin, Mizo, and Kcho (Tibeto-Burman family), and on Shan (Tai language); analytic work in anthropology, structure of cultural-conceptual systems, e.g., kinship, religion, etc.; and regional intergroup sociopolitical relations and ethnicity.
Among his numerous major publications across six decades are: The Structure of Chin Society (1963, Urbana: University of Illinois Press); "Who are the Karen, and if so, Why?," pp. 215–55 in C.F. Keyes, ed., Ethnic Adaptation and Identity: Karens on the Thai Frontier with Burma (1979, Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues); "Cognition and Computation," pp. 19–48 in Janet W.D. Dougherty, ed., Directions in Cognitive Anthropology (1985, Urbana: University of Illinois Press); "The Relevance of the Founders’ Cult for Understanding the Political Systems of the Peoples of Northern South East Asia and its Chinese Borderlands," pp. 15–39 in Nicola Tannenbaum and Cornelia A. Kammerer, eds. Founders’ Cults in Southeast Asia: Ancestors, Polity, and Identity (2003, New Haven: Monograph 52, Yale University Southeast Asia Program); and "The Place of Kinship in the Social System: A Formal-and- Consideration, with an Appendix on Descent and Alliance," Structure & Dynamics (2013, 6:1).