Professor Alfred William McCoy, after Ph.D. graduation, spends most of his time contributing to the in-depth research in wide varieties of publications related to the Philippines’ social history and politics together with the heroin trafficking in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the entire world. Due to his first and famous publication in 1972, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tried to block this publication since it is indicated that CIA was involved in the production of Heroin in the Golden Triangle of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand. However, it was translated into nine foreign languages and regarded as the “classic” work on the global drug traffick. Aside from his books on the Philippines, his recent works are, for instance, Torture and Impunity: The U.S. Doctrine of Coercive Interrogation (2012) and In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power (2017). At present, he is a Fred Harvey Harrington Professor of History at University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States of America. His main teaching topics include the Vietnam Wars, modern history of Southeast Asia, the United States’ foreign policy, colonial empires in Southeast Asia, global drug trafficking, and CIA operations.
Ma Thida (ca. 1966) is a medical doctor, writer, human rights activist and former prisoner of conscience. She currently edits at a Burmese magazine, Shwe Amyutay and a two-weekly journal, Info Digest; and also volunteers at a free clinic run by a local NGO. In October 1993, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison for "endangering public peace, having contact with illegal organizations, and distributing unlawful literature." But in 1999, she was released due to declining health, increasing political pressure and the efforts of organizations like Amnesty International and PEN International. She was awarded several international human rights awards, including the Reebok Human Rights Award (1996), the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award (1996), Freedom of Speech Award by Norwegian Writers Union (2011) and Vaclav Havel’s Disturbing the Peace; Courageous Writer at Risk Award (2016) . From 2008 to 2010, she lived in the US as an International Writers Project Fellow at Brown University and a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University. She was the very first elected president of PEN Myanmar (2013-16) and also elected as a board member of PEN International since 2016 October.