I am a historian of Southeast Asia with interests in the related fields of Asian history/studies, women’s and gender history, race, gender and sexuality studies, and postcolonial studies. Before joining Rutgers University, I taught in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore.
My first book examined colonial politics, gender and race relations, social reforms, anticolonialism, media, and consumerismin colonial Burma. I am currently completing my second book project, Transcultural Intimacies in Colonial Burma, Southeast Asia, and Beyond. It traces the history and legacy of intimate encounters that have been largely neglected despite their overwhelming prevalence in colonial Southeast Asia: inter-Asian marriages, companionships, and collaborations. Spanning the late 19th to the mid-20th century, the book explores the varying experiences and meanings of transcultural intimacy during a period in global history characterized, on the one hand, by inclusionary (and often utopian) pan-Asian civilizational discourses and solidarity movements and, on the other, by anti-Asian racism and exclusionary movements that targeted Chinese, Indian, and other “unassimilable” foreign and mixed Asian populations.
I am also at work on a new research project on the history of sexology and intimate modernity in Southeast Asia that focuses on the modernist writer, Catholic convert and apostate, and Burma’s first sexologist, P. Monin (1883-1940).
- 508:250: Southeast Asia and the World
- 506:363: Imperialism
- 090:297: What About Love? Marriage and Family in Cross-Cultural Perspective (SAS Honors Seminar)
- 510:539: Colloquium in Women’s and Gender History
- 510:522: Comparative Colonialisms in Asia
- “Masculinities in Asia: A Review Essay,” Asian Studies Review 38.2 (June 2014): 243-252.
- “Colonial Intimacies in Comparative Perspective: Intermarriage, law, and cultural difference in British Burma,” Special issue, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 14.1 (Spring 2013).
- “The Life and Writings of a Patriotic Feminist: Independent Daw San of Burma,” in Women in Southeast Asian Nationalist Movements, edited by Susan Blackburn and Helen Ting (National University of Singapore Press, 2013): 23-47.
- Refiguring Women, Colonialism, and Modernity in Burma (University of Hawai’i Press, 2011).
- “The Scientific and Hygienic Housewife-and-Mother: Education, Consumption, and the Discourse of Domesticity,” Journal of Burma Studies 14 (2010): 59 – 89.
- “The Modern Burmese Woman and the Politics of Fashion in Colonial Burma,” Journal of Asian Studies 67.4 (2008): 1277 – 1308.
- “The ‘Traditional’ High Status of Women in Burma: A Historical Reconsideration,” Journal of Burma Studies 10 (2005/2006): 51 – 81.
FELLOWSHIPS, GRANTS AND AWARDS
- Center for Southeast Asian Studies Fellowship for Visiting Research Scholar, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, 2015
- Institute for Research on Women Seminar Fellowship, Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 2013–2014
- Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Research Fellowship, National University of Singapore, 2011–2012
- Teaching Excellence Award, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, National University of Singapore, 2011
- Special Subject Research Grant, Toyota Foundation, 2006–2008
- Lauriston Sharp Dissertation Prize, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 2006
- Rockefeller Postdoctoral Fellowship, Project for Critical Asian Studies, Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington at Seattle, 2005–2006