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 consumerism in colonial Burma. I am currently completing my second book project, “Inter-Asian Intimacies and Alienations: Memories, Laws, and Politics of Marriage and Collaboration Across Colonialisms, c. 1850–c.1950.” It traces the little known history and legacy of inter-Asian marriages and collaborations, and racializations and terrorizations under colonial rule. It shows that intimate relations among imperial and colonized Asian subjects—rather than the all too familiar and romanticized heterosexual coupling of the white male colonizer and the native female—constituted the primary, and hitherto unrecognized, site for the articulation of modern understandings of religion, race, family, and nation that continue to vex many regions of Asia today. I am also at work on two new research projects. One explores the history of vernacular sexual culture through the life and writings of the modernist writer, Catholic apostate, and Burma’s pioneering sexologist P. Moe Nin (1883–1940). The other, co-directed with Dr. D. Christian Lammerts (Religion Department, Rutgers University), is a photographic historical study of Japanese, Chinese, Hindu, and Muslim cemeteries in Burma-Myanmar.
- 506:210: Sex and Power
- 508:250: Southeast Asia and the World
- 506:363: Imperialism
- 090:293: Intimate Matters: Sex & Marriage in Global Perspective (SAS Honors Seminar)
- 510:539: Colloquium in Women’s and Gender History
- 510:522: Comparative Colonialisms in Asia
- 510:549: Seminar in Women’s and Gender History
- “Belonging Across Religion, Race, and Nation in Burma-Myanmar,” in The Palgrave International Handbook of Mixed Racial and Ethnic Classification, edited by Zarine L. Rocha and Peter J. Aspinall (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020): 757–778.
- “Talking Sex, Making Love: P. Moe Nin and Intimate Modernity in Colonial Burma,” in Modern Times in Southeast Asia, 1920s–1970s, edited by Susie Protschky and Tom van den Berge (Leiden: Brill, 2018): 136–165.
- “Transcultural Intimacies in British Burma and the Straits Settlements: A History of Belonging, Difference, and Empire,” in Belonging Across the Bay of Bengal: Religious Rites, Colonial Migrations, National Rights, edited by Michael Laffan (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017): 117–138.
- “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 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
- National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2020–2021
- Japan Studies Fellowship, Japan Foundation, 2019–2020
- GAIA Grant for Interdisciplinary Working Groups (Special Focus: Rethinking Regional and Area Studies), Center for Global Advancement and International Affairs, Rutgers University, 2016–2017
- Center for Southeast Asian Studies Fellowship for Visiting Research Scholar, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, 2015
- 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
- Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, 2003–2004
- International Fellowship, American Association of University Women, 2002–2003