Projects per year
Office: 1.2, 26/27 St. Michael's Park
Phone: +44 (0)117 928 7912
Consultation hours: Mondays 2-3 and Wednesdays 11-12
I specialise in global and transnational history in the twentieth century, with a thematic focus on urban history, civil society, gender, cosmopolitanism, internationalism, decolonisation, and migration, from the late colonial era to the Cold War. My geographical focus is mainly Southeast Asia (especially Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand), along with an ever-increasing interest in port-cities of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Rim.
My first monograph, Cities in Motion: urban life and cosmopolitanism in Southeast Asia 1920-1940 (2016) won the Urban History Association Prize for Best Book (Non-North America, 2015-2016). It sought to move away from nation-based histories of Southeast Asia to explore the role of the city, and especially the modern woman, through intersecting themes of urban space, cross-cultural sociability, education, the press, and popular culture in late colonial Penang, Rangoon, and Bangkok.
I co-lead a collaborative research network, which was funded by the AHRC, around the social history of post-colonial solidarity. Moving away from diplomatic histories of the post-colonial era, we examine the transnational movements of activists (including trade unions and women's groups), literati, and artists in the 1950s across Asia and Africa. See http://afroasiannetworks.com/
My contribution to the network focuses on the transnational networks that emerged out of the Asian Socialist Conference. I am currently working transnational histories of socialist internationalism and the emergence of a development technocracy in the Global South.
I am also interested in the role of African-Americans in Cold War Asia; I have just completed a paper on A. Philip Randolph's journey to early Cold War Burma and Japan. My broader research interests involve the international dimensions behind the growth of civil society in Burma, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Before arriving at Bristol in September 2014, I was Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham from 2013-2014. I was a Mellon post-doctoral fellow in the Department of South and Southeast Asian studies at the University of California, Berkeley between 2011 and 2013. In summer 2011, I participated in the month-long Sixth International Seminar on Decolonization hosted by the National History Center in Washington D.C. I was a Past and Present post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Historical Research in London in 2010/11.
I have also worked on and managed community-driven development projects for the World Bank and International Organization for Migration in Indonesia, where I developed an interest in the history of local civil society organizations and grassroots social movements in Southeast Asia.
I would be interested in supervising students who wish to work on any topic relating to my research interests. I also welcome proposals relating to global/transnational connections in Asia and the political, social, intellectual, and cultural history of Southeast Asia between 1880 and the present. I am currently co-supervising, with Robert Bickers, PhD students working on: the history of Britishness and Asian communities in colonial Hong Kong; Macanese communities in Hong Kong; emergence of the suit in post-war Hong Kong; Chinese students in 1920s Paris, and post-war rehabilitation and humanitarianism in China. I am also the lead supervisor, with Robert Skinner, of a thesis examining Indonesian participation in Afro-Asian networks of solidarity.
I currently offer the following undergraduate units:
Modern Girls and New Women (second-year Lecture Response Unit)
Global Cities (third-year Lecture Response Unit)
Colonial Radicals (first-year Special Topic)
After Empire (second-year Special Field)
I also contribute lectures to the Introduction to the British Empire (first year lecture outline unit) and Rethinking History (second-year lecture outline unit)
- 'We are not copyists: Socialist Networks and Non-Alignment From Below in A. Philip Randolph's Asian Journey', Journal of Social History 2019 53:2
- 'Asian Socialists and the Forgotten Architects of Post-Colonial Freedom', Journal of World History 2019 Special issue on 'Other Bandungs'
- '[Introduction, with Carolien Stolte] 'Other Bandungs: Afro-Asian Networks in the Early Cold War'. Journal of World History 2019 Special issue on 'Other Bandungs'
- Co-authored with the Afro-Asian Networks Research Collective, 'Manifesto - Networks of Decolonisation in Asia and Africa', Radical History Review (May 2018)
- 'Afro-Asian Threads: Batik and African Print-Fashion, from Vlisco to Mandela', Afro-Asian Networks blog
- 'Plural Pasts in Southeast Asian Cities', Global Urban History blog
- 'Skies the Bind: Air Travel in the Bandung Era', Afro-Asian Networks blog
- Cities in Motion: Urban Life and Cosmopolitanism in Southeast Asia 1920-1940 (Cambridge University Press - Asian Connections Series, 2016)
- Forum: 'A world of ideas: new pathways in global intellectual history, c. 1880-1930' co-authored with Stefanie Gaenger, Modern Intellectual History, forthcoming Vol. 10:2, August 2013
- 'Between Orientalism and Nationalism: the learned society and the making of "Southeast Asia''', Modern Intellectual History, forthcoming Vol. 10:2, August 2013
- 'Women on the Move: review of Mina Roces and Louise Edwards' Women's Movements in Asia: Feminisms and Transnational Activism', International Institute of Asian Studies Newsletter (Leiden, Autumn 2012)
- Editorial 'The roots of global civil society and the interwar moment’, co-authored with Andrew Arsan and Anne-Isabelle Richard, Journal of Global History Vol. 7:2, July 2012
- 'Rotary International's "acid test": muti-ethnic associational life in 1930s Southeast Asia', Journal of Global History 7:2, July 2012
- ‘Cosmopolitanism and the Modern Girl: A Cross-cultural Discourse in 1930s Penang’ in Modern Asian Studies 43:6, November 2009
- ‘Print and Colonial Port-Cultures of the Indian Ocean: Rangoon and Penang’ in Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, December 2009 (republished in Moussons no 7 Social Science Research on Southeast Asia for special issue on ‘the Moving Frontiers of Burma’, summer 2011)
- 'Echoes of Cosmopolitanism: Colonial Penang’s ‘Indigenous’ English Press’ in Media and the British Empire Ed. Chandrika Kaul (London: Palgrave Macmillan, March 2006)
Structured keywords and research groupings
- Migration Mobilities Bristol
- Urban Research Cluster
- Centre for Black Humanities
- Centre for Environmental Humanities
10/12/15 → 9/06/18
Research Output per year
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter in a book
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article (Academic Journal)
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)