Faculty Directory

Trude Jacobsen

Assistant Chair and Associate Professor 

Fields of Study: Asia, Southeast Asia Colonial Empires, Comparative, Cultural/Intellectual, Gender, Sexuality and Women, Legal, Memory and Commemoration, Nationalism and Identity, Violence

E-mail: tjacobsen1@niu.edu
Office: Zulauf 615

Education: Ph.D., University of Queensland, 2004

Current Research: I am currently writing my second single-authored monograph, tentatively entitled Intersections of Desire, Duty and Debt: Sexual Contracts in Mainland Southeast Asia. The product of my ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Monash University, this will provide historical and cultural explanations for the prevalence of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking within the countries of and across the porous borders of mainland Southeast Asia, namely those between southern Vietnam and Cambodia and between Burma and Thailand. Policies and projects for the eradication of forced labour in the sex sector have uniformly failed; I will argue that this failure stems from a lack of understanding of a complex set of factors, including the definition of slavery, the concept of childhood, and attitudes toward gender and sexualty that have not altered much in the past millennium, despite the advent of world religions and colonialism. I also have an interest in processes of justice and reconciliation in non-western contexts, historical anthropology, mental health in colonial contexts in Asia, and the role that material culture plays in constructing or reconstructing identities.

Major/Recent Publications:

  • The Curious Case of Sherlock Hare: Race, Class and Mental Health in British Burma. Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 15.3 (Winter 2014).
  • Debt Bondage in Cambodia’s Past – and Present. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, vol. 15, 1 (February 2014): 32-43.
  • Power and political culture in Cambodia (co-authored with Martin Stuart-Fox) Asia Research Institute (ARI) Working Paper Series (Singapore), no. 200 (May 2013).
  • In search of the Khmer bhikkuni: Reading between the lines in late classical and early middle Cambodia (13th-18th centuries). Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, vol. 4 (May 2013).
  • Rise of the Sarimanok, Vol. I in The Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University, 1963-2013. DeKalb, Il.: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, 2013. Lead author; co-author Maria Hancock Nihei. ISBN 9781891134326
  • Being broh: Masculinities in 21st century Cambodia. In Michele Ford and Lenore Lyons (eds), Masculinities in Southeast Asia (London: Routledge, 2011).
  • ‘Riding a buffalo to cross a muddy field’: Heuristic approaches to feminism in Cambodia. In Mina Roces and Louise Edwards (eds), Women’s movements in Asia: Feminism and transnational activism (London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 207-223.
  • Lost Goddesses: The Denial of Female Power in Cambodian History. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2008.
  • Trudy Jacobsen, Charles Sampford and Ramesh Thakur (eds), The End of Westphalia? Re–Envisioning Sovereignty. Richmond, Surrey: Ashgate, 2008.
  • Tep Vong, Buddhist leadership, and negotiating a ‘middle path’ in Cambodian politics.  In J.V. d’Cruz, Nathan Collier, and Gloria Davies (eds), Political actors and ideas in contemporary Asia: Profiles in courage. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Press, 2008, pp. 129-142.
  • Beyond apsara: Women, tradition and trajectories in Cambodian politics. In Kazuki Iwanaga (ed.), Women’s political participation and representation in Asia: Obstacles and challenges. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2008, pp. 149-172.
  • Maha-upasika: Selathoa neung ompee chakrasel roboh satrei bravates Kampuchea na samay kandal.  Sikacakr 8/9 (2006-2007): 75-95.
  • Paying through the nose: Punishment in the Cambodian past and lessons for the present. South East Asia Research 13, 2 (July 2005): 235–256. 

Teaching Interests: I have a wide range of teaching interests, as is reflected in the number of fields in which I teach at NIU. In addition to my areas of specialization – Southeast Asia, violence, and gender history – I teach in the general Asia and global fields across all levels, particularly for the pre-1700 stream of history. I have also taught the foundation course in Women’s Studies (WOMS230) and sections of ILAS225 Southeast Asia: Crossroads. Before joining NIU, I taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and both the Center for Khmer Studies and Pannasastra University in Cambodia.

 Courses Taught:

  • HIST140                  Asia to 1500
  • HIST141                  Asia since 1500
  • HIST171                  World History since 1500
  • HIST340                  Ancient India
  • HIST342                  Southeast Asia to c. 1800
  • HIST343                  Southeast Asia since c. 1800
  • HIST346                  Women in Asian History
  • HIST442/542          Buddhist Southeast Asia
  • HIST447/547          History of Burma
  • HIST469/569          Vietnam War
  • HIST6xx                   Graduate Reading Seminar
  • HIST7xx                   Graduate Research Seminar

Interdisciplinary Affiliations:

  • Center for Southeast Asian Studies (Assistant Director, 2011-2014; Interim Director, January-August 2012)
  • Women’s Studies Program