Fields of Study: Asia, Southeast Asia Colonial Empires, Comparative, Cultural/Intellectual, Gender, Sexuality and Women, Legal, Memory and Commemoration, Nationalism and Identity, Violence
Office: Pottenger House 200
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.
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.