Assistant Director of Southeast Asian Studies / Assistant Professor
Fields of Study: Asia (Southeast Asia), Colonial Empires, Gender, Sexuality and Women, Legal/Constitutional/Policy
Office: Zulauf 714
Education: Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 2003
Current Research: I am currently finishing a book about the female underclass in Southeast Asia, called, Wives, Slaves and Concubines. In it, I have tried to paint stories about the kind of people who usually don't show up in history books, despite being in the overwhelming majority. My sources are mainly explosive court proceedings from the eighteenth century, and read like true crime tales full of violence, drama, sex and confessions. With these I am also trying to tell a bigger story about the social changes to the lower order accompanying a dramatic shift in the economic structures surrounding them. I recently spent a year as a Fulbright professor in Malaysia and have become very interested in the role of Islam in Southeast Asia. Future research projects will examine the history of the Islamic dietary code, halal, in the Malay world and possibly the Malaysian Hajj Fund, Tabung Haji.
Teaching Interests: As a teacher I handle most of the undergraduate and graduate history courses on Southeast Asia. In addition to responsibility for individual undergraduate courses on nearly every country in Southeast Asia, most frequently Indonesia and Burma, I also offer region-wide courses. For graduate course offerings, I've taught a range from Islam in Southeast Asia to Southeast Asia and the US. If you really want to see me get animated, ask me about my Study Abroad Malaysia class, where I annually take students for coursework and travel abroad. The food, the weather, the people, and the history – all warm.
Center for Southeast Asian Studies