Trude Jacobsen

Current Research

I am finishing a biography of Sherlock Hare, who typifies the experience of many lesser sons in the British Empire with more money than sense. Forcibly repatriated from Burma in 1891, Hare nonetheless continued to bombard the India Office with schemes for how various places in the Indian Ocean could be exploited - and they continued to take him seriously, although his communications emanated from the Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane until his death in 1914. Shorter projects include commissioned analytical pieces on present-day politics and society in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and NGO approaches to gender-based violence in the Mekong Delta. My next major project will be an exploration of how technical assistance impacted the health systems of the avowedly “neutral” countries during the Cold War.

Major Publications


Articles/Book Chapters

  • Querulous queens, bellicose brai: Cambodian perspectives toward female agency. In Vina Lanzona and Frederik Rettig (eds), Women Warriors in Southeast Asia (London: Routledge, 2020),48-63.
  • “Independence to Disaster: Cambodia 1945-1975.” In Tim West, ed., Cambodia and the West (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018).
  • “Cambodia in French Indochina, 1900-1945.” In Tim West, ed., Cambodia and the West (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018).
  • “Very superstitious: Gendered punishment and punitive memory in Democratic Kampuchea.” In Elissa Bemporad and Joyce Warren (eds), Women and Genocide (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2017).
  • “The Curious Case of Sherlock Hare: Race, Class and Mental Health in British Burma.”  Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 15.3 (Winter 2014). Nominated for the Berkshire Prize 2014.
  • “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).
  • “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).

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 – South and Southeast Asia, French Indochina, violence, and gender history – I teach in the general Asia and global fields across all levels, particularly for the pre-1800 stream of history. I have also taught the foundation course in Women’s Studies (WOMS230), ANTH 422/522 Gender in Southeast Asia, and sections of SEAS225 Southeast Asia: Crossroads. Before joining NIU, I taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, Monash University, the University of Queensland and both the Center for Khmer Studies and Pannasastra University in Cambodia. In 2015, I co-taught a course on Public Health in Southeast Asia through the Institute for Southeast Asian Affairs in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I also regularly carry out curriculum infusion and grant-writing workshops for community colleges in the US, universities in Southeast Asia and government agencies looking to upgrade the capacity of their staff.

Courses Taught

  • HIST 140 - Asia to 1500
  • HIST 141 - Asia since 1500
  • HIST 170 - World History to 1500
  • HIST 171 - World History since 1500
  • HIST 340 - Ancient India
  • HIST 341 - Modern India
  • HIST 342 - Southeast Asia to c. 1800
  • HIST 343 - Southeast Asia since c. 1800
  • HIST 346 - Women in Asian History
  • HIST 387 - History of Genocide
  • HIST 442/542 - Buddhist Southeast Asia
  • HIST 447/547 - History of Burma
  • HIST 469/569 - Vietnam War
  • HIST 495 - Senior Thesis
  • ILAS 590 - iNGOs and Globalization
  • Graduate Reading Seminars: Gender and Sexuality, Key Texts in Southeast Asia
  • Graduate Research Seminars: Violence, Gender and Sexuality

Interdisciplinary Affiliations

Honors Faculty Fellow (2020-2021)

As an Honors Faculty Fellow, Professor Jacobsen will teach a seminar on Disasters: Exploring Human Responses to Catastrophes in fall 2020 in the University Honors Program. The Honors Faculty Fellowship program identifies faculty eager to teach innovative, exciting seminars of interest to highly-motivated students from across the university. View the course syllabus.

Remote Teaching Fellow (2020-2021)

Professor Jacobsen has been designated a Remote Teaching Fellow by the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning as faculty transition to the online teaching format. She assists other faculty in designing and implementing their online courses for the best possible learning outcomes for students. Faculty may book a consultation with Professor Jacobsen.



Sean Farrell

Trude Jacobsen
Zulauf 605

South and Southeast Asia; Gender and Sexuality

Ph.D., University of Queensland, 2004

Office Hours

Wednesday, 3-5 p.m.