Eric Alan Jones

Current Research 

My first book, Wives, Slaves and Concubines (NIU, 2010) looked at the female underclass in colonial Southeast Asia. In it, I painted 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 many 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. While spending a year as a Fulbright professor in Malaysia, I became 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.

Major Publications


Articles/Book Chapters

  • "Fugitive Women: Slavery and Social Change in Early Modern Southeast Asia," Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 38, No. 2 (June 2007)
  • "Courts and Courtship: An Examination of Legal Practice in Dutch Asia," Leidschrift: Historisch Tijdschrift, Vol. 21, No. 2. (2006), 31-50.
  • "Indonesia: Hundreds of Thousands Perish, the West Elated," Asian Studies Newsletter, Spring 2005, Vol. 50:2, 15.
  • "Dutch Empire", "Calvinism", "Jakarta", "Sukarno", "Malaysia", "Dutch East Indies", "Dutch East India Company (VOC)", "Dutch West Indies", "Dutch West India Company", "Afrikaans", entries in Melvin E. Page (ed.), Colonialism: An International Social, Cultural, and Political Encyclopedia, 3 vols. (ABC-CLIO: Santa Barbara, CA, 2003)

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 have taken students for coursework and travel abroad. The food, the weather, the people, and the history – all warm.

Courses Taught

  • HIST 171 The World Since 1500
  • HIST 343 / 498J-P3 History of Southeast Asia Since 1800
  • HIST 447 History of Burma
  • HIST 448 History of Indonesia
  • HIST 449 History of Malaysia – Study Abroad
  • HIST 498 History of Cambodia
  • HIST 510C/560 US and Southeast Asia
  • HIST 560 Islam in Southeast Asia

Interdisciplinary Affiliations

Honors Faculty Fellow (2022-2023)

As an Honors Faculty Fellow, Professor Jones will teach a seminar on Spies, Lies, and Secret Wars CIA in fall 2022 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.


Sean Farrell

Eric Alan Jones
Associate Professor 
Reavis 306A

Island Southeast Asia

Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 2003

Office Hours

Tuesday and Thursday
2-3:30 p.m. (online) and by appointment