Our Faculty

Barbara Watson Andaya

Research Areas
Professor Andaya's specific area of expertise is the western Malay-Indonesia archipelago, on which she has published widely but she maintains an active teaching and research interest across all Southeast Asia. Her recent publications include The Flaming Womb: Repositioning Women in Early Modern Southeast Asia (2006) and (with Leonard Y Andaya) A History of Early Modern Southeast Asia (2015) and A History of Malaysia (third edition, 2016); Her present project is a history of gender and religious interaction in Southeast Asia, 1511-1940.
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Teaching Subjects
  • Engendering the History of Southeast Asia
  • Globalisation of Southeast Asia

Christine Walker

Research Areas
Assistant Professor Christine Walker specialises in the history of early America within broader Atlantic and global contexts. Her current work explores how Jamaica became the wealthiest and largest slaveholding colony in the 18th-century British empire. Specifically, she investigates the crucial roles played by women of all races in shaping the contours of imperial settlement and propagating slave-based labour regimes. Her scholarship considers how the expansion of slavery reconfigured traditional gendered social hierarchies.
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Teaching Subjects
  • Nasty Girls: Gender, Sexuality & Race in Early America
  • The Atlantic World
  • Imperial Outlaws: Social Deviants in the Age of Empires
  • Empire, Slavery and the Making of the Americas

Claudine Ang

Research Areas
Assistant Professor Claudine Ang’s research interests straddle the disciplines of literature and history, as well as the fields of East and Southeast Asia. She is particularly interested in the political uses of literature, including Vietnamese drama and Chinese landscape poetry, in the Mekong delta. She specialises in 18th- and 19th-century southern Vietnamese frontier history, and her research includes a critical study of a vernacular Vietnamese play written in the demotic Vietnamese script, which she has translated. Additionally, she has published on debates in 20th-century Vietnamese historiography in the Journal of Vietnamese Studies.
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Teaching Subjects
  • Chinese Migrations to Southeast Asia
  • History and Culture of Southeast Asia
  • Ming Imperial Voyages, 1405-1433
  • Modern Vietnamese History and Literature

Ernst Emmanuel Mayer

Research Areas
Professor Ernst Emmanuel Mayer’s research is driven by questions of how material evidence can reveal patterns of social, economic and cultural history, and enrich, complement, and contextualise evidence from ancient literature and epigraphy. His scholarly focus is on urban life and visual culture, but he also works on the archaeology of the ancient economy and the role of trade and technology in the Roman Empire. Professor Mayer is currently writing a book that explores the social and cultural consequences of long distance trade between the Mediterranean and India.
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Teaching Subjects
  • Roman Urban Life and Visual Culture
  • Pompeii: Art, Urban Life & Culture in the Roman Empire
  • Literature & Humanities 1

Gavin Flood

Research Areas
Professor Gavin Flood’s research has focused on Hinduism, particularly medieval tantric traditions and their texts, and broader questions in the history and explanation of religions. He is interested in comparative religion that links deep philological reading, as in his critical edition of the Netra-tantra, to broader philosophical concerns, as in his research on religion and the philosophy of life.
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Teaching Subjects
  • World Religious Poetry
  • The Self in Comparative Perspective
  • Philosophy and Political Thought

J Anthony Day

Research Areas
Senior Lecturer Tony Day is interested in developing comparative approaches to the study of Southeast Asian cultural history. His interests include Javanese-language historical and literary texts from the 19th-century, state formation in Southeast Asia from early to contemporary times, postcolonial literature and thought in Southeast Asia, cultural responses to the Cold War in Southeast Asia, and Southeast Asian film.
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Teaching Subjects
  • 1887: Pasteur, Holmes, Yersin, Rizal
  • Literature and Humanities II

 

Jessica Hanser

Research Areas
As an Assistant Professor, my research explores three themes: cross-cultural trade, diplomacy, and British imperial expansion in China during the eighteenth century. My book monograph, Mr. Smith Goes to China, provides the first micro-historical examination of Sino-British relations in Canton before the First Opium War. My second project, The East India Company’s Slaves, will examine various forms of un-free labor including debt bondage, captivity, indenture, convict labor and chattel slavery in Britain’s emerging commercial empire in East Asia between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.
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Teaching Subjects
  • The First Opium War, 1839-42
  • History of the British Empire
  • Rise of the West and The Great Divergence
  • Drug Empires
  • History of Orientalism
  • China and the West
  • Slavery in World History
  • Comparative Social Inquiry
  • Modern Social Thought

Mate Rigo

Research Areas
Dr Rigo is currently working on his book manuscript, which is under consideration by Cornell University Press. The working title of the book is Creative Destruction: The First World War and the Survival of Business Elites at the Margins of Empire. The monograph investigates how and why business elites survived the cataclysm of the First World War in both Western and East-Central Europe.

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Teaching Subjects
  • Modern Social Thought
  • Europe and the Sea

Naoko Shimazu

Research Areas
Professor Naoko Shimazu is a global historian with a regional specialisation of East Asia writ large. Her main research interests concern the cultural history of international diplomacy, social and cultural history of modern societies at war, and new approaches to the study of empire. Her case studies derive from the 20th-century, focusing on Japan, and/or more broadly on Asia, including their interactions with the West. She is currently completing her monograph, Diplomacy as Theatre: The Bandung Conference of 1955 and the Making of the Third World.
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Teaching Subjects
  • History Capstone Course
  • The Bandung Conference of 1955
  • Comparative Social Inquiry

Rochisha Narayan

Research Areas
Dr Rochisha Narayan is a historian of Early Modern and Modern India with research interests in histories of women, gender, family, state-formation, political economy and colonial law. Currently, she is working on her book manuscript entitled, Widows in the Transition to Colonial Rule: Gender, Family and State in Northern India, c.1748 – 1835, which centres women and gender relations in the history of the making of early colonial rule in India. It demonstrates the ways in which elite and non-elite widows negotiated with the East India Company State as enterprisers and agents even as the Company masculinised social and economic institutions to facilitate the movement of capital into its coffers.
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Teaching Subjects
  • Modern Social Thought
  • Gender, Household and State in Mughal India, 1526-1757

Scott Cook

Research Areas
Professor Scott Cook specialises in pre-imperial textual studies and early Chinese intellectual history, with emphases in recently excavated bamboo manuscripts and musical thought.
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Teaching Subjects
  • Chinese Philosophical Tradition
  • Chinese Literary Tradition
  • Chinese Poetry
  • Classical Chinese
  • Beginning Chinese
  • Advanced Chinese
  • Argumentation in the Ancient World
  • Music, Society, and the Cosmos
  • Drinking in the Ancient World

Sureshkumar Muthukumaran

Research Areas
Dr Muthukumaran specialises in the history of connectivity in ancient Eurasia, with a particular focus on its biological aspect i.e. the anthropogenic spread of flora, fauna, pests, commensals and microbial pathogenic organisms. He is currently working on transforming his PhD thesis, which explores the spread of tropical Asian crops to the Middle East and the Mediterranean in antiquity, into a book manuscript.

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Teaching Subjects
  • Literature and Humanities I

Taran Kang

Research Areas
Assistant Professor Taran Kang specialises in modern European intellectual history. His research seeks to bring a global perspective to the history of ideas with an attentiveness to Europe’s position in relation to other parts of the world. He has a particular interest in the formation of modern historical thought and the aesthetics of evil. His work, which has appeared in the Journal of the History of Ideas and the German Studies Review, operates at the intersections of history, philosophy, and literature.
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Teaching Subjects
  • The Problem of Evil from the Enlightenment to Auschwitz
  • Nietzsche: An Untimely Thinker and His Times
  • The History of History
  • History and Philosophy of the Scientific Revolution
  • Philosophy and Political Thought