Dr. Eaton is a specialist on the Japanese wartime empire and the occupation of Singapore during the Second World War. His work focuses on the relationship between the Japanese administrators of wartime Singapore, the majority of whom were civilians, and the local residents they compelled to help them govern this diverse port city. He is currently working to revise his PhD dissertation into a book manuscript.
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.
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
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.
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.
Pompeii: Art, Urban Life & Culture in the Roman Empire
Literature & Humanities 1
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.