Research projects

  • The historical formation of Chinese identities.
  • Much writing on Chinese in Southeast Asia lacks a real historical dimension. Although we commonly use the term "Chinese", our understanding of what constituted Chinese identity or ethnicity for the individuals who came south from various parts of the China coast is a very complex issue. One special interest would be in the different dialect groups and their various business networks overseas and how these elements contribute to or distracted from their so-called "Chineseness" for themselves and how their distinctive sub-ethnic business networks and relationships to China, to Chinese nationalism and to the colonial powers operated at different times and in different places.
  • The regional factors which contributed to the constructions of a range of Chinese sub-ethnicities and networks.
  • The social, cultural and political gaps that traditionally separated the peoples to the north from those of the southern coasts.
  • The meaning of Southeast Asian and Southwest Pacific Chinese identity, both in relation to the Chinese state as well as to the various peoples of Southeast Asia among whom they settled.
  • Alternative versions of the histories of Southeast Asia and Southwest Pacific in which Chinese played an important part.
  • The issues beyond the conventional division of "Chinese" and "non-Chinese" issues.
  • The study of economic, social and business networks among various Chinese groups as well as with indigenous or local political and social elites

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster