Research and Publications

Peer reviewed:

  • Research article: '"State of Intoxication:" Governing Alcohol and Disease in the Forests of British North Borneo,' eTropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, Vol. 20, No. 1, (2021), pp. 1-21. [In press, February 2021].

  • Research article: 'The friction of distance in Borneo: Migration, economic change and geographic space in Sabah,' World History Connected, Vol. 17, No. 3, (October 2020). [Link]

  • Research article: 'Dimming the Seas around Borneo: Contesting Island Sovereignty and Lighthouse Administration amidst the End of Empire, 1946–1948,' TRaNS: Trans–Regional and –National Studies of Southeast Asia, Vol. 7, No. 2 (November 2019), pp. 181-207. [doi:10.1017/trn.2019.5]



Current research projects:

  • Research article: 'Phantom Borneo: The rise and demise of the Kalimantan Utara movement in late-colonial Sabah,' under review, February 2021.

    • This article looks at​ Sabah amidst the end of empire. It examines the rise of transnational anti-colonialism, subversive radio and regional state-making projects.  Alongside the Malaysia plan, the emergence of Negara Kesatuan Kalimantan Utara [the Unitary State of Northern Borneo] wrought profound changes to the region. Termed by this article a ‘phantom state’—a shadowy entity that existed in propaganda, over the airwaves and in exile across Southeast Asia—Kalimantan Utara redefined Sabah’s relationship with its colonial metropole, alongside that of Malaya, Indonesia and the Philippines. It compelled Sabah's public to cast their weight behind colonial and Malayan-approved visions for decolonisation.

  • Book manuscript: Contestation over Borneo and the Emergence of Intergovernmental Associations in Post-Colonial Southeast Asia, 1960s – 1970s.  [In progress, January 2021].

Upcoming projects:

  • 'Reconceptualising decolonisation along the edges of empire, 1950s–1960s.'

    • In this project I aim to offer a reconceptualisation of how historians should approach decolonisation​. Refocusing the academic lens on Southeast Asia--an often overlooked region--I will argue that recent scholarship has been too fixated on the rise-apex-decline trajectories of imperialism, leaving important post-colonial continuities unturned. These 'fall of Rome'-style narratives are misleading, and, as I argue, often incorrect. By identifying issues in the ways that the past is periodised in contemporary historiography, I aim to show how decolonisation, 'liberation' and the end of empire remains a figment of fanciful--and sometimes teleological--narratives.