I am an anthropologist and contemporary historian of ethnic Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia. I am also an analyst of China’s soft-power diplomacy in Asia Pacific.
Currently, I am a Visiting Fellow in the Indonesia Studies Programme at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. My research examines Chinese identity politics in Indonesia, as well as how Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia respond to the rise of China, particularly in context of China’s recent foreign policy initiatives such as the 21st Century Silk Road Economic Belt .
My expert commentary has been sought after by international media outlets such as Al-Jazeera, The New York Times, The Guardian, Financial Times, The LA Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia among others. I frequently write opinion pieces on matters to do with identity politics in Indonesia. I also co-host Talking Indonesia, a fortnightly podcast about Indonesian politics and society.
I was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University. I received my Ph.D. in Anthropology from La Trobe University. My forthcoming book – titled ‘Memories of Unbelonging: Collective Trauma and Chinese Identity Politics in Indonesia’ (under contract with University of Hawai’i Press) – was developed from my Doctoral dissertation and examines how collective memories of past anti-Chinese discrimination influence contemporary Chinese Indonesian identities.
I have worked as an ethnographic researcher, lecturer, policy analyst and research project manager. My broad research interests include: academic research into Indonesia, Chinese soft-power in Asia-Pacific, Overseas Chinese diaspora, migration, social inclusion, multicultural policy, films and documentaries, popular culture and transnationalism. I am also a keen traveller and a collector of snowglobes.