I am an anthropologist of ethnic Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia. I am also an analyst of Southeast Asian transnational migration patterns and China’s soft-power efforts in Asia.
I teach as an Assistant Professor of Humanities (Education) at the School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University, where I am also the Coordinator of the School’s Global Asia second major. My research examines Chinese identity politics in Indonesia, Indonesian transnational migrations, as well as how ethnic Chinese communities in Southeast Asia respond to the rise of China.
My expert commentary has been sought after by international media outlets such as The Economist, The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, 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 of History at the School of Humanities, Nanyang Technological University, and then a Visiting Fellow in the Indonesia Studies Programme at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, both in Singapore. I received my Ph.D. in Anthropology from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. My forthcoming book – titled ‘Memories of Unbelonging: Collective Trauma and Chinese Identity Politics in Indonesia’ – was developed from my Doctoral dissertation and examines how collective memories of past anti-Chinese discrimination influence contemporary Chinese Indonesian identity politics.
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.