Assistant Professor, History Department, National University of Singapore

Associate Member, Religion and Globalization Cluster, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

Member of editorial board, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

Editor of World Legal History blog part of H-Law (part of Humanities and Social Sciences Online)

Regional Editor for SHARIAsource for Southeast Asia (go-to website on Islamic law for researchers, journalists, and policymakers)

PREVIOUS APPOINTMENTS


July 2015-June 2016: Research Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

August 2012-June 2015: Mark Steinberg Weil Early Career Fellow in Islamic Studies in Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA

EDUCATION


September 2012: PhD, Department of History, Princeton University, (New Jersey, USA)

General Examination Fields: Southeast Asia, British Empire in the Nineteenth Century, Modern Middle East

Dissertation: Courting Jurisdictions- Colonial Administration of Islamic Law Pertaining to Arabs in the Straits Settlements and the Netherlands East Indies, 1860-1941

August 2006: Master of Arts, National University of Singapore Dissertation: Good Friends and Dangerous Enemies: British Images of the Arab Elite in Colonial Singapore (1819-1942)

July 2003: B.A. (Honours) English Literature, European Studies, National University of Singapore

Thesis: Aliens in the Margins – The Representations of French Muslims in French Films

PUBLICATIONS


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“The Question of Animal Slaughter in the British Straits Settlements during the Early Twentieth Century,” Indonesia and the Malay World, 43,126, July 2015, 173-190; Winner of Indonesia and the Malay World Young Scholar Prize 2014.

“Craving Bureaucracy: Marriage, Islamic Law, and Arab Petitioners in the Straits Settlements,” Muslim World. Volume 105, October 2015, 496-515.

“Legal Pluralism and the English East India Company in the Straits of Malacca during the Early Nineteenth Century,” Law and History Review, 33, 4: November 2015, 945-964.

“Class, White Women and Elite Asian Men in British Courts during the Late Nineteenth Century,” Journal of Women’s History, accepted for publication.

Other peer-reviewed publications
“Islamic Law and Inheritance” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History New York: Oxford University Press, 2016, forthcoming.

Articles in edited volumes
“British Colonial Law and the Establishment of Waqfs by Arabs in the Straits Settlements, 1860-1941” in The Worlds of the Trust. Lionel Smith, ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp.167-202.

Chapter 4 – Tea and Company: Interactions between the Arab Elite and the British in Cosmopolitan Singapore” in Hadhrami Diaspora in Southeast Asia: Identity Maintenance or Assimilation? Ahmad Ibrahim Abushouk and Hassan Ahmed Ibrahim, eds. Leiden: Brill, 2009, pp. 57-80.

Translations

English translation of Dutch novel Aboe Bakar (1894) by P.A. Daum, forthcoming. (Excerpt)

Book reviews

Review of The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites, Colonial Authority, and the Making of the Muslim State. Iza R. Hussin. St. Antony’s International Review (STAIR). Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2016.

Review of Taming the Wild: Aborigines and Racial Knowledge in Colonial Malaya Sandra Khor Manickam. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press 2015. Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 89: 1, no. 310 (June 2016), pp. 167-170.

Review of Doubt in Islamic Law: A History of Legal Maxims, Interpretation, and Islamic Criminal Law. Intisar Rabb. New York: Cambridge University Press (2015). Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamic World (SCTIW) Review,  March 3 2016.

Review of Spiritual Economies: Islam, Globalization and the Afterlife of Development. Daromir Rudnyckyj. Ithaca: Cornell University Press (2010). Southeast Asian Studies, 1/2 (August 2012), 349-351.

Review of Textile Imports into Qajar Iran: Russia versus Great Britain, The Battle for Market Domination. Willem Floor. Costa Mesa, California: Mazda Publishers, 2009. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 42 (2010), 701-702.

Review of Muslims and Matriarchs: Cultural Resilience in Indonesia through Jihad and Colonialism. Jeffrey Hadler. Cornell University Press, 2008. Itinerario 33/2, (July 2009), 102-104.

Review of Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865-1915. Eric Tagliacozzo. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. Crossroads 19/2, (November 2009), 210-212.

Review of Trade and Society in the Straits of Melaka – Dutch Melaka And English Penang, 1780-1830. Nordin Hussin. Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies Press, 2007 Itinerario 31/3, (December 2007): 177-179.

Review of The British Occupation of Indonesia 1945-1946 – Britain, the Netherlands and the Indonesian Revolution. Richard McMillan. Oxford: Routledge, 2005. Itinerario 31/2, (September 2006): 220-221.

Review of Transcending Borders: Arabs, politics, trade and Islam in Southeast Asia. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2002. Edited by Huub de Jonge & Nico Kaptein. Arab Studies Journal 13-14, (Fall 2005/Spring 2006): 148-151.

Encyclopedia articles

“Action Francaise”, “Belle Époque”, “Franco-Italian Convention (1902)”, “Hugo, Victor (1802-1885)”, “Indochina”, “Treaty of Paris (1815)”, “Treaty of Paris (1856)”. In Carl Cavanagh Hodge, ed. Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800-1914 (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2008), 4-5, 79-80, 232-233, 332, 349-350, 545, 545-546 (respectively). “Averroës”, “Borobudur”, “Champa Kingdom”, “Geoffrey Chaucer”, “Dante Alighieri”, “Khmer Kingdom”, “Majapahit Kingdom”, “Merovingian Dynasty”. In Marsha E. Ackerman et al, eds. Encyclopedia of World History, (New York: Facts on File Inc., 2008), 28, 49-50, 78-79, 80-81, 99-100, 233-235, 264, 273 (respectively).

INVITED TALKS (as Keynote Speaker)

May 24 2017: Keynote Speaker for workshop on “Rule, Resistance and the State/s: Perspectives from Islamic International Law and International Relations,” to be held at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki, Finland.

INVITED TALKS

November 20 2017: “Index of Arabs and Imperial Imaginaries,” Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), The Netherlands.

July 14-16 2017:  “When a Fatwa Becomes ‘Law’ – An Analysis of the Ethical Inquiry of the Human Organ Transplant Act in Singapore” Workshop on Sharia in Motion II, Cambridge University, UK.

October 28 2016: The Question of Animal Slaughter: Colonial Regulation of Islamic Law, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Cultures, University of Toronto, Canada.

May 24 2016: “How did Arabs become foreign in the Indies?” Talk at History Department, University of Leiden, The Netherlands.  

August 14 2015: Podcast for History of Singapore: Episode 6: Modernist Islam, Malay Islam, and Malayan Nationalism.

April 24 2015:  “Acts of Proxy Across the Indian Ocean,” History of Paperwork and Bureaucracy at Center for History and Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

October 9 2014: “Colonial Limitations of the Islamic Concept of Charity in Southeast Asia.” Harvard Asia Center, co-sponsored by Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program & Harvard Islamic Legal Studies Program (ILSP), Cambridge, MA.

July 31 2014: “Halal Slaughter in Singapore,” Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore) Roundtable discussion.

June 23-24 2014: “British Colonial Limitations of the Islamic Concept of Charity in Southeast Asia.” Arabia Asia conference, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. 

February 20 2014: “Colonial Limitations of the Islamic Concept of Charity in Southeast Asia” Cornell Southeast Asia Program Brown Bag Talk, Cornell University, NY.

October 28 2013:  “Indigenous Hybridity: Dutch Colonial Legal Administration of Arabs in the Netherlands Indies, 1860-1942” Research Workshop at Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York University, NY.

May 29 to May 31 2013: “Imperial Molds Recast – Study of Historical Links between Middle East and Singapore,” Converging Regions: Global Perspectives on Asia and the Middle East, at the Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore.

April 12 to April 13 2013: “East India Company Law in Penang, 1786-1826: The Case of Syed Hussain Aideed,” Workshop on The Travels of Law, University of Chicago, IL.

March 16 2013: “Impact of Family Law on Diasporas in Colonial Southeast Asia” Conference on Recovering Law in Asia, Center for History and Economics, Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, UK.

May 9 2011: “Islamic law in Singapore.” Colonial/Postcolonial Law in Asia and the Pacific Workshop. Sponsored by Institute for Legal Studies and the East Asian Legal Studies Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.

April 24 2011: Workshop on Making an Ocean of Law: Licit and Illicit Activity in the Indian Ocean in Duke University, Durham, NC.

CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS


March 29 2017: “Colonial Regulation of Religious Slaughter of Animals” American Society for Environmental History, Chicago, IL.

December 12-14 2016: “How Kings Became Pirates: East India Company Maritime Jurisdiction” Ocean of Law II, University of Leiden, The Netherlands.

October 26 – 29 2016: “How Kings Became Pirates: East India Company Maritime Jurisdiction” American Society for Legal History (ASLH), Toronto, Canada.

June 1 – 3 2015: Convenor for panel on Imperial Peripheries and Islamic Law, Institute of Global Law and Public Policy (IGLP) Conference at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA.

May 28-31 2015: Discussant for panel on ‘The Promise and Pathos of British Colonial Legalities’  at Law and Society Association Conference (LSA) in Seattle, WA.

Paper for panel on ‘Promising Progress, Producing Difference: Law in Colonial Contexts’ – “White Women in British Colonial Courts – The Case of Marie Gorski.”

November 22 – 25 2014:  “Powers that Bind: Tracing the Impact of Powers of Attorney in the Indian Ocean from 1880-1970,” Middle East Studies Association (MESA), Washington D.C.

November 6 – 9 2014: Discussant, Panel on ‘Inventing Law in “Lawless” Africa: Competition to Rule Among Africans and Europeans in the Empire,” American Society for Law and History (ASLH) Denver, CO.

August 3 – 16 2014: “A Question of Relative Need – British Colonial Limitations of the Islamic Concept of Charity in Southeast Asia” SIAS Summer Institute, Chapel Hill, NC.

June 1 – June 2 2014:  “Question of Guardianship in Colonial Southeast Asia: Arab Children under British and Dutch Rule” Conference on The Law and the Child in Historical Perspective, 1400-2000, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN.

May 31 – June 2 2014: Chair/Discussant, Panel on ‘Islam, Women and the Law’; Chair/Discussant, Panel on ‘Islamic Law, Religious Minorities and Citizenship Rights’; Organizer, of panel on ‘Colonial Law in the Indian Ocean’ Paper presented: “On Firmer Ground Swamp Piracy in Southeast Asia” Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN.

April 3- 4 2014: “Animal Welfare and ‘Halal’ Slaughter in Islam” Why Do Animal Studies? An Interdisciplinary Conference on Animal Studies, University of Chicago, IL.

January 3 – 11 2014: “Illegality of the Swamp in Southeast Asia – Postcolonial Implications” at the ‘Legacies of Colonialism for Global Policy’ Workshop at the Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) organized by Harvard University Law School in Doha, Qatar.

November 7- 10 2013 : “Family Law and Empire: Dutch Colonial Law Governing Arabs in the Netherlands Indies” American Society for Legal History (ASLH), Miami, FL.

July 29 – August 9 2013: “Project Proposal: Colonial Administration of Islamic Religious Slaughter of Animals in Southeast Asia, 1900-1942,” Summer Institute on Cultural Encounters: Global Perspectives and Local Exchanges, 1750-1940, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Germany.

June 9 – June 21  2013: “Book proposal: Courting Jurisdictions” Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History, University of Wisconsin Law School, WI.

January 4 – January 15 2013 “Project Proposal: Colonial Administration of Islamic Religious Slaughter of Animals in Southeast Asia” at the ‘Revitalizing the Arab and Islamic Legal Traditions’ Workshop at the Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard University Law School, in Qatar.

October 30 2012: “Dutch Colonial Law Governing Arabs in the Netherlands Indies, 1860-1941” Migration, Identity and State (MIS) Workshop, International and Area Studies (IAS) Washington University in Saint Louis.

June 6 – 8 2012: “Powers that Bind: Tracing the Impact of Powers of Attorney in the Indian Ocean from 1880-1970,” SSRC Conference on Inter-Asian Connections III on Asian Crossings, 1789-1914, at the University of Hong Kong.

September 29 2011: “Ambiguous Subjects – The Place of Arabs in Netherlands Indies during the Early Twentieth Century,” Colonialism and Imperialism Workshop, Princeton University.

June 5 2011: “The Fowl Affair: British Concerns over Slaughter of Animals in The Straits Settlements during the Early Twentieth Century,” Law and Society Association Annual (LSA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

February 14 2011: “Colonial development of Islamic Family Law in the British Straits Settlements and the Netherlands Indies.” Workshop presentation at a seminar organized by Princeton University’s Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) in Princeton, NJ.

November 18 – 21 2010: “British Colonial Law and the Establishment of Waqfs by Arabs in the Straits Settlements, 1860-1941.” American Society for Legal History (ASLH), Philadelphia, PA.

November 12 – 14 2010: “Courting Jurisdictions: The Case of Syed Hussein Aideed in Penang, 1791-1819.” Organized a panel on colonial law for North American Conference for British Studies (NACBS), Baltimore, MD.

September 23 – 25 2010: “British Colonial Law and the Establishment of Waqfs by Arabs in the Straits Settlements, 1860-1941” Conference on The Worlds of the Trust, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

July 28 – July 29 2010: “The Impact of English Law on Arabs and Indian Muslims in the Straits Settlements, 1870-1942” Conference on the Global Crossroads – The Port Clusters of Southeast Asia and the Middle East, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore.

July 19 – July 24 2010: “English Law and the Law of Arabia by the Hadhrami Diaspora in the British Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca and Singapore” at the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES), Barcelona, Spain.

April 13 -16 2010: Panelist for “Family Foundations and Trusts: Anchoring the Family: Property Strategies of Migrants.” European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC), Ghent, Belgium.

May 4 2009: “Arabs under English Law in Colonial Singapore, 1880-1941,” workshop presentation at a seminar organized by Princeton University’s Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) in Princeton, NJ.

March 13 – 14 2009: “The Swamp in the Straits of Malacca during the Nineteenth Century,” paper presented at Harvard Graduate Student Conference on International History, Cambridge, MA.

March 6 – 7 2009: “The Earth was a Sea of Blood – The Concept of Piracy in the Malay Archipelago,” paper presented at Possible Worlds Conference, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE


Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee
Interviewed prospective students as part of undergraduate admissions process
January 2017-February 2017
Member

James Willard Hurst Prize Committee
Law and Society Association (LSA) November 2016 – March 2017
Selection Committee Member

Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History at University of Wisconsin-Madison
American Society for Legal History, September 2016 – February 2017
Selection Committee Member

Middle Classes in Late-Colonial Java: Revisiting the Ancestors of a Future Nation Panel
Association for Asian Studies, Toronto, Canada, March 2017
Discussant

H-Law Mailing List on Humanities and Social Sciences Online (H-Net)
Board Member

Journal of Law and Religion
Article Reviewer, 2017

Law and Society Review
Article Reviewer, 2011, 2016

Southeast Asia Research
Article Reviewer, 2016

Law and History Review
Article Reviewer, 2013, 2015

Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Article Reviewer, 2014

Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East
Article Reviewer, 2014

“Contending Visions of Islamic Law and Society in the 20th and 21st Centuries” Panel
Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, June 2016
Discussant

“Mobile Subjects and the Transformation of Law and Space across Eighteenth and Nineteenth century Eurasia” Panel
American Historical Association (AHA) Annual Meeting co-sponsored by American Society for Legal History (ASLH), Atlanta, GA, January 2016
Organizer

American Society for Legal History (ASLH) Annual Conference
Washington DC, October 2015.
Denver, CO, November 2014
Member, Program Committee

Series of Panels on “Imperial Peripheries and Islamic Law”
Institute of Global Law and Public Policy (IGLP) Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA, June 2015
Organizer and Moderator

Panel on “The Promise and Pathos of British Colonial Legalities”
Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Meeting Seattle, WA, May 2015
Chair and Discussant

“Relationship between Law and Religion – Case-Study: Apostasy in Malaysia”
Comparative Legal Studies Stream at Institute of Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School, Doha, Qatar, January 2015
Junior Faculty

Panel on “Lawless’ Africa: Competition to Rule Among Africans and Europeans in the Empire”
American Society for Legal History (ASLH) Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 2014
Discussant

“Islam, Women and the Law” Panel
Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN, May 2014
Chair and Discussant

“Islamic Law, Religious Minorities and Citizenship Rights” Panel
Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN, May 2014
Chair and Discussant

“Colonial Law in the Indian Ocean” Panel
Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN, May 2014
Organizer

“Colonies and Postcolonies of Law” Conference
Princeton University, NJ, March 2011
Organizer

“British Colonial Law” Panel
North American Conference for British Studies (NACBS), Baltimore, MD, November 2010
Organizer

DEPARTMENTAL AND INSTITUTIONAL SERVICE
________________________________________

National University of Singapore

Asian Graduate Student Fellowships Committee, Asia Research Institute, 2016
Mentor to Asian Graduate Student Fellow, Azis Anwar Fachroedin, June-July 2016

Workshop: Muslim Endowments in Asia: Waqf, Charity and Circulations
Asia Research Institute, October 2016
Co-organizer

Roundtable: How to Study Religion in Times of Crises
Asia Research Institute, June 2016
Co-Organizer

Washington University in St. Louis
“Building your scholarship: Article writing, conference presentations, and what happens to the dissertation” Panel for Graduate Students in the History Department, March 2013
Panelist

DEPARTMENTAL AND INSTITUTIONAL SERVICE

National University of Singapore

Asian Graduate Student Fellowships Committee, Asia Research Institute, 2016

Mentor to Asian Graduate Student Fellow, Azis Anwar Fachroedin, June-July 2016

Workshop: Muslim Endowments in Asia: Waqf, Charity and Circulations
Asia Research Institute, October 2016
Co-organizer

Roundtable: How to Study Religion in Times of Crises
Asia Research Institute, June 2016
Co-Organizer

Washington University in St. Louis

“Building your scholarship: Article writing, conference presentations, and what happens to the dissertation” Panel for Graduate Students in the History Department, March 2013
Panelist

AWARDS  & FELLOWSHIPS


2015: Winner of the Indonesia and the Malay World Young Scholar Prize (2014) for article “The Question of Animal Slaughter in the British Straits Settlements during the Early Twentieth Century” (Published July 2015)

2015: Al-Wehdah Arab Association of Singapore Dissertation Prize for best dissertation on Arabs in Singapore

2014-2015: Santander & Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) Doha Research Grant for research on Islamic finance

2013-2014: Florence Tan Moeson Fellowship for research at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

  • Catalogued the Malay Manuscripts collection at Library of Congress

June 2013: J. Williard Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History

2012-2013: Postdoctoral Fellowship at International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden, The Netherlands (Declined)

2012-2013: Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies Graduate Fellow Award (Declined)

2009-2010: Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies Summer Funding November 2008: Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) travel grant to Washington, DC

2006 – 2011: Shelby Cullom and Kathryn Davis merit grant, Princeton University Fellowship

2006 – 2007: Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies Summer Funding

2005 – 2006: National University of Singapore Postgraduate Research Scholarship

June – July 2005: National University of Singapore Graduate Research Support Scheme for research in London

TEACHING EXPERIENCE


Washington University in Saint Louis

  • Fall 2014: Designed and taught course “Introduction to Islamic Civilization”
  • Spring 2014: Designed and taught course – “Islam in the Modern World”
  • Fall 2013: Designed and taught course – Approaches to the Qur’an”
  • Spring 2013: Designed and taught course  – “Islam in the Indian Ocean”
  • Fall 2012: Designed and taught course – “Introduction to Islamic Law”

Princeton University

  • Spring 2012: Assistant in Instruction for “Europe in the World” with Professor David Cannadine
  • Fall 2011 – Assistant in Instruction for “Muslims and the Qur’an” with Professor Muhammad Qasim Zaman
  • Fall 2008 – Assistant in Instruction for “Britain 1815-1945: Dominance, Democracy, and Decline” with Professor Linda Colley
  • August 2005 – May 2006: Teaching Assistant for module “Singapore: Evolution of a Global City-State” with Dr. Derek Heng and Mr. Kwa Chong Guan

WORK EXPERIENCE


June 2011-November 2011: Student Assistant for the Rare Books and Special Collections in Firestone Library in Princeton University

January 2005 – May 2005: Research Assistant to Dr. Maitrii Aung-Thwin, Department of History, National University of Singapore

August 2003 – July 2004: Reporter for the Malay newspaper, Berita Harian (part-time)

RESEARCH LANGUAGES


Malay (native), French (fluent), Arabic (fluent), Dutch (reading knowledge)