Dr Su Lin Lewis
BA(Comb. Hons), MA(Lond.), PhD(Cantab.)
- Gender & sexuality
- Gender and Imperialism
- Southeast Asia
- Inter-cultural exchange
- Civil Society
- Global History
- Intellectual History
Associate Professor in Modern Global HistoryDepartment of History (Historical Studies)
Office: 1.2, 26/27 St. Michael's Park
Phone: +44 (0)117 928 7912
I specialise in global and transnational history in the twentieth century, and have research interests in urban history, civil society and activist networks, gender, migration, decolonisation, and development in the twentieth century. My geographical focus is mainly Southeast Asia (especially Burma, Malaysia, and Indonesia) as a vantage point for examining broader pan-Asian, Afro-Asian, and global connections.
My first monograph, Cities in Motion: urban life and cosmopolitanism in Southeast Asia 1920-1940 (2016) sought to move away from a nation-based and ethic nationalist reading of colonial-era Southeast Asia by examinig the cosmopolitan port-city as a site of experimentation and cross-cultural interaction in the built environment, civic associations, print media, education, and popular culture, with a focus on Penang, Rangoon, and Bangkok. It won the Urban History Association Prize for Best Book (Non-North America, 2015-2016).
I co-lead a collaborative research project on Afro-Asian Networks in the Early Cold War which was funded by the AHRC. The project examined the broad participation of activists, socialists, artists, and writers in the Afro-Asian solidarity movements of the broader Bandung era and pionerred an innovative collaborative research methodology that encouraged scholarly collaboration from the point of archival inquiry to the writing-up process.
I am currently an AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellow working on a project on Socialist Internationalism in the Afro-Asian World.
I am a member of the editorial board of Past and Present and on the Board of Directors of the Global Urban History project.
I completed my MA at the School of Oriental and African Studies and my PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2010. I was a Past and Present Post-Doctoral Fellow at the IHR (2010-2011) and Mellon post-doctoral fellow at the University of California Berkeley (2011-2013). I was Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham from 2013-2014.
Between degrees, I have worked on and managed community-driven development projects for the World Bank and International Organization for Migration in Indonesia, where I developed an interest in the history of local civil society organizations and grassroots social movements in Southeast Asia.
I would be interested in supervising students who wish to work on any topic relating to my research interests. I also welcome proposals relating to global/transnational connections in Asia and the political, social, intellectual, and cultural history of Southeast Asia between c. 1800 and the present. I supervise and have co-supervised students working on Indonesian contributions to Afro-Asian networks, multiracial communities in Asian port-cities, the emergence of the suit in post-war Hong Kong; Chinese students in 1920s Paris, and post-war rehabilitation and humanitarianism in China.
I have designed and taught courses on Colonial Radicals, Modern Girls and New Women, Decolonization, Global Cities, the History of Modern Southeast Asia, and on Global Development.
01/06/2021 to 30/04/2023
10/12/2015 to 09/06/2018
01/10/2015 to 31/07/2017
- Chapter in a book
- Accepted/In press
- Chapter in a book
History Workshop Journal
- Web publication/site
Journal of World History