Director: Chie Ikeya
Chie Ikeya is a historian of Southeast Asia with interests in the related fields of Asian history/studies, women’s and gender history, race, gender and sexuality studies, and postcolonial studies. Before joining Rutgers University, she taught in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore.
Her first book examined colonial politics, gender and race relations, social reforms, anticolonialism, media, and consumerism in colonial Burma. She is currently completing her second book project, “Inter-Asian Intimacies and Alienations: Memories, Laws, and Politics of Marriage and Collaboration Across Colonialisms, c. 1850–c.1950.” It traces the little known history and legacy of inter-Asian marriages and collaborations, and racializations and terrorizations under colonial rule. It shows that intimate relations among imperial and colonized Asian subjects—rather than the all too familiar and romanticized heterosexual coupling of the white male colonizer and the native female—constituted the primary, and hitherto unrecognized, site for the articulation of modern understandings of religion, race, family, and nation that continue to vex many regions of Asia today. She is also at work on two new research projects. One explores the history of vernacular sexual culture through the life and writings of the modernist writer, Catholic apostate, and Burma’s pioneering sexologist P. Moe Nin (1883–1940). The other, co-directed with Dr. D. Christian Lammerts (Religion Department, Rutgers University), is a photographic historical study of Japanese, Chinese, Hindu, and Muslim cemeteries in Burma-Myanmar.