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Barbara Watson Andaya

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Visiting period:  May 2013
Department:  Department of History
Affiliation: University of Hawai'i


Barbara Watson Andaya is Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawai’i and Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. In 2005-06 she was President of the American Association of Asian Studies Educated at the University of Sydney (BA, Dip.Ed.), she received an East West Center grant in 1966 and obtained her MA in history at the University of Hawai’i. She subsequently went on to study for her Ph.D. at Cornell University with a specialization in Southeast Asian history.

Her career has involved teaching and researching in Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and since 1994, Hawai’i. She maintains an active teaching and research interest across all Southeast Asia, but her specific area of expertise is the western Malay-Indonesia archipelago. In 2000 she received a Guggenheim Award, which resulted in The Flaming Womb: Repositioning Women in Southeast Asian History, 1500-1800 (a Choice Academic Book of the Year in 2007). Her current project is a history of Christian localization in Southeast Asia, 1511-1900, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Selected publications

  • 2009: “Between Empires and Emporia: The Economics of Christianization in Early Modern Southeast Asia.” In Empires and Emporia: The Orient and World Historical Space and Time, ed. Jos Gommans. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 52, 4-5: 963-97.
  • 2008: “Women and the Performance of Power in Early Modern Southeast Asia. In Servants of the Dynasty: Palace Women in World History, ed. Anne Walthall. Berkeley: University of California Press, 22-44.
  • 2006: “Oceans Unbounded: Transversing Asia across ‘Area Studies.’” Journal of Asian Studies 65, 4 (November): 669-90. Republished in a revised form in the e-journal Japan Focus,
  • 2006: “Studying Women and Gender in Southeast Asia: A ‘State of the Art’ Essay.” International Journal of Asian Studies 4, 1:1-24.
  • 2006: The Flaming Womb: Repositioning Women in Southeast Asian History. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. (Paperback edition 2008).
  • 2001: (with Leonard Y. Andaya). A History of Malaysia, Second Edition (Macmillan: Basingstoke and London). Translated into Thai in 2006, with a Chinese translation in progress.
  • 2000 [edited collection]: Other Pasts: Women, Gender and History in Early Modern Southeast Asia (Honolulu: Center for Southeast Asia Studies)
  • 1993. To Live as Brothers: Southeast Sumatra in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press).
  • 1982 (with Virginia Matheson). Raja Ali Haji, The Precious Gift (Tuhfat al Nafis). An Annotated Translation (Oxford in Asia: Kuala Lumpur).
  • 1979. Perak, the Abode of Grace. A Study of an Eighteenth Century Malay State (Oxford in Asia: Kuala Lumpur).


Current research project:

„Which also Beareth Fruit: The Localization of Christianity in Southeast Asia, 1511-1900“

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