DING Choo Ming

Dr Ding Choo Ming is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre and Professor and Principal Research Fellow at ATMA (Institut Alam & Tamadun Melayu) or the Institute of the Malay World and Civilization, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. His research interests include Malay literature in the Riau Islands, authorship of Malay hikayat of 19th century, Malay world's pantun and local knowledge in the Malay World. He has published in international journals and is the editor of the Journal Terjemahan Alam & Tamadun Melayu (2009–present).

Dr Ding's recent and forthcoming publications include Pantun Baba Pilihan di Negeri Selat 1920-1940 (Penang: USM Press 2012); Kajian Baru Manuskrip dan Pantun Melayu (ATMA, 2012); Dari Sitiawan ke Bangi: Koleksi Esei tentang Sejarah Perkembangan Masa Lalu dan Cabaran Masa Depan Bahasa Melayu (ATMA 2012), and Bridging the Past: A Festschrift Honoring Prof Dr Muhammad Haji Salleh, KL: DBP (forthcoming).

SHOW Ying Ruo

Dr Show Ying Ruo is a Visiting Fellow at NSC since July 2017. She received her PhD in Chinese Studies from National University of Singapore (2017) and M.A from SOAS, London (2010). Her PhD thesis explores the vernacular expression and gendered narrative in Chinese religious corpus Baojuan (Precious Scrolls). She is interested in the historical trajectory of lay Buddhist movement and local configurations of religious ideas, ritual practices and texts. She is currently working on a manuscript examining Buddhist linkage and transregional religious network in Southeast Asia through the study of a specific kind of Chinese temple, the Vegetarian Hall (zhaitang).

EA Darith

EA Darith is Visiting Senior Fellow at NSC. He is also Deputy Director of the Department of Conservation of the Monuments Outside Angkor Park, APSARA (Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap), Cambodia. He has coordinated projects between APSARA and other international teams from Japan, France, USA, Australia, Hungary, Thailand, and Singapore.

Darith received his BA from Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, his MA from Kyoto University, and PhD from Osaka Ohtani University. His research interest is in Southeast Asian ceramics, especially Khmer ceramics in Angkor period from 9th to 15th centuries. He has excavated more than 10 stoneware kilns and other monument sites in Angkor region since 2000, and has reconstructed the history and development of Angkorian ceramics and kilns. He plans to further study the scientific analysis of Angkorian stoneware with counterparts from Hawaii University, Santa Clara University (USA) and New England University (Australia) to better understand the origin of Khmer production and the expansion of the use of Angkorian stoneware.

Darith is also a lecturer of Angkorian Stoneware Ceramics at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, and teaches history of Cambodia and Khmer Studies at Pannasatra University. He has received training from Arizona State Museum, Freer and Sackler Museum at Smithsonian, and University of Pennsylvania Museum. He is working on creating an artefact management system in Angkor which will aid in the proper care of all artefacts excavated from the Angkor World Heritage Site.

Edmund Edwards MCKINNON

Edmund Edwards McKinnon has been intermittently resident in Southeast Asia since 1960. He studied agriculture at the Edinburgh and East of Scotland College of Agriculture and thereafter held posts in plantation agriculture in Indonesia and South India. He discovered the mediaeval harbour site of Kota Cina near Belawan, Deli in 1972 and since then has been involved in archaeological and art historical research in Sumatra. He has gone on to identify several mediaeval settlement sites in north Sumatra and Aceh, including Kota Rentang, as well as Pulau Kompeh in Aru bay and the Pancu / Lambaroneujid site west of Banda Aceh. He noted the destruction of prehistoric shell middens at Hinai in the early 1970s and thereafter became interested in mediaeval export ceramic wares.

Ed has been involved in excavation work at Kota Cina and Kota Rentang in north Sumatra; in Palembang and Batujaya with the École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO), at Cot Me near Ladong; and at Lhok Cut, Lamreh, Aceh Besar regency with the Earth Observatory of Singapore, helping to recover evidence of historical tsunamis in the Aceh region.

His current interests include mediaeval inter-regional commerce between the Middle East, South Asia and China, the trading activities of the Tamil guilds and their cultural and linguistic impact on the Karo element of north Sumatra; the arrival of Islam, mediaeval trade ceramics, including South Asian red earthen wares and Chinese and Southeast Asian stonewares; and early Dutch colonial accounts of the hinterland of Kota Cina, in particular the Karo area of northern Sumatra.

Elizabeth CHANDRA

Elizabeth Chandra studied Southeast Asia and Indonesian/Malay literature for her M.A. at Cornell University (2000) and Ph.D at the University of California—Berkeley (2006). Since 2007, she has lectured at Keio University, Tokyo. Her research interests include colonial literatures, comparative colonial histories, and the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia. She has written articles on the literary works produced by the Chinese of colonial Indonesia (Indonesia no. 92, Archipel no. 82), and on ethnic Chinese in Indonesia (Indonesia no. 94). As fellow at NSC, she examines Indonesian Chinese literary and journalistic publications before and after the Pacific War. She is also organising a joint IIAS-ISEAS international conference on Asia-Europe intellectual and cultural exchanges during the first half of the 20th century, to be held in Singapore on 7-8 December 2012.

Geoff WADE (韦杰夫)

Geoff Wade is a historian with interests in Sino-Southeast Asian historical interactions and comparative historiography. He has worked on a range of other related issues including early Islam in Southeast Asia, Chinese expansions, Asian commercial networks, Chinese textual references to Southeast Asia and the Cold War in Southeast Asia. His online database, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: An Open Access Resource (, provides in English translation 3,000+ references to Southeast Asia as extracted from the Ming imperial annals, while his most recent edited work China and Southeast Asia (Routledge, 2009) comprises a 6-volume survey of seminal works on Southeast Asia-China interactions.


Gitanjali is a fourth year doctoral student at the History Department, Harvard University. She has a Masters in History from Harvard and degrees from Oxford University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi. Presently, she is working on her thesis on attempts at Buddhist revival in colonial and post-colonial India. Her interests include the history of political thought, gender and environmental history.


Jayani Bonnerjee is a PhD candidate at the Department of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London. Her research engages with everyday lived spaces of Calcutta’s Anglo-Indian and Chinese communities through a focus on ideas of home, identity, belonging, cosmopolitanism and nostalgia, connecting the communities in the city as well as over diaspora in London and Toronto. She has wider research interests in postcolonial urbanism in Asia and critical geographies of diaspora. At the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre she will work on spaces of encounter in the city within the comparative diasporas programme.


Jayati Bhattacharya is a Visiting Research Fellow at the ISEAS , working on modern business history with special focus on South and Southeast Asia . She has a Ph.D from the Jawaharlal Nehru University , New Delhi , India on the nexus between business communities and nationalist politics in India in the period of the national movement. She is at present working on the Indian business communities in Singapore. The research work attempts to situate the ethnic Indian business communities amongst the larger framework of the mosaic populace of Singapore to bring about continuity through generations into the context of the present day socio-economic order.

Jayati has been fascinated by the business interactions between the different ethnic communities, which has enthused her to take up comparative studies, especially between the Chinese and the Indian business networks in Singapore which may later be extended to other parts of South East Asia . On a similar note, she is also keen to explore the various nuances of the family business networks between the two communities.

At ISEAS, she has also been involved with the coordination, along with her colleagues, of a number of conferences and workshops dealing with historical and contemporary issues. One such workshop recently held was involved with the burning issue of the "Oil Palm Controversy" (March 2-4, 2009). Jayati is also involved in co-editing the publication of the proceedings of the workshop.

Jayati had earlier worked as a Lecturer at Loreto College , Darjeeling in India and as a Guest Lecturer at the Qingdao University in Peoples’ Republic of China.

Joyce Iris ZAIDE

Joyce Zaide, Communications Officer at the Centre, received her Masters Degree in Southeast Asian Studies from the National University of Singapore. She manages NSC's website and social media platforms. Joyce is Co-editor of the NSC Working Paper Series and also assists in conceptualising publicity materials. She has done research on Asian women’s identities and representations on the Internet. Her research interests are media, communication, gender, migration and heritage.