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Contributor’s profile: Barbara Watson Andaya

Barbara Watson Andaya.

Barbara Watson Andaya is Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. In 2005–2006 she was President of the American Association of Asian Studies. Educated at the University of Sydney (BA, Dip. Ed.), she taught in a high school before receiving her MA at the University of Hawai’i (MA) and her Ph.D at Cornell University with a specialisation in Southeast Asian history.

In 1979 her dissertation was published as Perak, The Abode of Grace: A Study of an Eighteenth Century Malay State. She maintains an active teaching and research interest across all Southeast Asia, but her specific area of expertise is the western Malay-Indonesia archipelago. She collaborated with Virginia Matheson Hooker in a translation of a nineteenth-century Malay text, the Tuhfat al-Nafis by the Islamic scholar Raja Ali Haji, and with Leonard Andaya on A History of Malaya in 1982 (revised edition, 2000).

Further research on Malay history led to the 1993 publication, To Live as Brothers: Southeast Sumatra in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Subsequently, Barbara Watson Andaya’s interests shifted to questions of gender in Southeast Asia, and in 2000 she received a John Simon Guggenheim Award, which resulted in The Flaming Womb: Repositioning Women in Southeast Asian History, 1500–1800 (2006). Her current project is a history of the localisation of Christianity in Southeast Asia, 1511–1900.

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