Charting Colonial Animal History

At the end of my module “Colonizing Animals: More-than-human Histories of Empire in Asia” my students and I charted the historiography. On a large sheet of paper I drew two axis. The vertical axis indicated the amount of attention the historian paid to the agency of the animals that they wrote about. The horizontal axis…

Gendered Responses to the History of Southeast Asia

Last week I taught the final class of an ambitious unit covering the history of Southeast Asia from c.990 to c.1990. The last class is designed to get everyone debating the impact of Western imperialism on the region. We discussed the material changes engendered by it, the shifts in Southeast Asian cultures and societies, and…

Teaching the F-Word (Foucault that is…)

Taught my favourite class this week: a fun-packed two hours introducing students to Foucault’s Discipline and Punish with the aid of the torture scene from Braveheart (sovereign power), the chilling footage of prison dance routines in the Philippines (docile bodies), and Bunny Colvin’s speech in The Wire about ‘brown paper bags’ (delinquency). Took me ages…