Hui Kian Kwee

Associate Professor, Department of History, UTM
Collaborative Master's Specialization in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies,
Asian Institute




Room NE 271, 3359 Mississauga Road North


KWEE Hui Kian is Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on Southeast Asia and South China, where she has examined various themes relating to colonialism, political economy and diasporic entrepreneurship, from the seventeenth century to the present. Kwee has been a visiting research fellow at National University of Singapore, the Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) and Fudan University.


Ph.D. Leiden University, 2005.
M.A. National University of Singapore, 2001.
B.A. National University of Singapore (Honours), 1997

awards and distinctions

College of Humanities and Social Science, National Chiao-tung University, Hsin-chu, Taiwan, April 2014.
International Center for Studies of Chinese Civilization visiting fellowship, Fudan University, Shanghai, May 2013.
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) joint research fellowship, Leiden, The Netherlands, April-June 2012
“Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council” Standard Research Grant, Canada, April 2008-March 2011.
Connaught New Staff Matching funds, University of Toronto, Canada, May 2008-April 2009.
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) and “Encountering a Common Past” (ENCOMPASS) program joint research fellowship, Leiden, The Netherlands, March-June 2008
Connaught Start-up funds, University of Toronto, Canada, July 2007-June 2008
KITLV research fellowship, Leiden, The Netherlands, October-December 2006
Postdoctoral fellowship, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, July 2006-June 2007
Visiting fellowship, Department of History, National University of Singapore January-June 2006

Select Publications

“Chinese Economic Dominance in Southeast Asia: A Longue Duree Perspective,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 55, 1. 2013: 5-34.

“The End of the ‘Age of Commerce’?: Javanese cotton trade industry from the seventeenth to the eighteenth centuries.” In Chinese Circulations: Capital, commodities and networks in Southeast Asia. Editors: Eric Tagliacozzo and Chang Wen-chin. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011, pp. 283-302.

“Cultural Strategies, Economic Dominance: The Lineage of Tan Bing in nineteenth-century Semarang, Java.” In Linking Destinies: Trade, towns and kin in Asian history. Editors: Peter Boomgaard, Dick Kooiman and Henk Schulte Nordholt. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2008, pp. 197-217.

“Pockets of Empire: Integrating the Studies on Social Organizations in Southeast China and Southeast Asia,” Journal of Contemporary Studies in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 27, 3. 2007: 616-32.

The Political Economy of Java’s Northeast Coast, c. 1740-1800: Elite Synergy. Leiden: Brill Publications, 2006.


DTS2000 Trade Diasporas
HIS1640 Chinese Diaspora and Capitalism
HIS1668 Asia in the Early Modern World
DTS401 Advanced Topics in Diaspora – Diasporic Entrepreneurship and Capitalisms
HIS493 Advanced topics in Global History: Entrepreneurial Diasporas
HIS364 International Labour Migration
HIS383 Chinese Diaspora
DTS201 Introduction to Diaspora and Transnational Studies

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