about

UntitledI am an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and a core faculty member of the Asian Studies Program.

My new book, entitled Empires of Vice (Princeton University Press, Histories of Economic Life Series) is a comparative and historical study of opium prohibition across Southeast Asia, which sheds light on the colonial legacies shaping the region’s drug-related problems today. Please see recent interviews with The Ambassador’s Brief, The Asia Chessboard podcast (CSIS), the Docket, and the Asia Experts Forum.

My scholarship is animated by concerns with how modern states develop capacity to define people at the edges of respectable society, constructing what it means to be illicit, marginal, and deviant. I research and teach comparative politics, public policy, and histories of colonialism and empire in Southeast and East Asia since the late 19th century. I am currently working on projects that explore the “hidden” underbellies of transnational political economies, including illicit markets, smuggling, and stigmatized labor.

Before joining Georgetown, I was a postdoctoral Prize Fellow in Economics, History, and Politics at Harvard University. I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and B.A. from Korea University.