Global Asia


This cluster tracks the rise of Asia and studies the region from an interconnected global-contextualist perspective. Research will explore global and local issues such as social change, economic development, ethnic and cultural identity, and multilingualism.

Cluster Coordinators

Zhan Shaohua

Zhan Shaohua's research interests include Economic sociology; Global development; Historical sociology; Labor migration; and China studies​. His research primarily focuses on China including labor migration, the hukou system, rural development, land issues, food security, urbanization and state-society relations​.

Kei Koga

Kei Koga's research interests include international relations theory, international security, international institutions, institutional changes, and East Asian regional security, with current research focus on U.S.-bilateral security networks and ASEAN–led institutions. He has published on topics that include East Asian security, U.S. and Japanese foreign policies, the U.S.-Japan alliance, and ASEAN. Previously, he served as a Vasey Fellow at the Pacific Forum CSIS in 2009–2010 and as the RSIS-MacArthur visiting associate fellow at the RSIS, NTU in 2010.

Cluster Members

Alan K. L. Chan

Chinese philosophy and religion, especially from a hermeneutical perspective, seeking to understanding the internal logic and dynamics of Chinese traditions.
He has published widely in early Chinese thought, especially Daoist philosophy.  His recent publications include Philosophy and Religion in Early Medieval China and Interpretation and Literature in Early Medieval China, both published by SUNY Press (2010) and co-edited with Y.K. Lo.  His current research focuses on the development of Confucianism and Taoism in early medieval China, from the 3rd to the 6th century C.E., and the problem of emotions in Chinese ethics.

Kingsley Bolton

Professor Kingsley Bolton’s research interests include English language and literature worldwide, language and globalisation, multilingualism, sociolinguistics, and world Englishes. Much of his research has been on language issues in the Asian region, and he has published widely on English in Hong Kong and mainland China. 

Alexander Coupe

Analysis of tone systems, phonetics and phonology, the role of pragmatics in grammar, case marking systems, morphosyntax, clause linkage, nominalization, grammaticalization and language contact.

Chen Song-Chuan

Historical interactions between China and the West from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. How transnational structures of interaction have conditioned the process of cultural exchange, the flow of ideas, and historical globalization.
Presently, he is writing a book about the interactions between the Chinese and the Anglophone merchants in the port of Canton between 1755 and 1842. The book is on the theme ‘Making China profitable: State and merchant relationships.’ It demonstrates that collaboration between capital and the state in Canton, on the so-called periphery of the British empire, played a role in the expansion of capitalism, and in the establishment of the modern world’s political-economic structure.

Francesco Cavallaro

Francesco Cavallaro is primarily a sociolinguist, but also conducts research in applied linguistics. His training in analysing linguistics issues in multilingual communities has been put to use in the fertile context of Singapore where bilingualism is a norm and multilingualism influences every aspect of the society. Hence, his current research direction involves exploring language attitudes, identity and language shift in this multilingual context.

Francis Bond

Francis is an active member of the Deep Linguistic Processing with HPSG Initiative (DELPH-IN) and the Global WordNet Association. His main research interest is in natural language understanding.

Frantisek Kratochvil

Papuan and Austronesian linguistics, Linguistic typology, Morphology, Grammaticalization, Deixis, Verbal semantics

Goh Geok Yian

Goh Geok Yian teaches Southeast Asian history and culture at HSS. Geok’s research interests include archaeology and early history of Southeast Asia, with particular focus on Burma and mainland Southeast Asia, world history and civilizations, classical and modern Burmese literature, and early networks connecting Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean and South China Sea.
Potential areas of collaboration with other members include: a) how earlier connections can be rendered more comprehensible to scholars, students, and the general public through new media, b) how to preserve and conserve these materials which are increasingly subjected to destruction, c) create an emotive bond between younger generations and the place they inhabit which comes not from the pursuit of material gain, but from understanding of their society’s culture, history, heritage, and language.

K.K. Luke

Interaction between tone and intonation; Prosody in Conversational Interaction; Conversation Analysis; English and Chinese grammar; Chinese Linguistics; History and structure of Cantonese; Language and Cognitive Neuroscience; Corpus Linguistics; Natural Language Processing.


Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir recently received his PhD from the University of Western Sydney before taking up the Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship with the Singapore National Library. His recent books and articles include Muslims as Minorities: History and Social Realities of Muslims in Singapore, Muslims in Singapore: Piety, Politics and Policies, Dipesh Chakrabarty’s Provincializing Europe Project, Rethinking the 'Malay Problem' in Singapore: Image, Rhetoric and Social Realities and Defensive Dining: Notes on the Public Dining Experiences in Singapore.

Kwan Sze Pui Uganda

Uganda Sze Pui Kwan research interests include modern Chinese literature and translation studies. She has so far published for more than 40 pieces of journal articles and book chapters in English, Chinese and Japanese. She is currently working on two monographs about the British interpreters in Asia in the 19th Century.

Leong Ping, Alvin

Leong Ping, Alvin's research interests is in systemic functional grammar/linguistics, discourse analysis, and literacy studies.

Li Chenyang

Chenyang is writing a book manuscript tentatively entitled “Li as Cultural Grammar: Seminal Ideas of Pre-imperial Confucianism” and several journal articles.

Liu Hong

Liu Hong’s key research interests covers the China rising and implications for Southeast and East Asia; Chinese international migration, nationalism, transnationalism, and globalization; Transnational history of modern China/Asia; Globalization and international talent strategies; Political and cultural history of postcolonial Southeast Asia.

Ng Bee Chin

Bee Chin works mainly in the area of bilingualism and multilingualism with a focus on the impact on language contact on individuals and the community they live in. Her research is interdisciplinary in nature and her collaboration with Halina Gottlieb from the Interactive Institute in Stockholm has focused her work on the role of language as a critical aspect of intangible heritage. Together, they founded an interdisciplinary research cluster, DIHA – Digital Intangible Heritage of Asia.  

Park So Jeong ​Her research interest has centered around Asian philosophical tradition.
Premchand Dommaraju

Premchand Dommaraju's research interest is in Social demography of South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia, Fertility and reproductive health, Ageing and mortality and Marriage and divorce patterns

Randy John LaPolla

My work on the intersection of Sino-Tibetan historical linguistics, pragmatics, and linguistic typology has led me to an understanding of communication that is based only on ostension (showing the desire to communicate) and abductive inference without any coding or decoding. This view entails that each language is unique, and necessarily reflects the cultural and cognitive categories (world view) of the speakers. I would like to develop a large multidisciplinary project to test this view of communicative behavior.

Shirley Sun ​Dr. Shirley Sun studies family, population and genomic medicine in global contexts.
Stefanie Stadler

Intercultural Communication ,Intercultural Competence ,Intercultural Effectiveness ,Cross-Cultural Communication ,Pragmatics ,Discourse Analysis ,Sociolinguistics/Cognitive Sociolinguistics ,Perception Theory ,Politeness Theory ,Multimodality ,Speech Prosody ,Non-Verbal Communication

Tan Ying Ying

Tan Ying Ying is trained as a phonetician. Her research in phonetics has focused largely on the prosody (stress, intonation, rhythm) of Singapore English and other languages in Singapore, with particular attention to social-indexical variation, ethnic differentiation and substrate influence. Her current research inquiry concerns the constitution of the Singaporean accent. Besides Singapore English, she is also interested in the tonology of Southern Min languages such as Teochew and Hokkien. A firm believer in interdisciplinarity, she is engaged in understanding and analyzing language policy and planning through the lenses of cultural theory and contemporary thought. She has published in areas as phonetics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics and cultural theory.

Teo You Yenn

You Yenn’s current work looks at how welfare policies are conceptualized in Singapore. She is interested in how citizens are defined and produced through welfare policies, and the class and gender inequalities that are generated through welfare approaches. In collaboration with colleagues in the Sociology departments at NTU and NUS, she is also starting on a project that examines the experiences of poverty in Singapore.

Yow Cheun Hoe

His academic interest is in Chinese diaspora, particularly topics pertaining to relations between Chinese overseas and China, Chinese migration and new migrants, and Chinese writers and their works.

Winnie Sung Hiu-Chuk ​Winnie's grant allows her to work on a project on self-knowledge that seeks to examine the nature of self-knowledge. The questions to be addressed include what self-knowledge is, how we come to know ourselves, the relation between self-knowledge and agency, the relation between self-knowledge and emotions, and the possibility of lacking self-knowledge. A distinctive feature of this project is that it will draw on insights from both Chinese and Anglo-American philosophies. The nature of the project is not comparative; rather, as a start-up project, it has the more modest goal of letting the ideas between these two traditions to first flow and exchange.