University of York Asia Research Group Directory

Welcome to the Directory of the Asia Research Group at the University of York. The Asia Research Group is an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary group for people across the University whose research interests relate to Asia (broadly defined). This directory provides information and contact details for specialists in various fields, organized by region.

For any inquiries concerning the activities of the Asia Research Group as a whole, or to submit changes to the directory, please email asia-research@york.ac.uk.

The Asia Research Group also operates an internal mailing list for Asia-related events, opportunities, and other relevant information for members of the University of York. To be added to this list, please send an email to asia-research@york.ac.uk.

The Asia Research Group was founded in 2013 by Dr Tara Alberts, Dr Oleg Benesch, Dr Jon Howlett and Dr Claire Smith, and its membership includes more than one hundred staff and postgraduate research students from all faculties across the University of York.

Australasia/Pacific

Name/Department Research areas
Dr Janaka Jayawickrama
Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU)
Examining to develop new knowledge on dealing with uncertainties and dangers presented by disasters and conflicts in the region. Collaborating with communities and institutions in countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Pacific Islands.

Sabrina Mimid        International Relations Office

Manages strategic relationships in Australasia and the Middle East.
Prof Karen Mumford  
Economics and Related Studies
Labour economics – wages, employment, gender equality, job tenure, childcare and female labour supply, job insecurity and household asset holding, contraception and marriage matching.
Dr Sarah Olive
Education

Shakespeare in education (policy and pedagogy) on the subcontinent and in South East Asia. This includes schools, higher education, theatre education and extramural education throughout the life course.

 

East

Name/Department         Research areas
Dr Oleg Benesch
History
Early modern and modern Japan and China. Intellectual, social, and cultural history, with a special focus on transnational and comparative research. Key research themes include nationalism, identity, masculinity, martiality, heritage, and nostalgia.
Siyang Cao
Centre for Women's Studies
Currently working on the masculinities of young men in contemporary China. Also interested in East Asian popular culture, especially the transnational flow of Japanese culture, subculture, identity in contemporary China and Japan.

Dr David Clayton 
History

Hong Kong's economic and political history, 1945 to date: laws and customs; water supply; trade; industrialization; and decolonization.

Prof Richard Common
The York Management School

Public Administration/HRM - Gulf States, Hong Kong SAR, PRC, Singapore, Malaysia.

Yiyun Ding              
History 

Historical research on education in Republican China from 1911 to 1949. Research field also covers the relationship between education and politics in Republican China, and Shanghai-based modernity in early twentieth-century China.

Maxine Gee
Theatre, Film and Television

Modern Japanese visual culture—specifically anime. Key research themes include representation of the posthuman, science fiction, screenwriting and screen storytelling.

Dr Jon Howlett
History

Modern/contemporary Chinese history, social history. Sino-British relations. China and the world. Early Cold War. International 1950s. Decolonisation.

Prof Stevi Jackson
Centre for Women's Studies 

Gender, sexuality and intimate relationships in East Asia (China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea); debates on Asian modernity/modernities, especially in relation to family/intimate relationships.

Dr Joyce Jiang
The York Management School

Research interest: collective mobilisation of workers in China, politicised art/ radical art in China, internal migration and expatriates in China, labour movement,  identity and modernity.

Dr Martin Jones
Centre for Applied Human Rights 
York Law School

The relevance of the law, lawyers and legal institutions and processes to refugee protection in Asia (with a focus on Hong Kong, Malaysia and Egypt), with attention to the role of programmes of legal aid and principles of legal empowerment.

Hilary Layton
Director of Internationalisation

Manages strategic research relationships in China.

Dr Xiaodong Lin              Sociology

Men and masculinities, ageing, migration, family and intimacy, fatherhood, cultural values and China.

Dr Heather Marsden
Language and Linguistic Science

Second language acquisition of Japanese and Korean syntax and semantics.

Ms Florence Mok (PhD student)
History

Hong Kong's political and social history, 1960s - present: political culture, identity change, decolonisation, social movements and policy making.

Dr Sarah Olive
Education

Shakespeare in education (policy and pedagogy) on the subcontinent and in South East Asia. This includes schools, higher education, theatre education and extramural education throughout the life course.

Ms Shuang Qiu
Centre for Women's Studies

Living apart together (LAT) relationships in China. Intimate/family relationships; gender and women's studies in China; modernisation and individualisation.

Prof Peter Sells
Language and Linguistic Science

Grammatical study of modern Japanese, Korean, and Chinese; grammatical study of Old Japanese. Formal comparative approaches to morphology, syntax, and semantics.

Dr Corrado Topi Stockholm Environment Institute

I am a complex system scientists that focuses on participatory ecological economics and geographic political economics, and on working directly with stakeholders. In particular: participatory collaborative approaches to the economics of green transition strategies at the local level, i.e. strategies for the transition to a sustainable and resilient model in private enterprises (especially SMEs), cities, and rural and periurban communities; value chain (in particular food and drink value chain) and local green economic development; economics of energy efficiency strategies and of water efficiency strategies at the local level; cultural heritage and green economic development at the local level; ecosystem services and green economic development at the local level.

Ms Kailing Xie
Centre for Women’s Studies

Currently researching on China’s privileged daughters who were born in the 1980s. My research interest includes heterosexuality, gender and family relationships in the contemporary China. How individual agency intersects the societal structure they live in.

Haiwei Zhang
Centre for Research into Language Learning and Use
Department of Education

Chinese language and writing systems learning, Chinese as a second language acquisition.

 

Southeast

Name/Department Research areas
Dr Tara Alberts
History
Early modern contact between Europe and Southeast Asia. Trade, the circulation of goods (especially related to health and healing), intercultural exchange and religious conversion.

Prof Sanjoy Bhattacharya
History

19th and 20th century South Asia, with special reference to India. Health, medical, environmental, social and political history. Key research themes include colonialism, nationalism, decolonisation, South Asian diasporas, and the forms of, and roles played by, international and global health and development programmes.

Prof Richard Common
The York Management School 

Public Administration/HRM - Gulf States, Hong Kong SAR, PRC, Singapore, Malaysia.

Prof Bob Doherty
The York Management School
(Chair of Marketing)

Study of hybrid organizations such as social enterprises in the Thai context. What have been the pivotal institutions, networks and cognitive framing leading to the development of the social enterprise sector and how does this impact on managing the dual social and commercial logics.

Dr Richard Friend
Environment

Transformations of rural society and urbanization; political economy of urbanization and changing patterns of poverty, vulnerability and risk; environmental governance and rights; development, climate change and natural disasters; specialist interest in Thailand and the Mekong region.

Mr Ninh Hoang (PhD student)
Politics

Vietnam and its foreign policy towards China and the US, which is seen to greatly affect the Southeast Asia region's stability and peace.
Dr Janaka Jayawickrama
Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU)

Examining to develop new knowledge on dealing with uncertainties and dangers presented by disasters and conflicts in the region. Collaborating with communities and institutions in countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Pacific Islands.

Dr Martin Jones
Centre for Applied Human Rights 
York Law School

The relevance of the law, lawyers and legal institutions and processes to refugee protection in Asia (with a focus on Hong Kong, Malaysia and Egypt), with attention to the role of programmes of legal aid and principles of legal empowerment.

Hilary Layton
Director of Internationalisation

Manages strategic research relationships in Southeast Asia

Dr Alice Nah
Centre for Applied Human Rights
Politics Department

Human rights defenders at risk, migration and asylum, organisational effectiveness in civil society, transnational advocacy networks.

Dr Sarah Olive
Education

Shakespeare in education (policy and pedagogy) on the subcontinent and in South East Asia. This includes schools, higher education, theatre education and extramural education throughout the life course.

Dr Katherine Selby Environment

Working on a project on Thailand: sea level changes from mangroves environments during the Holocene. I am also hoping to develop some work on pollen, health and air pollution in that region.

Ms Suska (Phd student) Economics and Related Studies

Multidimensional inequality,income mobility, poverty, subjective well-being, informal labour  and fiscal policy of Indonesia.

Dr Corrado Topi Stockholm Environment Institute

I am a complex system scientist that focuses on participatory ecological economics and geographic political economics, and on working directly with stakeholders. In particular: participatory collaborative approaches to the economics of green transition strategies at the local level, i.e. strategies for the transition to a sustainable and resilient model in private enterprises (especially SMEs), cities, and rural and periurban communities; value chain (in particular food and drink value chain) and local green economic development; economics of energy efficiency strategies and of water efficiency strategies at the local level; cultural heritage and green economic development at the local level; ecosystem services and green economic development at the local level.

 

South

Name/Department Research areas
Melony Bethala
English and Related Literature
Cross-national comparison - India and Ireland, postcolonial theory, contemporary womanhood in India, postcolonial feminism, nationalism, motherhood, female sexuality, Indian women's poetry, Indian English poetry
Arnab Chakraborty    History (Centre for Global Health Histories) Madras Presidency, which was one of the three presidencies in Colonial India.  Dealing with medical transformation in the area, from military to civilian perspectives.
Dr Claire Chambers
English and Related Literature
Literature, postcolonialism, religion (particularly Islam), Muslims, British-South Asian, migration, representations of and by Muslims in Britain, Pakistan, India, the Arab world, life writing, travel writing, fiction. Periods: eighteenth century to the present, with a special interest in contemporary writing.
Dr Richard Friend
Environment
 

Transformations of rural society and urbanization; political economy of urbanization and changing patterns of poverty, vulnerability and risk; environmental governance and rights; development, climate change and natural disasters; specialist interest in Thailand and the Mekong region.

Dr Joanna de Groot
History

Gendered socio-cultural histories of Iran, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and the Persianate world since c.1750; orientalism, imperialism and anti-imperialism in those settings; concepts of, and debates around, historical practice in those fields.

Dr Janaka Jayawickrama
Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU)

Examining to develop new knowledge on dealing with uncertainties and dangers presented by disasters and conflicts in the region. Collaborating with communities and institutions in countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Pacific Islands.

Indrani Karmakar (PhD candidate)
English and Related Literature

Women's writing, Gender and Sexuality, Motherhood, Postcolonial Feminism, Indian Women's Writing.

Prof Paul Kaye
Centre for Immunology and Infection, Dept of Biology/HYMS

My research focuses on neglected diseases of poverty, mostly the leishmaniases.  We work with colleagues in India (Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi; Kala Azar Medical Research Centre, Muzaffarpur) and Sri Lanka (University of Sri Jayewardenepura) to better understand disease pathogenesis and to develop new approaches for prevention and treatment of disease.

Ruth Kelly
Centre for Applied Human Rights
Centre for Women's Studies

Human rights, vernacular storytelling and alternative approaches to development (notably the commons, the care economy and wage-led growth); Creative activism; Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Vietnam.

Dr Arun Kumar
The York Management School

 

I research the histories of development and management, separately and together, in India. I am particularly interested in criticisms of the role of organised philanthropy in these histories. I was recently awarded a RAC grant-in-aid to research the history of management education in India.

Dr Gerard McCann
History

India-Africa relations; South Asian diaspora (esp. in East Africa and Southeast Asia); Sikh diaspora; Indian foreign policy; India and the world; decolonization; third worldism and global south

Dr Sarah Olive
Education

Shakespeare in education (policy and pedagogy) on the subcontinent and in South East Asia. This includes schools, higher education, theatre education and extramural education throughout the life course.

Dr Samarthia Thankappan
Environment

Sustainable food production and consumption (includes sustainable lifestyles, sustainable diets, food losses and food waste management and environmentally friendly behaviours); Understanding enhanced transport systems (includes innovative, efficient, sustainable and practical shortest pathways for low carbon strategies); CSR and sustainability of supply chains across a range of sectors (food, automotive, textiles, construction).

Dr Monica Saavedra
History

19th and 20th centuries India with particular, particularly Goa (former Portuguese India). Interdisciplinary approach (history and social sciences) to the history of public health and medicine. Main research themes: international health policies, health care, international organisations.

Dr Hayley Saul
Archaeology

The archaeology of human-environment interactions in the prehistoric and early historic Nepalese Himalayas. High-altitude fieldwork techniques, palaeo-environmental reconstruction, prehistoric diet and technologies, settlement development, Nepalese heritage management and conservation, archaeology and economic development.

Dr Corrado Topi Stockholm Environment Institute

I am a complex system scientists that focuses on participatory ecological economics and geographic political economics, and on working directly with stakeholders. In particular: participatory collaborative approaches to the economics of green transition strategies at the local level, i.e. strategies for the transition to a sustainable and resilient model in private enterprises (especially SMEs), cities, and rural and periurban communities; value chain (in particular food and drink value chain) and local green economic development; economics of energy efficiency strategies and of water efficiency strategies at the local level; cultural heritage and green economic development at the local level; ecosystem services and green economic development at the local level.

Indrani Sigamany
York Law School

Existing policies concerning indigenous peoples in order to identify gaps in the implementation of human rights instruments, and examines what concrete changes have occurred for indigenous peoples as a result of land rights legislation.

 

Central

Name/Department        Research areas

Dr Joanna de Groot  
History

Gendered socio-cultural histories of Iran, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and the Persianate world since c.1750; orientalism, imperialism and anti-imperialism in those settings; concepts of, and debates around, historical practice in those fields

 

North/Russia

Name/Department Research areas

Prof David Moon
History

Environmental, agricultural, social, transnational history, 16th-21st Century

Hilary Layton
Director of Internationalisation

Manages strategic research relationships in Russia.

 

Southwest/The Middle East

Name/Department       Research areas

Dr Michele Campopiano
English and Related Literature

Economic, social and cultural history of Iraq and Iran in the Middle Ages. History of the Holy Land. Christendom and Islam in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Transcultural contacts in the Medieval period (India, Middle East, Europe).
Dr Claire Chambers
English and Related Literature
Literature, postcolonialism, religion (particularly Islam), Muslims, British-South Asian, migration, representations of and by Muslims in Britain, Pakistan, India, the Arab world, life writing, travel writing, fiction. Periods: eighteenth century to the present, with a special interest in contemporary writing.

Prof Richard Common
The York Management School 

Public Administration/HRM - Gulf States, Hong Kong SAR, PRC, Singapore, Malaysia.

Dr Joanna de Groot
History

Gendered socio-cultural histories of Iran, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and the Persianate world since c.1750; orientalism, imperialism and anti-imperialism in those settings; concepts of, and debates around, historical practice in those fields

Dr Sam Hellmuth
Language and Linguistic Science

Sound systems of different varieties of Arabic, from spoken dialects to the Quran, focussing on discourse level properties such as stress, rhythm and intonation, with a special interest in historical contact effects on contemporary spoken dialects.

Dr Martin Jones
Centre for Applied Human Rights 
York Law School

The relevance of the law, lawyers and legal institutions and processes to refugee protection in Asia (with a focus on Hong Kong, Malaysia and Egypt), with attention to the role of programmes of legal aid and principles of legal empowerment.

Sabrina Mimid     International Relations Office

Manages strategic relationships in Australasia and the Middle East.

Dr Colleen Morgan Archaeology Household archaeology, heritage and gender in the Gulf and Middle East; currently working in Qatar and Oman.

Dr Harry Munt
History

Pre-modern (medieval) Islamic and Middle Eastern history. In particular the history of the Arabian Peninsula, holy cities and pilgrimage in Islam, Muslim and non-Muslim interactions, and pre-modern Arabic and Persian historiography.

Prof Gulcin Ozkan

International macroeconomics, international finance, emerging markets and political economics. Some topics of recent research include financial crises;  fiscal austerity and redistribution;  economics of constitutions;  optimal monetary and macroprudential policy for emerging economies;  central bank independence and public debt and financial development.

Dr Samarthia Thankappan
Environment

Sustainable food production and consumption (includes sustainable lifestyles, sustainable diets, food losses and food waste management and environmentally friendly behaviours); Understanding enhanced transport systems (includes innovative, efficient, sustainable and practical shortest pathways for low carbon strategies); CSR and sustainability of supply chains across a range of sectors (food, automotive, textiles, construction).

Dr Corrado Topi Stockholm Environment Institute

I am a complex system scientists that focuses on participatory ecological economics and geographic political economics, and on working directly with stakeholders. In particular: participatory collaborative approaches to the economics of green transition strategies at the local level, i.e. strategies for the transition to a sustainable and resilient model in private enterprises (especially SMEs), cities, and rural and periurban communities; value chain (in particular food and drink value chain) and local green economic development; economics of energy efficiency strategies and of water efficiency strategies at the local level; cultural heritage and green economic development at the local level; ecosystem services and green economic development at the local level.