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Derek Heng

Professor Derek Heng is Associate Professor of Humanities at the Yale-NUS College in Singapore. He obtained his BA (History & European Studies) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) (1996), his MA (Art & Archaeology) from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (1997) and his PhD (Southeast Asian Studies [History]) from the University of Hull (2005). He was previously a visiting fellow at the Department of History, NUS (2005–2006), following which he was Associate Professor of History (Southeast and Maritime Asia) at the Department of History, Ohio State University.

Professor Heng specialises in the trans-regional history (pre-modern) of Maritime Asia, with an emphasis on the Maritime Southeast Asia-South China Sea-Bay of Bengal nexus. He seeks to develop knowledge on the state formation processes in the interstitial space of maritime realms, and the interactive dynamics between societies of such regions and tier-one states and sub-regional powers on the Asian continent. He utilises archaeological and historical sources for his research. He is the author of Sino-Malay Trade and Diplomacy in the Tenth Through the Fourteenth Century (Athens: Ohio University Press), and has published several book chapters and articles in the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Journal of Song-Yuan Studies, Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society and International Journal of Maritime History.

A Singaporean by birth, he also maintains a keen interest in the historiography of Singapore’s past and the internationalisation of Singapore’s history. He co-authored Singapore: A Seven-Hundred Year History (Singapore: National Archives of Singapore, 2009), editedNew Perspectives and Sources on the History of Singapore: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach (Singapore: National Library Board, 2006), and co-editedReframing Singapore: Memory, Identity and Trans-Regionalism, ICAS Series volume 6 (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009) and Singapore in Global History (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011).

For his research, he has been awarded the Isaac Manasseh Fellowship, Asia Research Institute Summer Sabbatical Fellowship and Lee Kong Chian Senior Research Fellowship.