Tim Harper is Associate Director of the Centre of History and Economics, Reader in Southeast Asian and Imperial History, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Magdalene College.
Dr Harper's research interests centre on the history of modern Southeast Asia and the region's global connections. His first book was a study of the end of empire in Malaya, in its social as well as political aspects. He has written, with Christopher Bayly, a two-volume account of the Second World War and its aftermath in South and Southeast Asia. His most recent work has focussed on how the history of localities and local political events are shaped by a global consciousness and transnational networks. In the Centre of History and Economics he co-convenes, with Sunil Amrith, the research projects on 'Sites of Asian Interaction: Networks, Ideas, Archives'; 'The Transnational History of Health in Southeast Asia, 1914-2014', and is a partner in the SEATIDE Consortium on 'Southeast Asia: Trajectories of Inclusion, Dynamics of Exclusion'.
Dr Harper is also member of the Executive Committee of Modern Asian Studies and a Syndic of Cambridge University Press. He has held visiting research positions at the University of Malaya, the Institute of Southeast Asia Studies, Singapore and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. In 2006, he was Visiting Professor in Asian Studies, Centre Asie, Sciences Po Paris. In the History Faculty in Cambridge has supervised PhD theses on a range of topics on modern Asian and imperial history.
Forgotten Wars: the end of Britain's Asian empire (Allen Lane/Harvard University Press as Forgotten wars: freedom and revolution in Southeast Asia, 2007), (with Christopher Bayly)
Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945 (Allen Lane: London, 2004/Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass. 2005), (with Christopher Bayly)
The End of Empire and the Making of Malaya (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999)
'Afterword: The Malay World, besides empire and nation', Indonesia and the Malay World (2013) DOI:10.1080/13639811.2013.798073
'The tools of transition: Education and development in modern Southeast Asian history', in Michael Woolcock, et al eds., History and Development Policy: A necessary dialogue (Manchester University Press, 2011), pp. 193-211.
'The British "Malayans"', in Robert Bickers, ed., Settlers and expatriates: Britons over the seas (Oxford History of the British Empire companion series: Oxford, 2010), pp. 233-268.
‘A long view on the Great Asian War’, in David Koh Wee Hock, ed., Legacies of World War II in South and East Asia (ISEAS: Singapore, 2007)
‘Empire, Diaspora and the Languages of Globalism, 1850-1914’, in A.G. Hopkins, ed., Globalization in World History ( London, 2002), pp. 141-166
‘Lim Chin Siong and “the Singapore Story”’, in Jomo K.S. and Tan Jing Quee, eds., Comet in Our Sky: Lim Chin Siong in History (Forum: Kuala Lumpur, 2001), pp. 1-56
‘The State and Information in Modern Southeast Asian History’, in Yao Souchou, ed., House of Glass: Culture, Modernity and the State in Southeast Asia (ISEAS: Singapore, 2001), pp. 213-240
Globalism and the Pursuit of Authenticity: the Making of a Diasporic Public Sphere in Singapore’, Sojourn, 12, 2 (1997), pp. 261-92
ed., with Daljit Singh, Regional Outlook, 1997-98 (ISEAS, Singapore, 1997)
‘“Asian values” and Southeast Asian histories,’ Historical Journal, 40, 2 (1997), pp. 507-17
‘The Politics of the Forest in Colonial Malaya’, Modern Asian Studies, 31, 1 (1997), pp. 1-29
‘The Communications Revolution in Colonial Malaya: Propaganda, Film and Nationalism’, Journal of the Netherlands-Japan Institute, VI (1996), pp. 95-118
‘New Malays, New Malaysians: Nationalism, Society and History’, Southeast Asian Affairs 1996 (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies: Singapore, 1996), pp. 238-55