Credit: Page 9: a courtroom scene showing a judge passing sentence on a couple. Watercolour drawing. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Colonial Governance & Law


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Diana Kim (Georgetown University)
Empires of Vice: The Rise of Opium Prohibition across Southeast Asia (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020)

Nurfadzilah Yahaya (University of Singapore)
Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2020)

Moderators: Kalyani Ramnath (Harvard), Iza Hussin (Cambridge)



Diana Kim is Assistant Professor at Georgetown University in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and a core faculty member of the Asian Studies Program. Before joining Georgetown, she was a postdoctoral Prize Fellow in Economics, History, and Politics at Harvard University. Diana Kim’s book Empires of Vice (Princeton University Press, 2020) 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. Her next projects explore the “hidden” underbellies of transnational political economies, including illicit markets, smuggling, and stigmatized labor.

Nurfadzilah Yahaya is Assistant Professor of History at the National University of Singapore. She received her PhD in History from Princeton University in 2012. Before joining the National University of Singapore, she was a postdoctoral fellow in Islamic Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, and a research fellow at the Asia Research Institute at NUS. Nurfadzilah Yahaya’s book, Fluid Jurisdictions (Cornell University Press, 2020), explores how members of the Arab diaspora utilized Islamic law in British and Dutch colonial courts of Southeast Asia. Her next project explores the history of land reclamation in the British Empire.