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Dr Su Lin LewisBA(Comb Hons), MA(Lond), PhD(Cantab)


Su Lin Lewis

Dr Su Lin LewisBA(Comb Hons), MA(Lond), PhD(Cantab)


Member of

Research interests

Office: 1.2, 26/27 St. Michael's Park

Phone: +44 (0)117 928 7912


Consultation hours: Mondays 10-11 and Wednesdays 11-12

I specialise in global and transnational history in the twentieth century, with a thematic focus on urban history, civil society, gender, cosmopolitanism, and migration, from the late colonial era to the Cold War. My geographical focus is mainly Southeast Asia (especially Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand), along with an ever-increasing interest in port-cities of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Rim. 

My monograph, Cities in Motion: urban life and cosmopolitanism in Southeast Asia 1920-1940 (2016) explores intersecting themes of urban space, cross-cultural sociability, education, the press, and popular culture in late colonial Penang, Rangoon, and Bangkok.

I am currently leading a collaborative research network funded by the AHRC, on cultural internationalism and the transnational movements of activists (including trade unions and women's groups), literati, and artists in the 1950s across Asia and Africa. My contribution focuses on the growth of civil society in Burma, Malaysia, and Indonesia, as well as African-Americans in Cold War Asia. See


Before arriving at Bristol in September 2014, I was Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham from 2013-2014. I was a Mellon post-doctoral fellow in the Department of South and Southeast Asian studies at the University of California, Berkeley between 2011 and 2013. In summer 2011, I participated in the month-long Sixth International Seminar on Decolonization hosted by the National History Center in Washington D.C. I was a Past and Present post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Historical Research in London in 2010/11.

I have also worked on and managed community-driven development projects for the World Bank and International Organization for Migration in Indonesia, where I developed an interest in the history of local civil society organizations and grassroots social movements in Southeast Asia. 

Research Supervision

I would be interested in supervising students who wish to work on any topic relating to my research interests.  I also welcome proposals relating to global/transnational connections in Asia and the political, social, intellectual, and cultural history of Southeast Asia between 1880 and the present.  I am currently co-supervising, with Robert Bickers, PhD students working on the history of Britishness and Asian communities in colonial Hong Kong, Macanese communities in Hong Kong, and the emergence of the suit in post-war Hong Kong as part of the Hong Kong History Project.


I currently offer the following undergraduate units:

Modern Girls and New Women (second-year Lecture Response Unit)

Global Cities (third-year Lecture Response Unit)

Colonial Radicals (first-year Special Topic)

After Empire (second-year Special Field)

I also contribute lectures to the Introduction to the British Empire (first year lecture outline unit) and Rethinking History (second-year lecture outline unit) 


View research connections

Postal address:
13-15 Woodland Road
United Kingdom