KWEE Hui Kian

History, University of Toronto






Kwee Hui Kian research focuses on South China Sea, Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. She has examined various themes relating to history of political economy, colonialism, capitalism; and Chinese mercantile families, migration and economic activities. Her most recent projects explore the cultural-religious strategies of Chinese diasporic entrepreneurship and integrate studies of South China and Southeast Asia.


Kwee is currently conducting a multi-year research project funded by SSHRC and the Connaught Foundation. The project is entitled “Cultural Strategies, Capital Accumulation: Elite Chinese Merchants in Nineteenth Century Melaka and Batavia”. Specifically, she is using Dutch and English East India Company and colonial archives, as well as Chinese epigraphic materials, genealogies and oral histories to determine the linkage between transnational capital and the strategic consolidation of identity politics, particularly how far cultural resources have effected the economic expansion of Chinese people in the longue durée. She hopes ultimately to offer possibilities to conceptualize a Chinese mode of capitalism through their social-economic institutions.


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