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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge
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    Dr Rachel Leow

    Murray Edwards College
    CB3 0DF

    Fellow in History; Director of Studies



    Murray Edwards provides a fantastic and supportive environment for students, who learn from being here that we accomplish much more by pulling together and helping each other, rather than by pushing others down to get ahead.

    Degrees and honours

    BA (Hons) (Warwick University); MPhil in Historical Studies (Cambridge University); PhD in History (Cambridge University)

    Awards and prizes

    Bill and Melinda Gates PhD Scholarship (2007-2011); Tunku Abdul Rahman PhD Scholarship at St Catharine’s College (2007-2011); Prize Fellowship in Economics, Politics and History at Harvard University (2011-2013/2015).


    Dr Rachel Leow's research is broadly concerned with the social, cultural and intellectual links between China and Chinese communities in maritime Southeast Asia; with British imperialism in Asia; and with histories of ideas beyond Europe. Her work strives to be sensitive to the complex transformations of ideas and identities in motion. Her earliest research sought to understand the mutations and idiosyncrasies of Chinese practices of female domestic servitude in their Southeast Asian contexts. She has a forthcoming book from Cambridge University Press on language, nationalism and colonialism in the making of modern Malaya, which addresses the construction and disciplining of Chineseness and Malayness across the colonial and postcolonial transition. Her current research project is an investigation of China's intellectual influences in Southeast Asia, c. 1880-1950.

    Recent Publications

    Taming Babel: Language in the Making of Malaysia (2016)