Skip to Content

Leander Seah

Assistant Professor of History

Leander Seah is an ethnic Chinese native of Singapore who teaches modern East Asian history, modern Southeast Asian history and modern world history. He has published journal articles, has presented his work at conferences in the U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China and is currently revising a book manuscript based on his doctoral dissertation, "Conceptualizing the Chinese World: Jinan University, Nanyang Migrants, and Trans-Regionalism, 1900-1941." His accolades include 16 fellowships, research grants and awards from the Association for Asian Studies, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Center for Chinese Studies in Taiwan, the National Library Board of Singapore, the National University of Singapore and the University of Pennsylvania.


  • Ph.D., history, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.A., history, National University of Singapore
  • B.A., history, National University of Singapore

Course Topics

  • Modern World Civilizations
  • The History of Modern China
  • The History of Modern Japan
  • Maritime China and Chinese Migration

Research Interests

  • China and Southeast Asia (Chinese maritime activity, migration, education and intellectuals)
  • Modern China (late Qing and Republican history)
  • Modern Japan
  • Diasporas
  • Trans-regional, transnational, world and global histories


  • "Conceptualizing the Chinese World: Jinan University, Lee Kong Chian, and the Nanyang Connection, 1900-1942." BiblioAsia 4, no. 1 (April 2008): 26-37.
  • "Hybridity, Globalization, and the Creation of a Nanyang Identity: The South Seas Society in Singapore, 1940-1958." Journal of the South Seas Society (Nanyang xuebao) 61 (December 2007): 134-151.
  • Review (invited) of "Asian Diasporas: New Formations, New Conceptions," edited by Rhacel S. Parreñas and Lok C. D. Siu. Journal of Chinese Overseas 6, no. 1 (2010): 139-141.
  • Review of "Chinese Among Others: Emigration in Modern Times," by Philip A. Kuhn. Chinese Studies (Hanxue yanjiu) 27, no. 1 (March 2009): 345-349.

Leander Seah

Faculty Expert

  • Maritime China
  • Chinese migration
  • History of modern China
  • History of modern Japan
  • Maritime Southeast Asia

Contact Information