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Sandy F. Chang

Office:  Keene-Flint 020
Office phone: (352) 273-3378
Fax: (352) 392-6927

Mailing address:
Department of History
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117320
Gainesville, FL 32611-7320

Sandy F. Chang is an Assistant Professor in Modern Asian History, who specializes in migration, gender, and sexuality in Southeast Asia and the British Empire. Her scholarly areas of interest also include global China, inter-Asian connections, modern border regimes, women’s history, and global empires/comparative colonialisms.

Dr. Chang is currently working on a book project, tentatively titled, Across the South Seas: Gender, Intimacy, and Chinese Migration to British Malaya, 1877-1940. Based on immigration records, court cases, trafficking files, and oral interviews, it traces the border-crossing journeys of over a million Chinese women who traveled as wives, domestic servants, and prostitutes. Although historians have often argued that global Chinese migration was, historically, a predominantly masculine enterprise, this study illuminates instead how women’s intimate labor networks served as linchpins that sustained the regional Southeast Asian economy. From makeshift brothels in the tin-mining hinterlands to polygamous households in the port cities, migrant women engaged in adaptive labor strategies and intimate relations across the Malay Peninsula. Weaving together the social history of Chinese women with the politics of global border control, this monograph reveals how migration governance in colonial Southeast Asia was, from the start, a gendered project aimed at managing prostitution, promoting marriage, and reproducing loyal subjects.

Prior to joining the University of Florida, Dr. Chang received a PhD in History from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Historical Association, Harvard University’s Center for History and Economics, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, among others.

In 2020-21, Dr. Chang will offer a range of courses and seminars, including Modern China, Asia and the World, and Global History of Prostitution.