Faculty and Staff


Koh Keng We (Assistant Professor)



Telephone: 6592 1781
Email: kohkw@ntu.edu.sg

Mailing Address
Nanyang Technological University
School of Humanities
48 Nanyang Avenue, HSS-05-10
Singapore 639818



Keng We is interested in the history of maritime Asia, Chinese and comparative religions, comparative business, and knowledge formation.

Keng We’s research interests include comparative business history, the history of Chinese and comparative religions, the history of Southeast Asia, the history of knowledge formation, history of migration and mobility, and the history of maritime Asia. He is also interested in historical anthropology, historical sociology, and visual anthropology. He worked in the United States, the Netherlands and South Korea after his graduation from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Future plans

Keng We’s current research interests include comparative/Chinese business history in Singapore, migration and colonialism in Southeast Asia, China-Southeast Asia business interactions, and temples, society and culture in maritime Chinese societies in Southeast Asia and southern China, and comparative study of knowledge networks in early modern and colonial maritime Asia. He looks forward to collaborating on these topics.  


Selected Publications

  • ‘The Deity Proposes, the State Disposes: The Vicissitudes of a Chinese Temple in Post-1965 Singapore’ in Jason Lim and Terence Lee (Eds) Singapore: Negotiating State and Society, 1965-2015 (Routledge, 2016).

  • ‘Nation, Diaspora and the World: Locating Namewee and Malaysian Popular Culture’ in Daniel Goh (Ed.) Worlding Multiculturalisms: The Politics of Inter-Asian Dwelling (Routledge, 2015).

  • ‘Travel and Survival in the Colonial Malay World: Mobility, Region, and the World in Johor Elite Strategies 1818-1914’, Journal of World History, Vol. 25, No. 4 (2015), pp. 559-582