My research interest is on the ethics and efficacy of hospitality in the form of humanitarianism and human rights from its historical to contemporary context. I approach this in my dissertation through a case study: the politics of protecting women's bodies in colonial Cambodia during the period of the French protectorate. The story involves local, regional, and global networks of French civil servants and private citizens, European and American institutions, and local elites. Collectively, they crafted policies, laws, and narratives about three domains of the biopolitical governance of empire: the regulation of prostitution, the facilitation of childbirth, and the prosecution of sexual violence. This project evolved from my work with an international non-governmental organization on health and hygiene programs for women and their families.
Thesis Title: "Hospitality Engendered: Women's Bodies, Empire, and Humanitarianism in Colonial Cambodia"
Main Advisor: Professor Shepard