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Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

Department of South East Asian Studies Staff

Head of Department

Dr Ben Murtagh 

Personal Advisors

Year 1 - Prof Justin Watkins

Year 2 - Dr Sallehuddin bin Abdullah Sani

Years 3/4 - Dr Mulaika Hijjas

Undergraduate Admissions Tutor

Prof Justin Watkins

Undergraduate Programme Convenors

Prof Justin Watkins (BA South East Asian Studies, BA Burmese plus another subject, BA Thai plus another subject)

Dr Ben Murtagh (BA Indonesian plus another subject)

Dr Dana Healy (BA Vietnamese plus another subject)

Postgraduate Programme Convenor

Dr Mulaika Hijjas (MA Pacific Asian Studies, MA South East Asia Studies)

Research Tutor

Prof Rachel Dwyer

Please note that for Masters Students the Admissions Tutor and Personal Tutor is the Postgraduate Programme Convenor.


Justin Watkins
Professor of Burmese
Justin Watkins

Burmese languages and Burmese linguistics; language policy in Burma; experimental and acoustic phonetics; computer lexicography; minority languages of South East Asia; Mon-Khmer and Tibeto Burman languages; tone languages. Sign languages in Burma and South East Asia.

  • Tel: 020 7898 4254
  • Email: jw2@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 462
  • Office Hours: email for an appointment


Rachel V Harrison
Reader in Thai Cultural Studies
Rachel Harrison
Modern Thai Cultural Studies, Cinema and Literature; gender studies with reference to Thailand; literary criticism and South East Asian Literatures in a comparative context; Western film set in South East Asia
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4247
  • Email: rh6@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 455
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 15:00 - 17:00
  • On Sabbatical:On leave 2015-16

Senior Lecturers

Ben Murtagh
Senior Lecturer in Indonesian and Malay
Head of Department
Ben Murtagh Modern Indonesian cinema and literature; queer​ ​studies and sexuality in Indonesia; representation​ ​
of genders and sexuality in Southeast Asian film​ ​and literatures; traditional Malay literature
  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4248
  • Email: bm10@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 466
  • Office Hours: Mondays 11am-12noon/ Fridays 10-11am
Dana Healy
Senior Lecturer in Vietnamese
Dana Healy Modern Vietnamese cultural studies (literature, film, gender); Vietnamese social and cultural history (the Vietnam War; art and politics); the sociology of contemporary Vietnamese literature; the Vietnamese diaspora
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4252
  • Email: dh4@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 465
  • On Sabbatical:On leave, Term 1 (2015-16)


Post-Doctoral Fellows

Mulaika Hijjas
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
Lecturer in South East Asian Studies
Mulaika Hijjas

The Malay manuscript tradition; Islam in South East Asia; gender in the Malay world; modern literatures of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore

  • Tel: 020 7898 4253
  • Email: mh86@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 454
  • Office Hours: Mondays 1-3pm


Sallehuddin bin Abdullah Sani
Lector in Indonesian
Sallehuddin Abdullah Sani

Indonesian language

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4256
  • Email: sa38@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 450
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 12:00-13:00/Thursdays 12:00-13:00

Teaching Fellows

Sud Chonchirdsin
Senior Lector in Thai
Sud Chonchirdsin


Sue Guiney
Sue Guiney

Sue Guiney joins SOAS in 2011 as the Department of South East Asia's first Writer-in-Residence. She brings a wealth of experience as a writer, poet and teacher.  During her time at SOAS she will and promote the activity of writing throughout the SOAS community with workshops for students and staff, and a weekly one-to-one writing surgery.

Research Associates

Anna Allott
Research Associate
Staff Silhouette
Vladimir I Braginsky
Professorial Research Associate
Vladimir Braginski Malay and Indonesian classical and modern literature and culture; Islam in the Malay-Indonesian world; Islamic literature of South East Asia; comparative study of South East Asian literatures; Malay philology and traditional literature sufism in Malay literature

Manas Chitakasem
Research Associate
Staff Silhouette
Russell Jones
Research Associate
Staff Silhouette

E Ulrich Kratz
SEA-img-Kratz Ernst Traditional Malay philology; the contemporary literatures, cultures and societies of the Malay-speaking world; Malay society; Malay culture; Malay history; Malay politics; Malay religion
John Okell
Research Associate
John Okell

Burmese/Myanmar language, linguistics, literature