SOAS University of London

Heidi Tan

SOAS offers excellent resources and expertise to support a rigorous cross-disciplinary approach to doing original research on museology in Southeast Asia.

Heidi Tan did a PhD Museology at SOAS and is now a postdoctoral research associate at SOAS.

Why did you choose SOAS, and why doctoral research in museology?

SOAS offered excellent resources and expertise to support a rigorous cross-disciplinary approach to doing original research on museology in Southeast Asia.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

Fieldwork – collecting, documenting, and interpreting new data on museums in Myanmar – was the most exciting aspect of the research. I also really enjoyed working alongside colleagues from across Southeast Asia who were studying related subjects. I learned a lot from them.

Can you tell us about the work you do now and how you got there?

I’m currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate which means further developing my research outputs through publishing and bringing these into the classroom through teaching museology and Southeast Asian art histories at the School of Arts. I also work as a co-editor on the postgrad journal Pratu, and help to convene the research seminar programme for the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme (SAAAP).

How has your experience at SOAS helped you in your career?

It has enabled me to transition from my practice as museum curator to embrace related research and teaching practices. These continue to enrich the curatorial experience – I’m continually reminded how all three areas are interrelated.

What advice would you give to students thinking about studying at SOAS?

If you’ve been curious about a topic for some time, get in touch and find out what SOAS can do to help you realise your research ambitions.