- Modern Indian History; Global History; South and Southeast Asian Studies
- India-China Connections; Infrastructure and Environment; Animals and State-Building in Modern Asia
Rethinking Infrastructure in Asian Borderlands
This research examines the empire- and state-building processes in India, Burma, and China from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. It investigates how infrastructure such as roads, railways, ports, and airports, and along with them, railway stations, docks, refueling depots, warehouses, and airfields, simultaneously facilitated and thwarted the expansion of empires (particularly the British Empire and the Qing Empire in this region) and nationalist states (the Republic of India, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Nationalist China, and Communist China). As China extends its Belt and Road Initiative across the Asian borderlands in the twenty-first century, this research will give us a significant historical understanding of previous infrastructural expansion and its great human and environment costs.