Derek Heng

Derek Heng is an assistant professor of history at the Ohio State University at Marion. He is the editor of New Perspectives and Sources on the History of Singapore: A Multi-disciplinary Approach.

Listed in: History · Asian Studies · Southeast Asian Studies · Asian History

China has been an important player in the international economy for two thousand years and has historically exerted enormous influence over the development and nature of political and economic affairs in the regions beyond its borders, especially its neighbors.

“For too long we have been dependent on inadequate translations of Chinese court records to understand the shifting fortunes of ‘kingdoms’ and trade centers in Southeast Asia before 1400. Archaeologists have been uncovering new data on the ground at Southeast Asian trade sites, at manufacturing and trade centers in southern China, and in the cargoes of shipwrecks from around the South China Sea. What was needed was to bring these dynamic but very separate fields of research together. Derek Heng has succeeded in turning a ‘dark age’ into a coherent overall picture of the changes that transformed the Southeast Asian hinge of world commerce over four centuries.”

Anthony Reid, author of Southeast Asia in Age of Commerce, 1450-1680