Anh Sy Huy Le

Born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam, I received my B.A in Economics and Chinese Studies (with honors) from Wabash College in 2013 and MA in History in 2015. My thesis entitled “The Orientals Strike Back: Struggle for Spatial Justice in 1906 San Francisco’s Chinatown,” was awarded the best MA thesis by SUNY Buffalo’s history department.

I work at the intersection of a few sub-fields including social history, economic history, comparative colonialism, and migration/diaspora studies. Geographically, I am a Southeast Asianist and modern Vietnam specialist in training with deep interest in transoceanic diasporic ties, and the global circulation of ideas and capital between colonial Vietnam and Greater China Sea in the late 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries. This, in particular, has brought me to the study of the Chinese southern diasporas and the Mekong Delta trading emporia that connected cosmopolitan port cities (such as Saigon) and their littoral societies to the riverine trading networks in the hinterlands. Corollary to my preoccupation with the formation/stabilization of these intricate networks is my interest in the entanglement of colonial modernity and its developmental impacts on pre-existing (indigenous) economic networks and institutions.

My dissertation (in progress), tentatively entitled Traversing the Nanyang: Merchant Enclaves, Chinese Junk Networks, and the Making of Colonial Capitalism in French Cochinchina (1860-1940) investigates the making of French colonial capitalism and the delineation of shared Sino-Vietnamese maritime “borderland” through globally connected nexuses of commercial (junk) trade, Chinese migrations, and illicit activities (constituting what’s often known as informal economy). I have received an American Council of Learned Societies/Henry Luce Foundation Fellowship in Chinese Studies to begin the early stage of my archival research for this project in China and Taiwan this summer.

I have won multiple paper awards, both internal and external grants/fellowships, and participated in national/international conferences. For more information, check out my CV here or page.

For the last two years, I have been on the organizational committee of the Migration Without Boundaries Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on Migration at MSU–an academic initiative promoting new research in historical and contemporary migrations. The conference can be found on twitter @MSU_Migration

When I am not reading or writing history, I enjoy long-distance trekking, running, biking, and learning languages.

Departmental Activities: Vice President, Graduate History Association, 2016-2017; PR and Keynote Speaker Committee, Migration Without Boundaries Conference, 2015-2017.

Teaching/Research Appointment:

ISS325 Wars and Revolutions (Fall 2017) with Dr. Sean Forner 

HST150 World History Since 1500 (Summer 2017) with Dr. Charles Keith 

IAH204: Asia and the World (Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2018) with Dr. Sidney Lu

ISS330: Modern East Asia (Summer 2016) with Dr. Ethan Segal

Research Assistant for Dr. Charles Keith‘s second monograph tentatively entitled Indochina in France, Colonial Subjects, Metropolitan Lives (Fall 2016 and Spring 2017)

Websites: twitter,, researchgate

Upland Southeast Asia

Year in Program: 3

Fields: East Asian History: Modern Vietnam and Modern China, the Indian Ocean in World History, Migration History

Advisor: Charles Keith

Committee: Aminda SmithLaura FairLewis Siegelbaum  

Research Languages: Vietnamese (Native), Chinese (Reading and Speaking), French (Reading)

Educational Background: B.A Economics & Chinese Studies, Wabash College, 2013. MA History, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, 2015.

CV: Anh Sy Huy Le CV

Email: Saigon (LE TOUR DU MONDE 7-10-1893)