Eric Tagliacozzo

John Stambaugh Professor of History


Much of my work has centered on the history of people, ideas, and material in motion in and around Southeast Asia, especially in the colonial age. My first book, Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States Along a Southeast Asian Frontier (Yale, 2005), examined many of these ideas by analyzing the history of smuggling in the region. My last book project was called The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford, 2013), and this book attempted to write a history of this very broad topic from earliest times to the present. I am also the editor or co-editor of a number of other books, on the global Hajj (Cambridge, 2016); on trans-nationalism in Asia as seen through time-periods (Harvard, 2015a), through place (Harvard, 2015b), as well as through people (Harvard, 2019); on Burmese lives under a coercive regime (Oxford, 2014); on the state of the field of Indonesian Studies (Cornell, 2014), and Indonesian sources more generally (Duke, 2009); on Chinese trade down to Southeast Asia (Duke, 2009), and Southeast Asian contacts west to the Middle East (Stanford, 2009); and finally on the relationship between History and Anthropology as disciplines (Stanford, 2009). I’ve recently finished a monograph about the linked maritime histories of Asia, from Yemen east to Yokohama (Princeton, 2022).

Research Focus

  • Southeast Asian History
  • World History
  • Maritime History



  • (author), In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2022).

  • (co-editor), The Hajj: Pilgrimage in Islam (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016).
  • (co-editor), Asia Inside Out: Changing Times (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015).
  • (co-editor), Asia Inside Out: Connected Places (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015). 
  • (co-editor), Asia Inside Out: Itinerant People (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2019).
  • (co-editor), Burmese Lives: Ordinary Life Stories Under the Burmese Regime (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • (editor), Producing Indonesia: The State of the Field of Indonesian Studies (Cornell: SEAP Publications, 2014).
  • (author) The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013). 368 pp.
  •  (co-editor) Chinese Circulations: Capital, Commodities and Networks in Southeast Asia (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011).
  • (co-editor) Clio/Anthropos: Exploring the Boundaries Between History and Anthropology (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2009). 
  • (co-editor), The Indonesia Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Durham: Duke University Press, 2009).
  • (editor), Southeast Asia and the Middle East: Islam, Movement, and the Longue Duree (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2009).
  • (author) Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States Along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865-1915 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005). 437 pp.**  Winner of the Harry J. Benda Prize from the Association of Asian Studies, 2007 

Links to All Books Mentioned Above

Course Rotation:

•  HIST 1700:  “The History of Exploration”

•  HIST 1402:  “Global Islam”

•  HIST 4515:  “The Pacific Horizon”

•  HIST 1750:  “Routes: Global Histories”

•  HIST 4922:  “Ocean: The Sea in Global History”

•  HIST 2430:  “The History of Things”

•  HIST 4100:  “Archipelago: Worlds of Indonesia”

•  HIST 2280:  “The Indian Ocean World”

•  HIST 3950:  “Monsoon Kingdoms Pre-modern SE Asia  to the 18th Century”

•  HIST 3960:  “Transnational Local: History of Modern Southeast Asia”

•  HIST 4490:  “Peddlers, Pirates, Prostitutes: Subaltern Histories of SE Asia”

•  HIST 2840:  "Southeast Asia in the World System, 1500-Present"

•  HIST 4510:  "Crime and Diaspora in Southeast Asia 1750-1950"

•  HIST 1910:  “The History of Modern Asia”

•  HIST 4000:  “Honors Undergraduate Historiography Seminar”

•  HIST 7090:  “Pro-Seminar for Graduate Historiography”

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