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Anh Sy Huy Le

Assistant Professor of History

B.A. Wabash College
M.A. University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Ph.D. Michigan State University

Programs: History

Anh Le is a social and political historian of modern Vietnam and Sino-Southeast Asian relations. His research explores the interlinked dynamics and tensions between migratory networks, colonial capitalism, and urbanization. He has published on topics ranging from trans-Pacific Chinese migration, historiography, to the roles of Chinese rice commerce in the transformation of southern Vietnamese port cities. Le studied Chinese at Fudan University in China and Middlebury College as a Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace. From 2016 to 2020, he conducted archival research in China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Vietnam with the supports of the SSRC-Andrew Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Lee Kong Chian Fellowship from the National Library of Singapore.

Le’s current research explores a set of fundamental questions in global urban histories: how did multiethnic interactions transform the colonial city? How did migrant communities navigate the turbulence and contradictions of colonial rule? And how did their global networks reshape social and political relations within such a contested space? His monograph in progress, tentatively titled, Entangled Histories: Chinese Migration, Empire Building and the Making of French Colonial Vietnam, focuses on the processes of migration, evolution and settlement of the Chinese community in French Cochinchina, particular the colonial port cities of Saigon-Cholon in the late nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century. This work, drawing on multi-sited archival research in a few countries, employs an inter-Asian approach to study how Chinese diasporic networks not only linked colonial Sai-Gon Cholon to an interconnected webs of cosmopolitan cities in maritime Southeast Asia but also reconfigured colonial governance.

At St. Norbert College, Le teaches courses on Modern East Asia, Vietnam, Southeast Asia, Global Chinese Migration and Colonialism and Empire. He takes joy in conversing with students about Asia, learning new languages, historical research and his overseas experiences (and their mishaps).

Further information on his research and teaching could be found on his personal webpage at 

HST 122 Introduction to Modern East Asia
HST 361 Modern China
HST 389 The Vietnam and American Wars, 1900-Present

Recent Publications
Le, Anh Sy Huy, “Trade, Colonialism, and Diaspora: Chinese Rice Commerce and the Transformation of Saigon-Cholon in Colonial Vietnam,” in Chapters on Asia: Selected Papers from the Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowships (2020), Singapore: National Library Board, 2021.

Le, Anh Sy Huy, “The Studies of Chinese Diasporas in Colonial Southeast Asia: Theories, Concepts, and Histories.” China and Asia: A Journal in Historical Studies, No. 2 (December 20, 2019): 225–63.

Le, Anh Sy Huy, “The ‘Orientals’ Strike Back: Displacement, Diasporic Resistance, and Spatial Justice in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire,” Journal of Migration History, 4 (2018): Special Issue: Cities and Overseas Migration in the Long Nineteenth Century, 134-160.

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