Publications and awards



Sandra Khor Manickam, Taming the Wild: Aborigines and Racial Knowledge in Colonial Malaya (Singapore: NUS Press, 2015)

NUS press page

NIAS press page


Book manuscript in progress, Medicine in Malaya across Empires 1874-1955

  • This book inserts Malaya into the histories of British and Japanese medicine and imperialism, and looks at the overlapping interests of imperial Britain and Japan from the turn of the twentieth century until the immediate post-war period. 



  • L’Oréal-UNESCO, NIAS-KNAW For Women in Science Fellowship (FWiS) 2020-2021   (€25.000,-). Research fellowship at NIAS in 2021. For more information, see L'Oréal Nederland For Women in Science


  • Micro Grant, SEO (Stimulering Europees Onderzoek) ESHCC, EUR, €1450,-. Approved for research assistance and invited talk by Prof. Shinobu Majima, Professor of Global History at Gakushuin University, Tokyo, 2018
  • Funding by History Department, ESHCC, EUR, €600,-. Approved for conference participation for Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia, University of Sydney, 3-5 July 2018


  • Sumitomo Japan-Related Research Grant (JPY 1,010,000/ €7600,-), awarded to Sandra Khor Manickam and Naoko Iioka for Financial Year April 2017 - December 2018. Title: “Ando Kozo and the Medical Department of the Japanese Military Administration of Malaya (1941-1945)”.


  • NTU Start Up Grant (SUG) Award (SGD 35,000 = €21804,-). Awarded in April 2014. Research project: Japanese Occupation of Malaya: Understanding the Japanese presence in and impact on Malaya through translations of Japanese sources in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan.


  • Africa’s Asian Options (AFRASO) research travel grant (€2.400,- for four years). Awarded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in February 2013.


  • Junior Professorship Research stipend (€10000,-). Awarded in February 2012.


Forthcoming 2023:  Book chapter "Racial narrations in the Malay Archipelago during the Asia-Pacfic War" for edited collection on Racializations in Southeast Asia

2022: "Andō's Ambiguities in Malaya: The Life of a Japanese Medical Doctor Between British and Japanese Empires," East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal (EASTS), Open Access:

2019: Wartime imaginings of an archipelagic community: Fajar Asia and the quest for peninsula Malayan and Indonesian unity 戰時的群島共同體想像:《亞洲的黎明》及其對馬來亞半島及印尼統一的尋索.Trans. Pik Ka Lau(劉璧嘉. Renjian thought review, 17, 219-244.

2018: "Solidarity in an oppressive world? The paradox of Malaysia-African interactions in Higher Education", in Cynthia Joseph (Ed), Policies and Politics in Malaysian Education: Education Reforms, Nationalism and Neoliberalism. London: Routledge, 2018.

2017: "Wartime imaginings of an archipelagic community: Fajar Asia and the quest for peninsula Malayan and Indonesian unity", Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 18:3 (2017):347-363. Corrigendum in IACS December 2017.

2015: "Not Just Skin Deep: Ideas of Racial Difference in Genetic Studies on Orang Asli from the 1950s", in Malaysia's 'Original People': Past, Present and Future of the Orang Asli, ed. Kirk Endicott (Singapore: NUS Press, 2015)

2014: "Bridging the Race Barrier: Between Sakai and Malaysin the Census Categorisations of British Malaya", Asian Studies Review 2014: 1-18


2014: "A Russian in Malaya: Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay’s Expedition to the Malay Peninsula and the Early Anthropology of Orang Asli", with Elena Govor. Indonesian and Malay World 42 (123): 222-245.


2012: “Situated Thinking: Or how the Science of Race was Socialised in British Malaya”, Journal of Pacific History 2012, ifirst, pp. 1-25


2009: "Common Ground: Race and the colonial universe in British Malaya", Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, volume 40, issue 03, pp. 593-612.


2009: "Africans in Asia: The discourse of 'Negritos' in early nineteenth century Southeast Asia", Responding to the West: Essays on Colonial Domination and Asian Agency, Edited by Hans Hägerdal (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009)


2005: "Textbooks and Nation Construction in Malaysia", Asia-Pacific Forum No. 28 June 2005, Center for Asia-Pacific Area Studies, Academia Sinica, Taiwan: 78-89.


2018: G. Oonk, A.A. van Stipriaan Luiscius & S.K. Manickam (Ed.). (2018). History @ Erasmus: Histories of Encounters. Rotterdam: Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication


2017: Sandra Khor Manickam and Iioka Naoko, Translation of Japanese Entries in the Bibliography on the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, Singapore and Northern Borneo, 1941-1945, Online resource, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Library, March 2017.


2016: Sandra Khor Manickam and Iioka Naoko, "Preface" and "Note on the Translation", in Translation of Japanese Entries in the Bibliography on the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, Singapore and Northern Borneo, 1941-1945, October 2016, pp. 1-6.


2016: "Looking for Din after the War", in End of Empire: 100 Days in 1945 that Changed Asia and the World, Edited by David P. Chandler, Robert Cribb and Li Narangoa, NIAS Press, 2016, pp. 208-9. See "The End of Empire" website.



  • "Medical Memoirs and War: The fashioning of the Modern Malayan," National Museum of Singapore
    Conference. What we carry with us: Remembering 1942 and Beyond, 16 July 2022
  • Paper: "Selling medical modernity: Medicine, drugs and poison in Malaya’s medical landscape", EUROSEAS (European Association for Southeast Asian Studies), École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and Campus Condorcet, Paris-Aubervilliers, 28 June-1 July, 2022

  • Paper: "Quack Medicine in Malaya 1897‐1940", 9th Gewina Conference, Contested Expertise: Trust in Science and Technology, 17-18 June, 2022


  • Respondent, "Medical History meets Global Health," History, Health and Healing: the Dutch academic network for medical history. Respondent to Dr Felicity Thomas, Dr Seye Abimbola, 3 September 2021

  • Paper: "The movement of racial ideas through time and technology: the case of Malaysia", Framing Innovation in a Networked World. Erasmus School of Philosophy, Rotterdam, 2-3 September
  • Paper, "Screening TSWL", NIAS Conference on Studies of Belonging, Amsterdam, 11 June 2021
  • "Race and Genomics: What can history tell us?". TedX Talk, Amsterdam University College, 5 June 2021
  • "Processes of segregation in Malaysia from colonial times to the present", Apartheid and International Law: The Past, The Here and Now. Hosted by University of Nottingham, Human Rights Law Centre, Nottingham International Law and Security Centre, 11 May 2021
  • "Medicine in Malaya across Empires", NIAS Seminar, 23 March 2021



  • Orang Asli Health and Well-Being Zoom Webinar. "Historical perspectives on Orang Asli Health". Hosted by Keene State College, November 2020
  • NIOD Seminar. ““Racial narrations in the Malay Archipelago during the Greater East Asia war.” Amsterdam, 21 January 2020



  • Racial narrations in the Malay Archipelago during the Asia-Pacific War. University of Passau, Passau Research Colloquium on Southeast Asia. Passau, Germany, 12 Dec. 2019
  • Panel discussant: Women as drivers of innovation, FWiS Prize giving ceremony. Haarlem, 21 Nov. 2019
  • Respondent for Anirban Das, Centre for the Humanities. Utrecht University, Lecture: Knowledge and (Colonial) Difference, Medical Imaginaries of the Body, 19 Nov. 2019
  • Racial narrations in the Malay Archipelago during the Asia-Pacific War. KITLV, Leiden University, KITLV Seminar, 24 Oct., 2019
  • The Malay Kitab Tibb at the Intersection of Malay Medical Practices, Islamisation of Knowldege, and Colonial Medicine. Utrecht University, History of Science Society Conference, 18 July 2019
  • Occupied or colonized? Conceptual issues in studying the Japanese occupation of Malaya. Leiden University, ICAS 11, 16 July 2019
  • The Second World War and Archival Holdings in Malaysia and Singapore. National Archives of Singapore, SABRICA Symposium (Southeast Asia Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives), 27 June 2019

Selection from 2004-2018


  • Manickam, S.K. (2018, July 3). "The Japanese... had little or no knowledge of the disease: Malaria as the site of colonial knowledge claims." University of Sydney, Asian Studies Association of Australia. Sydney, Australia.
  • Manickam, S.K. (2018, June 27). "The Japanese... had little or no knowledge of the disease." National Library of Indonesia Building, Jakarta, History of Medicine in Southeast Asia Conference.
  • Manickam, S.K. (2018, April 12). Chair, Talk by Prof.dr. SHINOBU MAJIMA, "The Chosabu Reports and the Chosabu Men: Japanese Military Administration Research Department in WW II Singapore", Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, Erasmus University Rotterdam.




  • Manickam, S.K. (2017, Nov. 16). "Wartime imaginings of an archipelagic community: Fajar Asia and the quest for peninsula Malayan and Indonesian unity". Talk for the ERC-funded project Cultures of Occupation in Twentieth Century Asia' (COTCA) project, at the University of Nottingham.
  • Manickam, S.K. (2017, Sept. 13). "Technocracy in a Time of War: Governing Malaya and Singapore during the Japanese Period". Talk at conference Government by Expertise: Technocrats and Technocracy in Western Europe, 1914-1973. Amsterdam.
  • Manickam, S.K. (2017, Aug. 16) "Malaria in Malai: Health and Medicine during the Japanese occupation", in Proposed Panel: A Historical Perspective on Malaria and Southeast Asian Armed Conflicts, EUROSEAS 2017, University of Oxford.
  • Manickam, S.K. (2017, May 19) Keynote speech: “The Durian in the Room: Power and Difference in Southeast Asian Studies across continents", at the 2nd Student Southeast Asia Conference, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main.
  • Manickam, S.K. (2017, May 18) Center for Historical Culture, "Rethinking 'occupation' and 'colonialism' in Malaya: The case of Japanese migrants and the medical profession in the Malay Peninsula", Erasmus University Rotterdam, with Naoko Iioka




  • Paper title: Dissemination of information during the Japanese Occupation of Malaya. International Conference on “Coping with transnational crisis: Chinese economic and social lives in East Asian Ports-Cities, 1850-1950”, June10-11, 2016,  Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Paper title: The “Greater Sphere” of the 25th Army: Wartime constructions of an archipelagic community. “Malaya and Indonesia: Links and Fractures in Political and Historical Thoughts”.  University Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, 5-6 August 2016.




  • Individual Paper: "The use of history in legal battles with the Malaysian state". Consortium for Southeast Asian Studies in Asia (SEASIA) Southeast Asian Studies in Asia Conference, 12-13 Dec., 2015, Kyoto
  • Public Lecture, National Archives of Singapore Anniversary Talk at Memories at Old Ford Factory (MOFF), 3 October 2015. Title: "The Japanese Occupation of Malaya: The missing story from Japanese-language materials"
  • NUS History Departmental Seminar by Dr. Sandra Khor Manickam on Wed, 26 Aug, 3 pm, AS1-04-01, (Book Talk) Taming the wild: Aborigines and Racial Knowledge in Colonial Malaya. Singapore.
  • "Japanese Occupation of Malaya: New Sources and Translations", Dept. of Southeast Asian Studies, Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, 23 June 2015
  • "Solidarity in an oppressive world? The promise of Malaysia-African interactions in Higher Education", 4th Southeast Asian Studies Symposium 2015, 20-24 March 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




  • Invited speaker at Kamingespräche (Fireside Talks), Organised by Frauennetzwerk, Normative Orders Excellence Cluster of the Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, 2-3pm, 9 July 2014, Haus Normative Ordnungen/Lounge. Part of a series of talks by women academics about their career and motivation.
  • "Not Just Skin Deep: Ideas of Racial Difference in Genetic Studies on Orang Asli from the 1950s", Invited Talk, The Centre for the Study of Communications & Culture (CSCC), University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, 2-4pm, 14 March, 2014, Semenyih, Malaysia.
  • "Malaysian Educational Exports in Africa: the case of Limkokwing University", 1st International Conference Africa-Asia Development University Network - Africa's Asia Options (AADUN-AFRASO) 2014, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 11-13 March 2014




  • Malaysian Literature Forum, The role of Malay literature in Southeast Asian Studies in Europe. Frankfurt am Main Book Fair 2013. Panelists: Prof. Arndt Graf, Prof. Muhammad Haji Salleh, Moderator: Dr Sandra Khor Manickam, 10 October 2013.
  • "History of Ideas of Race In the Malay World", Invited Talk, Department of History, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 5 September 2013
  • "History of the Ideas of Race in Hikayat Dunia", Invited talk, Asien-Afrika-Institut, Abeitsbereich Austronesistik, Abteilung für Sprachen und Kulturen Südostasiens, Universität Hamburg Germany, 14 June 2013
  • "Working and Living Together: Realities of Life for Africans in Asia and Asians in Africa". AFRASO Lecture Series, Summer 2013. Lectures by Katy Lam, University of Lausanne and Heidi Østbø Haugen, University of Oslo. Chaired by Jun.Prof. Dr. Sandra Khor Manickam, Frankfurt am Main, 7 May 2013




  • "Drawing blood at a time of emergency: new studies of Orang Asli during Malayas decolonisation", International Conference on "Asia-Europe Encounters: Intellectual and Cultural Exchanges, 1900-1950", 7-8 December 2012 @ Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore
  • "Racial imaginings in Post-colonial Malaya: New Technologies and Indigenous blood in the 1950s", Dr Sandra Khor Manickam, IZO Colloquium Lecture Series 2012-13 (IZO: Interdisziplindres Zentrum f|r Ostasienstudien; Interdisciplinary Centre for East Asian Studies), Frankfurt am Main, November 14.
  • "Practices of Science and Knowledge of the Indigenous in British Malaya and Malaysia", Conference on Inter-Asian Connections III: Hong Kong (June 6-8, 2012), The Hong Kong Institute for Humanities and the Social Sciences (HKIHSS) at the University of Hong Kong




  • "Researching and Writing Race: Differences in Approaches", Religion Research Cluster Graduate Student Workshop: Religion, culture and Representation, National University of Singapore, 5 December 2011
  • "Uncertain identities: A 19th-century anthropologist’s observations on indigeneity", 13th Malaysia-Singapore Forum, “Nation-State and Development in the 21st Century”, National University of Singapore, 1–2 December 2011
  • "Beyond Bengal" and "Bring 'Em Back Alive", Dr. Sandra Khor Manickam and AP Tim Barnard. NUS Museum Talk & Film Screening Series, Singapore, 17 November 2011
  • "A Russian in Malaya: Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay’s Malaya Expeditions (November 1874 – October 1875) and the Early Anthropology of Orang Asli", ARI-MBRAS Lecture, Asia Research Institute, Singapore, 8 October 2011.
  • "Meanings of Indigeneity in Malaysia: Looking at the Present and the Past", Plenary Assembly III. Wa(h)re Rechte – Zur Politik der Kulturellen Rechte/The Politics of Cultural Rights, German Anthropological Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde, DGV/GAA), Vienna, Austria, 14 -17 September 2011.
  • "Constructing Indigenous Peoples in Malay and English: Translation and the Transmission of Ideas in the Malay Peninsula", Presented at Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main (27 May 2011)




  • "Racial Gradations and Blurred Boundaries: The “Sakai”-“Malay” Continuum in Colonial British Malaya", The 16th Malaysia and Singapore Society Colloquium: Power and Change in Malaysia and Singapore (10-11 December 2010), ANU, Canberra, Australia
  • "Counting Aboriginal Bodies in Malaya: Colonial government, the census and the protection of aborigines", 21st Conference of the International Association of Historians of Asia, National University of Singapore, June 2010
  • "The Science of Race and Colonial Conditions in Malaya", Race, Encounters, and the Constitution of Human Difference in Oceania (22 January 2010) Australian National University, Canberra


  • "Weaving Race into the History of the Malay Archipelago", Translation in Asia: Theories, Practices, Histories (Singapore, 5-6 March 2009) Asia Research Institute and Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore


  • "Two colonisers and one colonised: Europeans, Malays and Orang Asli in nineteenth-century Malaya", Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania Annual Conference, ANU, February 2008


  • "A critical history of anthropology of 'Negritos' of Peninsula Malaya: the racialisation of indigenous groups through texts, illustrations and photography by travellers and anthropologists, 1820-1920", Division of Pacific and Asian History Seminar Series, Coombs building, ANU, October 2007
  • "Questioning Negritos", International Conference of Asian Studies, ICAS5, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 2007


  • "Textbooks and Nation Construction in Malaysia", International Association of Historians of Asia, 18th Conference, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, December 2004
  • "Ideas of Nation and Malayness in Malaya", International Conference on Malaysian History, University of Malaya, August 2004