University at Buffalo Department of History


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Jennifer Gaynor, Assistant Professor of History and

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology
office: 553 Park Hall
phone: (716) 645-8404


: Ph.D., Michigan, 2005


HIS 549 Approaches to Maritime History

HIS 545 Colonialism and Empire
HIS 501 Historical Inquiry
HIS 500 Doing History: History Methods and Research
HIS 419 International Piracy (meets with LAW 639)
HIS 403 Folk Heroes and Historical Martyrs
HIS 395 Indonesia: from colonialism to dictatorship
HIS 335 Culture, Memory, and the Uses of the Past
HIS 331 Maritime Southeast Asia
HIS 182 Asian Civilizations II
UGC 111 World Civs: Maritime History, 1300 BCE—1500 CE


Fields: Southeast Asia, Indonesia, maritime

Research Interests: social and cultural history of modern Indonesia and maritime Southeast Asia, historiography and the intersections of history and anthropology

Current Research:

My research examines the constitution of maritime worlds, especially the spatial dimensions of the maritime, through the analysis of material practices and various forms of cultural representation. In my book (in progress) on sea people in Eastern Indonesia, I analyze a variety of sources that relate stories of the past focused on maritime migration, both before the advent of "Indonesia" as a nation and during its tumultuous early years.

Selected Publications:

"Maritime Southeast Asia: Not Just a Crossroads," Education About Asia (issue on maritime Asia) 19, 2 (2014).

"Ages of Sail, Ocean Basins, and Southeast Asia," The Journal of World History 24, 2 (2013).

"Piracy in the Offing: the Law of Lands and the Limits of Sovereignty at Sea," Anthropological Quarterly 85, 3 (2012).

"Flexible Fishing: Gender and the New Spatial Division of Labor in Eastern Indonesia's Rural Littoral," Radical History Review 107 (Spring 2010): 74-100.

"Maritime Ideologies and Ethnic Anomalies: Sea Space and the Structure of Subalternity in the Southeast Asian Littoral," in Jerry Bentley, Renate Bridenthal and Kären Wigen, eds., Seascapes: Maritime Histories, Littoral Cultures and Transoceanic Exchanges (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2007).


Fellowships and Awards:

2011 (Fall) Faculty Fellow, Humanities Institute, University at Buffalo

2008-2009 Invited Fellow, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University. Participant in the theme year on Water, A Critical Concept for the Humanities

2005-2007 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Public Goods Council, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

2005 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, with funds from the Luce Foundation


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