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Michael Sugarman

Biography:

I am a fourth year PhD student at Magdalene College under the supervision of Professor Tim Harper. Broadly, my work looks at twentieth century urban redevelopment in Bombay, Hong Kong, Rangoon and Singapore through conceptualizations of slums and squatters.

Prior to working on my PhD, I completed a BA with a double major in History and Economics at UCLA, where I completed an honours thesis under the supervision of Professor Nile Green, as well as an MPhil in Historical Studies here at Cambridge under the supervision of the late Professor Sir Christopher Bayly. I was also a Prize Research Student at the Centre for History and Economics from 2015-16.

Departments and Institutes

Magdalene College:

Research Interests

Titled Slums, Squatters and Urban Redevelopment Schemes in Bombay, Hong Kong and Singapore, 1894-1960, my dissertation explores the interconnected histories of urban development in port cities across Asia. Broadly speaking, I am interested the history of urban development in late-colonial and post-colonial South and Southeast Asia. I am also interested in narratives of development in the early to mid twentieth century. Though I am most interested in the economic and social histories of development, I am also interested in the role of the histories of science and medicine in development.

Teaching

Seminar Classes

  • Part I, History, Argument and Practice - Empires and Nationalism
    • February 2017, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge
  • Part II, History, Argument and Practice - Nations and States
    • January 2017, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
  • Part II, Special Subjects, Sources on East Asia Modernity – Urban Modernities in Asia
    • November 2016, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
  • Part II, History, Argument and Practice - Global and transnational history
    • May 2016, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
  • Part I, History, Argument and Practice – Empires
    • January 2016, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge 
  • Part I, History, Argument and Practice – Global and transnational history
    • November 2015, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge 

Supervisions

  • Part II, History, Argument and Practice – Nations and States
  • Part II, History, Argument and Practice – Race
  • Part I, History, Argument and Practice – Global and transnational history
  • Part I, History, Argument and Practice – Empires
  • Part I, Paper 23, Topic 3 – India between the wars & the beginning of popular nationalism
  • Part I, Paper 23, Topic 9 - India: Partition and Independence

Other Professional Activities

Conference Papers

  • 'Reconstruction and Housing for the Urban Poor in Hong Kong and Singapore, 1945-1960', Hong Kong History Project Workshop, University of Bristol, January 2017
  • ‘Plague and Public Housing: Slums, squatters and urban improvement schemes in Bombay, Rangoon and Singapore, 1896-1941’, Disease Dispersion and Impact in the Indian Ocean World, McGill University, September 2016
  • ‘Extending South Asian Urbanism Through Housing Practices: Slum clearance, squatter resettlement and redevelopment schemes in Bombay, Rangoon and Singapore, 1920-1940’, Indian Oceanic Topographies, Contemporary Worlds, and Situated Practices, University of California – Davis, April 2016
  • ‘Building Burma: Squatters, Citizens and Urban Redevelopment Schemes in Rangoon, c.1920-1962’, (Un)making the Nation, University of Cambridge, September 2015
  • ‘The Plague, Medicine and Nationalist Politics in Bombay, 1896-1916’, Exploring Traditions: Sources for a global history of science, University of Cambridge, November 2013 

Administrative Roles

As a member of the Faculty of History, I was a convener of the World History workshop for the 2014-15 & 2015-16 academic years as well as a convener of the Urban History workshop from 2015-16.

In my role as a member of Magdalene College, I served as Middle Combination Room (MCR) President for the 2015-16 academic year and currently serve as the committee's Academic Officer.

Current Projects

As a part of The History Project, I was awarded a research grant to conduct a project titled 'Slums, Squatters and Urban Redevelopment Schemes in Rangoon, 1984-1960'. An article based off the research is forthcoming at Modern Asian Studies.

Collaborators

Key Publications

‘Building Burma: Constructing Rangoon’s Urban Influence on Citizenship and Nationhood’, History Compass, 14, 10 (2016), pp. 459-469

'Reclaiming Rangoon: (Post-)Imperial urbanism and poverty, 1920-1962', Modern Asian Studies, forthcoming.