Liam C. Kelley at The Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (IAS @ UBD)


Associate Professor

MA, PhD (University of Hawaii at Manoa)


Liam C. Kelley is an Associate Professor of Southeast Asian Studies in The Institute of Asian Studies. His background is in premodern Vietnamese history, but he is particularly interested in how the premodern Vietnamese past has been reinterpreted and re-purposed since the early twentieth century. Beyond Vietnam, Professor Kelley has taught numerous courses on modern Southeast Asian history and is interested in re-conceptualizing the narrative of modern Southeast Asian history. He is very happy to be in Brunei as he also has a strong interest in the modern history of Borneo, particularly the areas of Brunei, Sarawak and Sabah. Professor Kelley is also very interested in the ways in which the Digital Revolution is transforming how scholars can produce and disseminate their ideas and has been at the forefront of the effort to employ new digital media for academic purposes. Finally, together with Professor Phan Le Ha in the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education (SHBIE), Professor Kelley organizes an annual conference called Engaging With Vietnam: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue (

Research Interests

     • Vietnamese history
     • Modern Southeast Asian history
     • Modern history of Borneo
     • Hipster Culture in Southeast Asia (and the world)
     • Digital Humanities
     • The Intersection of New Media and Academic Scholarship

Select Publications

Journal Articles

Liam C. Kelley, “The Centrality of ‘Fringe History’: Diaspora, the Internet and a New Version of Vietnamese Prehistory,” International Journal of Asia Pacific Studies Vol. 16, No. 1 (2020): 71–104.

Phan Lê Hà, Liam C. Kelley, and Jamie Gillen, “Introduction: The Collaboration Project between Engaging With Vietnam and the Journal of Vietnamese Studies,” Journal of Vietnamese Studies Vol. 15, No. 1 (2020): 1-5.

Liam C. Kelley, “From a Reliant Land to a Kingdom in Asia: Premodern Geographic Knowledge and the Emergence of the Geo-Body in Late Imperial Vietnam,” Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review 5.2 (2016): 460-496.

Liam C. Kelley, “Moral Exemplar, Our General, Potent Deity, Confucian Moralizer and National Hero: The Transformations of Trần Hưng Đạo,” Modern Asian Studies 49.6 (2015): 1963-1993.

Liam C. Kelley, “Tai Words and the Place of the Tai in the Vietnamese Past,” Journal of the Siam Society 101 (2013): 55-84.

Liam C. Kelley, “The Biography of the Hồng Bàng Clan as a Medieval Vietnamese Invented Tradition,” Journal of Vietnamese Studies 7.2 (2012): 87-130.

Book Chapters

Liam C. Kelley, “Constructing Local Narratives: Spirits: Dreams, and Prophecies in the Medieval Red River Delta,” in China’s Encounters on the South and Southwest: Forging the Fiery Frontier, James Anderson and John K. Whitmore, eds. (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 78-105.

Liam C. Kelley, “Inventing Traditions in Fifteenth-Century Vietnam,” in Imperial China and Its Southern Neighbours, edited by Victor Mair and Liam C. Kelley (Singapore: ISEAS, 2015), 161-193.

Edited Books and Special Issues

Phan Lê Hà, Liam C. Kelley and Jamie Gillen, eds., “Special Issue: The Collaboration Project between Engaging With Vietnam and the Journal of Vietnamese Studies,” Journal of Vietnamese Studies Vol. 15, No. 1 (2020).

John D. Phan and Liam C. Kelley, eds., “Buddhist Literacy in Early Modern Vietnamese Print Culture,” Journal of Vietnamese Studies Vol. 13, No. 3 (2018).

Victor Mair and Liam C. Kelley, eds., Imperial China and Its Southern Neighbours (Singapore: ISEAS, 2015).