Dr Mark Frost

Head of Department - Senior Lecturer
Department of History
Dr Mark Frost
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872307

  • Location

    5NW.7.13, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    By appointment



My mother is from south India and my father from east London, and I grew up in Australia. That cultural mix got me interested in my dual heritage which inevitably led to my interest in History. Perhaps unsurprisingly, my continued scholarly interest has been in the Asian-European encounter and in the colonial past. I also had exceptional History teachers. Up until my last year of school, I was set on studying English Literature at university. But my History teacher, the highly-respected Charles Malyon, persuaded me otherwise. After I completed my doctorate in the U.K., I lived for seven years in Singapore where I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute and then Content Designer, Senior Scriptwriter and Senior Historical Consultant for the 2006 award-winning revamp of the National Museum of Singapore's History Gallery. After running my own exhibition and multimedia design company, I returned to full-time academia in 2009, taking a job as Research Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. I joined the Department of History at the University of Essex in 2011. I still retain a keen interest in the way history is presented in diverse public contexts and I am involved in various literary, documentary television and exhibition projects. Recently, I wrote the documentary film I Remember the Fall of Singapore (2017, dir. Michel Cayla). WARMAP - the War memoryscapes in Asia Partnership Memories of Asias 20th century wars of imperialism and liberation continue to shape national identities in the region. However, the way regional and global economic integration are impacting on the production of contemporary war memories remains poorly understood. This interdisciplinary research network explores Asia's conflict heritage in a globalized world, focusing on the powerful transnational flows which are challenging, subverting and transforming official discourses of war remembrance. What does the border-crossing movement of tourists, remebrance practices, capital and information, and the rise of non-state heritage players, mean for post-conflict reconciliation in a region still clearly haunted by its past? Funded by the Leverhulme Foundation, and based at the University of Essex, WARMAP brings together scholars from the universities of Konstanz, Wageningen, Kyushu, Deakin, the National University of Singapore and Academia Sinica, as well as heritage practitioners from Europe, Australia and Asia.


  • MPhil

  • PhD (Cantab.)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

The British Empire in Asia

Print, politics and religion in the Indian Ocean world

War and memory in Asia

Public history


Journal articles (8)

Frost, MR., (2017). Humanitarianism and the Overseas Aid Craze in Britain’s Colonial Straits Settlements, 1870–1920. Past and Present. 236 (1), 169-205

Frost, MR. and Schumacher, D., (2017). Wartime globalization in Asia, 1937-1945, conflicted connections and convergences. Modern Asian Studies. 51 (6), 1922-1935

Goodall, H. and Frost, MR., (2017). The Transnational Mission of an Indian War Correspondent: P. R. S. Mani in Southeast Asia, 1944–1946. Modern Asian Studies. 51 (6), 1936-1968

Frost, MR., (2016). Pandora's post box: Empire and information in British India, 1854-1914. English Historical Review. 131 (552), 1043-1073

Frost, MR., (2016). Amitav Ghosh and the Art of Thick Description: History in the Ibis Trilogy. American Historical Review. 121 (5), 1537-1544

Frost, MR., (2012). ‘Beyond the limits of nation and geography’: Rabindranath Tagore and the cosmopolitan moment, 1916–1920. Cultural Dynamics. 24 (2-3), 143-158

Frost, MR., (2005). Emporium in Imperio: Nanyang Networks and the Straits Chinese in Singapore, 1819–1914. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. 36 (01), 29-66

Frost, M., (2002). ‘Wider Opportunities’: Religious Revival, Nationalist Awakening and the Global Dimension in Colombo, 1870–1920. Modern Asian Studies. 36 (04), 937-966

Books (1)

Frost, MR. and Balasingamchow, Y., (2009). Singapore: A Biography. Hong Kong University Press; National Museum of Singapore; Editions Didier Millet. 9789888028177

Book chapters (5)

Frost, MR., (2015). 'Beyond the limits of nation and geography': Rabindranath Tagore and the cosmopolitan moment, 1916-1920. In: Cosmopolitan Asia: Littoral Epistemologies of the Global South. 37- 52. 9781317372158

Frost, MR., (2010). In search of cosmopolitan discourse: a historical journey across the Indian Ocean from Singapore to South Africa, 1870-1920. In: Eyes Across the Water - Navigating the Indian Ocean. Editors: Gupta, P., Hofmeyr, I. and Pearson, M., . UNISA & Penguin India. 75- 95. 9781868885725

Frost, MR., (2009). That great ocean of idealism: the Tagore circle and the idea of Asia, 1900-1920. In: Indian Ocean Studies: cultural, social and political perspectives. Editors: Jamal, A. and Moorthy, S., . Routledge. 251- 279. 0203867432. 9780415803908

Frost, MR., (2009). To Durban via Singapore and other colonial port-cities: an historical journey across the Indian Ocean in search of cosmopolitanism, 1869-1919. In: Eyes across the water: Navigating the Indian Ocean. Editors: Gupta, P., Hofmeyr, I. and Pearson, M., . Penguin. 9781868885725

Frost, MR., (2009). The making of the Singapore History Gallery: Some personal reflections. In: Eyes across the water: Navigating the Indian Ocean. Editors: Gupta, P., Hofmeyr, I. and Pearson, M., . Singapore: National Heritage Board

Reports and Papers (1)

Frost, MR., (2003). Transcultural Diaspora: the Straits Chinese in Singapore, 1819-1918

Media (1)

Michel Cayla and Frost, MR., I Remember the Fall of Singapore. Video

Other (1)

Frost, MR., (2014).Writing the war in Asia: a documentary history - website,University of Essex, University of Hong Kong, University of Konstanz

Grants and funding


War Memoryscapes in Asia Partnership: routes to post-conflict reconciliation

Leverhulme Trust


Writing the Great Asian War

The British Academy

+44 (0) 1206 872307


5NW.7.13, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

By appointment