Matthias Meng Yan Wong, PhD


I am a historian working in the public environmental humanities, an interdisciplinary field that links closely with debates within law, politics, and Indigenous history. I am currently Senior Tutor in the Department of History at the National University of Singapore. Previously, I was a digital humanities postdoctoral reseacher at the Treatied Spaces Research Group, where I worked with King’s Digital Lab and The Alan Turing Institute to develop a range of innovative and interactive digital projects that utilise historical maps and documents to communicate original research in a new and accessible manner. My projects visualise complex jurisdictions and treatied spaces: using map layers and data overlays, I construct mapping projects that show how different concepts of sovereignty and shared commons intersect and interact with each other, on the local, national and the international level.

I ground my practice with a background in meaning-making in history, incorporating techniques such as discourse analysis and approaches from memory studies and cultural history. My PhD in History at Cambridge investigated the impact of trauma and disruption on early modern English notions of time and the future. My MSc in International Relations at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies examined the geographical imaginations embedded in the Antarctic and Outer Space Treaty negotiations.

As a public historian, I work with museum partners including the American Museum & Gardens and the North American Native Museum to enhance the interpretation and contextualization of Indigenous materials in their collections. In my Knowledge Exchange work, I co-lead a collaborative project with business to help the UK space economy reduce its adverse impacts on society and the environment. I also help reformulate history provision in UK schools. I lead my research group’s policy support efforts, translating our experience in Knowledge Exchange into briefs and submissions for the UK Government and Parliament.

At the National University of Singapore, I teach courses in the fields of European and public history. I am Associate Editor of Elements in Indigenous Environmental Research, published by Cambridge University Press. I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA), an Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Member of the AHRC Peer Review College.

Reach me via email, find me on Twitter, and view my ORCID profile.


Peer Reviewed Publications

MYM Wong. (2021). A pause in time: history writers and the regicide of Charles I. Historical Research 94, 758-781.

MYM Wong. (2021). Using Correspondence and Manuscripts in Literary Archives. In Research Methods for Primary Sources, SAGE/Adam Matthew.

MYM Wong. (2021). Using Newspapers as Historical Sources. In Research Methods for Primary Sources, SAGE/Adam Matthew.


MYM Wong. (2019). The impact of the regicide of Charles I on contemporary English notions of time and the future. University of Cambridge.

Conference Papers

MYM Wong. (2019). Charles I’s execution and the destiny of monarchy in Britain and Europe. Monarchy and Modernity since 1500, University of Cambridge.

MYM Wong. (2018).News of the king’s execution: newsbooks, temporality, and the regicide of Charles I. 8th Biennial Conference, Society for Renaissance Studies.

MYM Wong. (2018). Reacting to Shock and Uncertainty: Some observations from the seventeenth century. Malaysia-Singapore Research Conference, Cambridge.

MYM Wong. (2018). The Regicide of Charles I and Its Impact on Visions of Time and the Future. 64th Annual Meeting, Renaissance Society of America.

MYM Wong. (2018). Wielding the Future: historians and the execution of Charles I. Wolfson Research Event, Wolfson College Cambridge.

MYM Wong. (2018). ‘A Prognostication for the Time Present and Future’: Astrologers, Time, and the Regicide of Charles I. Early Modern British and Irish History Seminar, University of Cambridge.

MYM Wong. (2017). ‘What the world counts losse is gaine’: national trauma and historians’ conceptions of the future in early modern England. The Making of Humanities VI, The Society for the History of the Humanities, Oxford.

MYM Wong. (2017). Coming to terms with disruption: the impact of the execution of Charles I on historians and their treatments of the past. Imitation and Innovation: Uses of the Past in the Medieval and Early Modern World, Durham University.

MYM Wong. (2017).‘Inward horror will be their first tormentor’: the public execution of Charles I and its impact on historians and the future. Cruelty and Compassion: Postgraduate Conference, University of Leeds.

MYM Wong. (2017).‘If tho doest not beware in time’: crisis and temporality in the almanacs of the English Civil Wars. Rethinking Crisis, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).

MYM Wong. (2017). ‘When the Bridegroome shall come’: Astrologers and time as rhetoric during the English Civil Wars. Revolution, Reformation and Re-formation, Institute of Historical Research, University of London.

MYM Wong. (2016). Imagining Ice and Infinity: Constructions of Place in the Antarctic and Outer Space Treaties. Imagined Worlds in the History of Political Thought, University of London.

Knowledge Exchange

Green Toolkit for a New Space Economy

A project to create a toolkit for UK SMEs in the space sector to gauge the impact on their activities on the environment and human society. This is a novel intervention that incorporates socio-cultural values into traditional environmental impact assessments. The project draws upon my research group’s expertise in Indigenous studies and promotes social justice in a format familiar and legible to business and regulatory audiences, while also providing a tool to help SMEs become more competitive by accrediting their socially responsible choices.

This project brings together academic collaborators in Law, Physics, Cybersecurity and User Design from the Universities of Edinburgh, Southampton, and York St John. In partnership with business (a UK space SME), the project team will create a ‘Green Toolkit for a New Space Economy’, which will help space SMEs navigate the regulatory landscape, and nudge businesses towards choices that reduce their adverse socio-cultural and environmental impact.

For this work, I was awarded the University of Hull’s Best Knowledge Exchange Postdoc prize in 2022.

Decolonising UK History Provision in Schools

I am contributing to the History subject specification reform process at several major UK exam boards. This work has now extended to reviewing history textbooks for GCSE curricula.