Shawnakim Lowey-Ball is an assistant professor of History at the University of Utah. She specializes in the history of premodern Southeast Asia. Lowey-Ball discusses her forthcoming book, Liquid Market, Solid State: The Rise and Demise of Malacca Under the Sultans. In it, she argues that Malacca in the 15th century was a robust port city that was characterized by its diversity, as well as its cultural and economic liberalism. However, in the 16th century, the Portuguese took advantage of Malacca's diversity by factionalizing Malaccan society, making it easier to conquer as a consequence.