HKIHSS has impressed me with its long history in producing influential scholarship on East Asian affairs and its unique role within HKU as an independent research centre. The dedicated attention given to PhD students from a cohort of world-leading and likeminded scholars allows for a tightknit academic community and has offered me opportunities I would not have gained elsewhere.
Modern East Asian foodscapes; Singapore and Hong Kong region; affect theory; collective and embodied memory; politics of the everyday; gastropoetics; human geographies; critical ethnography
After Taste: Affect & Potentiality of the Singaporean Neoliberal Foodscape
My research investigates the politics of everyday public consumption in Singapore with a focus on the spatial and psychosocial landscape of the hawker centre assemblage. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, I seek to answer three principal questions: 1) what does a ‘return to the senses’ look like in the study of collective national identity; 2) how is developmental neoliberalism resisted, reacted, and renegotiated thought the body; and 3) what does public consumption within the hawker centre reveal on commensal feelings of loss and nostalgia in the post-modern East Asian city?
Before joining the Institute, I completed my undergraduate degree in IR at St Andrews where I was awarded the Matt Howell and Pirie Prize on my research on the Hong Kong cha chaan teng, and a MSc at the LSE in Anthropology with a regional focus on Greater China.