I am a cultural and historical geographer with strong interests in social and spatial theory particularly as applied to heritage, memory and remembrance. My primary research area centres on how heritage associated with the Second World War is currently (and historically) commemorated in Singapore and Malaysia, conceptualised around postcolonial theory, materiality, cyber-memorialisation, transnational deaths, the immanent past, and practices of power and resistance in everyday spaces. I have also worked on backpacking and ‘dark tourism’ in Southeast Asia, international peace and heritage museums, Singapore’s transborder geographies and histories, and industrial heritage and ‘new nature’ in the Netherlands. My current research looks at the phenomenon of ‘heritage-from-below’ or forms of (non-state) memory and heritage produced and consumed on the ground or within more intimate spaces that are not highly visible and so very much at risk. This will be empirically accomplished through my (field)work on/with war memoryscapes and cultural theme parks within the region, as well as migrant Southeast Asian communities in Europe and elsewhere.
I received my PhD in Human Geography in 2009 from Durham University (UK). After that, I was heritage consultant, licensed tour guide and curator of the Changi Chapel and Museum (Singapore), Research Associate at Durham University (UK), Visiting Fellow at the Department of Geography (NUS), and, until recently, Assistant Professor with the Cultural Geography chair group of Wageningen University (the Netherlands). I joined the Southeast Asian Studies Department family at NUS in August 2016 and will be teaching courses related to Southeast Asian heritage and socio-cultural landscapes in Southeast Asia. On a (perhaps more exciting) personal note, I am very much a music and movie buff and enjoy travelling the region and beyond, exploring (what else?) heritage but also whatever catches my fancy.