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.