Samuel Perks

Samuel Perks

Postgraduate research student

Summary: I am examining contemporary Singaporean historical novels' negotiations with economic development and precarity, as literary alternatives to 'the Singapore Story'.


My work interrogates how contemporary Singaporean historical novels negotiate economic development and precarity. I adopt an approach that fuses political ecology, world-systems analysis, and urban geography to explore literary alternatives to the state-sponsored 'Singapore Story', which celebrates economic progress without consideration for those who do not reap its benefits. I argue that the transition from the colonial capitalist to the late capitalist mode of production involves the implementation of neoliberal development strategies, which engender and intensify precarity.

I am supervised by Graham Huggan, and I was also co-supervised by the late Anthony Carrigan.

Conference Papers

  • "A Vast Machine Made of Wood and Flesh: Representing Systems through the Novel Form" at the Imagining Asia Symposium, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 17 January 2015.
  • "Representing Homo Oeconomics: Capitalist Relations in Planet Earth" at the Biennial Postcolonial Studies Conference, Resources of Resistance: Production, Consumption, Transformation, University of York, 25 July 2015

Conference Organisation

Nature at War, the annual Centre for Modern Studies Postgraduate Symposium, co-organized with Emily Bowles and Karl O'Hanlon, University of York, 5 June 2014.  


I have completed a BA in English and Comparative Literature, and an MA in Culture and Thought After 1945, both at the University of York.  My dissertations have tracked representations of coins, companies and cartography in Joseph Conrad's Southeast Asian fiction, and examined representations of labour systems through cosmopolitan literary aesthetics in contemporary historical novels.