Reading lists

I’m posting here various reading lists that are related to my various research interests. I’ll try to update them from time to time. Please let me know if you have suggestions for expanding them. Some of them also overlap in content

A Reading List on Food History in Singapore and Southeast Asia

This list is a work in progress – please let me know if you have suggestions for things to be added. It is quite obviously heavily slanted towards Singapore and towards hawkers. Some sections, such as that on agriculture could be much expanded.


Van Esterik, Penny. Food Culture in Southeast Asia. ABC-CLIO.

Food and Identity:

Cheng Lim Keak. 1990. “Social change and fresh food marketing in Singapore” GeoJournal 20, no. 3: 301-310.

Cheung, Sidney C.H. and Tan Chee Beng, eds. 2007. Food and Foodways in Asia: Resource, tradition, and cooking. London: Routledge.

Chee Beng Tan. 2012. Chinese Food and Foodways in Southeast Asia and Beyond. Singapore: NUS Press.

Chua Beng Huat. 1996. Hybridity, Ethnicity and Food in Singapore. Singapore: NUS Press.

Kong, Lily and Sinha Vineeta. 2015. Food, Foodways, and Foodscapes: Culture, Community, and Consumption in Post-colonial Singapore. Singapore: World Scientific.

Duruz, Jean and Gaik Cheng Khoo. 2014. Eating together: food, space, and identity in Malaysia and Singapore. Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield.

Martini, Fadhel and Wong Tai Chee. 2001. “Restaurants in Little India, Singapore: A study of spatial organization and pragmatic cultural change” Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia 16, no. 1: 147-161.

Savage, Victor R. 1992. “Street Culture in Colonial Singapore” In: Chua Beng Huat and Norman Edwards, eds. Public Space: Design, use, and management. Singapore: Singapore University Press: pp. 11-23.

Tarulevicz, Nicola. 2013. Eating her curries and kway: a cultural history of food in Singapore. Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Press.

Tarulevicz, Nicola. 2016. “Food safety as culinary infrastructure in Singapore, 1920-1990” Global Food History 2, no. 2: 132-156.

Wu, David Y.H. and Chee Beng Tan, eds. 2001. Changing Chinese Foodways in Asia. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.

Food and colonialism:

Aljunied, Khairudin. 2014. “Coffee-shops in colonial Singapore: domains of contentious publics” History Workshop Journal 77, no. 1: 65-85.

Bender, Daniel. 2017. “The delectable and dangerous: durian and the odours of empire in Southeast Asia” Global Food History 3, no. 2: 111-132.

Chua, Frank. 2002. “A history of the pasar malam: A market experience in pre-modern Singapore” Crossroads: An interdisciplinary journal of Southeast Asian studies 16, no. 2: 113-142.

Laudan, Rachel. 2015. Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

Leong-Salobir, Cecilia. 2011. Food Culture in Colonial Asia: A taste of Empire. London: Routledge.

Leong-Salobir, Cecilia. 2015. “‘Cookie’ and ‘Jungle Boy’: A historical sketch of the different cooks for different folks in British colonial Southeast Asia, ca. 1850-1960.” Global Food History 1, no. 1: 59-79.

Sasges, Gerard. 2017. Imperial intoxication: Alcohol and the making of colonial Indochina. University of Hawaii Press.

Hawkers and Street Vendors:

  1. “Report of the Hawkers Inquiry Commission.” Singapore: Government Printing Office.

Ah Eng Lai. 2010. “The Kopitiam in Singapore: an evolving story about migration and cultural diversity” Asia Research Institute Working Paper No. 132. Available at SSRN:

Bhowmik, Sharit K. 2005. “Street Vendors in Asia: A review” Economic and Political Weekly 40, no. 22/23: 2256-2264.

Chan Ying-Kit. 2013. “Kopitiams in Singapore: Consuming Politics” Asian Survey 53, no. 5: 979-1004.

Ghani, Azhar. 2011. A Recipe for Success: How Singapore’s Hawkers Came to Be. Singapore: Institute of Policy Studies.

Grice, Kevin. 1989. Institutionalization of informal sector activities: cooked food hawkers in Singapore. PhD Dissertation, University of Keele.

Henderson, Joan C., Ong Si Yun, Priscilla Poon, and Xu Biwei. 2012. “Hawker Centers as Tourist Attractions: The Case of Singapore” International Journal of Hospitality Management 31, no. 3: 849-855.

Henderson, Joan C. 2000. “Food hawkers and tourism in Singapore” International Journal of Hospitality Management 19, no. 2: 109-117.

Henderson, Joan C. 2010. “Cooked Food Hawking and its management: the case of Singapore” Tourism Review International 14, no. 4: 201-213.

Henderson, Joan C. 2014. “Food and Culture: in Search of Singapore Cuisine” British Food Journal 116, no. 6: 904-917.

Henderson, Joan C. 2016. “Foodservice in Singapore: Retaining a place for hawkers?” Journal of Foodservice Business Research 19: 272-286.

Henderson, Joan C. 2016. “Local and Traditional or Global and Modern? Food Tourism in Singapore” Journal of Gastronomy and Tourism 2, no. 1: 55-68.

Henderson, Joan C. 2017. “Street food, hawkers, and the Michelin Guide in Singapore” British Food Journal 119, no. 4: 790-802.

Heng, Jonathan. 2015. “Hawker Space Raced: Racialization and Ethnicisation in the Singapore Hawker Center” BA Thesis. Nanyang Technological University.

Kong, Lily. 2007. Singapore Hawker Centres: People, Places, Food. Singapore: National Environment Agency.

Mydin, Iskander. 1989. Pioneers of the Streets. Singapore: Art, Antiques, and Antiquities

Pang, Fiona and Poh See Toh. 2008. “Hawker Food Industry: food safety/public health strategies in Malaysia.” Nutrition and Food Science 38, no. 1: 48-51.

Smart, Josephine. 1986. “The impact of government policy on hawkers: a study of the effects of establishing a hawker permitted place” Asian Journal of Public Administration 8, no. 2: 260-279.

Tam, Andrew. “Singapore hawker centres: origins, identity, authenticity, and distinction.” Gastronomica: The journal of critical food studies 17, no. 1: 44-55.

Yeung, Yue-man 1977. “Hawkers and Vendors: dualism in Southeast Asia” Journal of Tropical Geography 44.


Jackson, James C. 1968. Planters and Speculators: Chinese and European Agricultural Enterprise in Malaya, 1786-1921. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press.

Jackson, James C. 1965. “Chinese agricultural pioneering in Singapore and Johore, 1800-1917” Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 38, no. 1: 77-105.

Tiaganides, E. Paul. 1992. Pig waste management and recycling: the Singaporean experience. International Development Research Centre.

Specific foods:

Yeo, Alfred, Lee Tee Jong, and F.T. Liu. 2010. The Soy Sauce Towkay: The story of Yeo Thian In, founder of Yeo Hiap Seng Soy Sauce Factory in Singapore. Singapore: Write Editions.

Recipes and cookbooks:

Hutton, Wendy. 2007. Singapore Food. Marshall Cavendish. 

Wong Hong Suen. 2009. Wartime Kitchen: Food and Eating in Singapore 1942-50. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet and National Museum of Singapore.

Critical Approaches to Data 

See this syllabus:

And this one:

And this one:

Critical data studies

Aronova, Elena, Christine von Oertzen, David Sepkoski, eds. 2017. Data histories. Osiris 32, no. 1.

Arora, Payal (2016) The bottom of the big data pyramid: big data and the global south. International Journal of Communications 10.

Boellstorff, Tom et al. (2015) Data: Now Bigger and Better! Prickly Paradigm Press.

boyd, d. and Kate Crawford (2012). Critical questions for big data: provocations for a cultural, technological, and scholarly phenomenon. Information, communication & Society 15, no. 5: 662-679.

Davies, William (2017). How Statistics Lost Their Power – And Why We Should Fear What Comes Next. The Guardian, 19 January.

Gitelman, Lisa, ed. (2013) Raw Data is an Oxymoron. MIT Press.

Halpern, Orit (2015) Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason since 1945. Chicago University Press.

Illiades, Andrew and Federica Russo (2016) Critical data studies: an introduction. Big Data & Society 3, issue 2.

Kitchin, Rob (2014) The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and the Their Consequences. Sage.

Kitchin, Rob. (2015). Big data: new epistemologies and paradigm shifts. Big Data & Society 1, no. 1: 1-12.

O’Neil, Cathy (2017) Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases inequality and threatens democracy. Broadway books.

Levy, KEC and DM Johns (2016) When open data is a Trojan Horse: the weaponization of transparency in science and governance. Big Data & Society 3, no. 1: 1-6.

Mayer-Schönberger, Victor and Kenneth Cukier (2013) Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Ruppert, Evelyn, Engin Isin, and Didier Bigo. (2017) Data Politics. Big Data & Society 4, no. 2: 1– 7.

Smith, Gavin JD (2018) Data Doxa: The Affective Consequences of Data Practices. Big Data & Society 5, no. 1: 1–15.

Townsend, Anthony (2014) Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia. Norton.

Data and Privacy

Botsman, Rachel (2017) Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens. Wired UK (21 October).

Esposito, Elena (2017) Algorithmic memory and the right to be forgotten on the web. Big Data & Society 4, no. 1.

Kragh-Furto, Mette, Adrian Mackenzie, Maggie Mort, and Celia Roberts (2016) Do Biosensors Biomedicalize? Sites of Negotiations in DNA-Based Biosensing Data Practices. In Nafus, Dawn (ed.) Quantified: Biosensing Technologies in Everyday Life, MIT Press.

Mann, S. and J. Ferenbok. 2013. New Media and the Power Politics of Sousveillance in a Surveillance Dominated World. Surveillance & Society 11(1/2): 18-34.

Schneier, Bruce (2015) Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World, New York: Norton and Company.

Siegel, Eric. (2013) With Power Comes Responsibility: Hewlett-Packard, Target and the Police Deduce Your Secrets Predictive Analytics, in The Power to Predict Who will Click, Buy, Lie or Die, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

Smith, Michael D. (2016) Streaming, Sharing, Stealing: Big Data and the Future of Entertainment. MIT Press.

Tanner, Adam (2016) How Data Brokers Make Money Off Your Medical Records. Scientific American (February 1). Available at:

Turow, Joseph. (2006)  Niche Envy: Marketing Discrimination in the Digital Age. MIT Press.

Reading list in Artificial intelligence

See this list:

Agre, Philip E. (1997) Toward a critical technical practice: Lessons learned in trying to reform AI. In: Geoffrey Bowker, et al., eds. Bridging the great divide: social science, technical systems, and cooperative work. Erlbaum.

Bostrom, Nick (2016) Superintelligence: paths, dangers, strategies. Oxford University Press.

Brockman, John (2015) What to Think About Machines That Think. Harper.

Brooks, Rodney (2017) The seven deadly sins of predicting the future of AI.

Domingos, Pedro (2018) The Master Algorithm: How the quest for the ultimate learning machine will remake our world. Basic Books.

Dreyfus, Hubert (1972) What computers can’t do: The limits of artificial intelligence. MIT Press.

Hwang, Tim (2018) Computational power and the social impact of artificial intelligence.

Marcus, Gary (2017) Deep learning: a critical appraisal. 

McCorduck, Pamela (2004) Machines Who Think: A Personal Inquiry into the History and Prospects of Artificial Intelligence. CRC Press.

Katz, Yarden (2017) Manufacturing an artificial intelligence revolution.

Nilsson, Nils J. (2009) The Quest for Artificial Intelligence. Cambridge University Press.

Turing, Alan (1950) Computing Machinery and Intelligence Mind LIX (236): 433–460.

Zuboff, Shoshanna (1988) In The Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power. Basic Books.


Reading list in code studies, software studies, & the history of computing

Critical code studies

Chun, W. H. K. (2011) Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, MIT Press.

Kelty, Chris (2008) Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software. Duke University Press.

Kitchin, Rob and Dodge, M. (2011) Code/Space: Software and Everyday Life. MIT Press.

Mackenzie, Adrian (2006) Cutting Code: Software and sociality. Peter Lang Publishing.

Manovich, Lev (2001) The Language of New Media. MIT Press.

Manovich, Lev (2013) Software Takes Command. Bloomsbury Academic.

Montfort, Nick and Bogost, Ian (2009) Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System. MIT Press.

Montfort, Nick et al. (2014) 10 PRINT $CHR(205.5+RND(1));: GOTO 10. MIT Press.

Wardrip-Fruin, Noah (2011) Expressive Processing. London: MIT Press.


Algorithms and their discontents

See this list:

Ananny, Mike. 2016. Toward an ethics of algorithms: Convening, observation, probability, and timeliness. Science, Technology, and Human Values, 41(1): 93-117.

Ananny, Mike and Kate Crawford (2016) Seeing without knowing: limitations of the transparency ideal and its application to algorithmic accountability. New Media and Society 20, no. 3: 973-989.

Aneesh, Aneesh. 2009. “Global Labor: Algocratic Modes of Organization*.” Sociological Theory 27 (4). Wiley Online Library: 347-70.

Bogost, Ian. 2015. ‘‘The Cathedral of Computation.’’ The Atlantic, January 15.

Burrell, Jenna. 2015. “How the Machine ‘Thinks:’ Understanding Opacity in Machine Learning Algorithms.”

Citron, Danielle K. and Frank Pasquale (2014) The Scored Society: Due Process for automated predictions. Washington Law Review 89.

Diakopolous, Nick. 2013. “Sex, Violence, and Autocomplete Algorithms” Slate. August 2.

Diakopolous, Nick. 2013. “Rage against the Algorithms” The Atlantic, October 3.

Ensmenger, Nathan (2012) Is Chess the Drosophila of Artificial Intelligence? A Social History of an Algorithm. Social Studies of Science 42(1): 5- 30.

Eubanks, Virginia (2018). Automating inequality: how high-tech tools profile, police, and punish the poor. St. Martin’s Press.

Gillespie, Tarleton. 2012. “Can an Algorithm Be Wrong?” Limn 1, no. 2.

Gillespie, T (2014) The relevance of algorithms. In: Gillespie, T, Boczkowski, PJ, Foot, KA (eds) Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society, Cambridge: MIT Press, pp. 167–194.

Gillespie, Tarleton. 2016. “#trendingistrending:when algorithms become culture” forthcoming in Algorithmic Cultures: Essays on Meaning, Performance and New Technologies, Robert Seyfert and Jonathan Roberge, eds. Routledge.

Golumbia, David. 2009. The Cultural Logic of Computation. Harvard University Press.

Mackenzie, Adrian. 2015. “The Production of Prediction: What Does Machine Learning Want?” European Journal of Cultural Studies 18(4/5): 429–45.

Mackenzie, Adrian (2017) The Machine Learners: An Archaeology of Data Practice. MIT Press.

Mager, Astrid. 2014. “Defining Algorithmic Ideology: Using Ideology Critique to Scrutinize Corporate Search Engines.” tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, 12(1), 28-39.

Medina, Eden. 2015. “Rethinking algorithmic regulation”, Kybernetes, Vol. 44(6/7): 1005-1019.

Noble, Safiya Umoja (2018) Algorithms of oppression: how search engines reinforce racism. New York University Press.

Pasquale, Frank (2015) Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information. Harvard University Press.

Pasquale, Frank. (2015). “The Algorithmic Self.” The Hedgehog Review 17 (1):

Seaver, Nick. 2012. “Algorithmic Recommendations and Synaptic Functions” Limn 1, no. 2.

Seaver, Nick (2017) “Algorithms as culture: some tactics for the ethnography of algorithmic systems” Big Data & Society (July-December): 1-12. DOI: 10.1177/2053951717738104

Vaidhyanathan, Siva (2011) The Googlization of Everything: And Why We Should Worry. University of California Press.

History of software

Abbate, Janet (2012) Recoding Gender: Women’s Changing Participation in Computing. The MIT Press.

Beyer, Kurt W. (2012) Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Digital Age. MIT Press.

Coleman, E. Gabriella (2012) Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking. Princeton University Press.

Levy, Steven (1985) Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Reovlution. O’Reilly Media.

History of information technology [with a focus on recent work]

Driscoll and Mailland. Minitel

Hicks, Programmed Inequality

Kirschenbaum, Matthew G. (2012) Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination. MIT Press.

Jones, Steven E. and George K. Thiruvathukal Codename revolution: The Nintendo Wii platform. MIT Press.

Maher, Jim. The Future Was Here: The Commodore Amiga. MIT Press.

Montfort, Nick and Ian Bogust. Racing the beam: The Atari Video Computer System. MIT Press

Petrick, Elizabeth R. (2015) Making computers accessible: disability rights and digital technology. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Salter, Anastasia and John Murray. Flash: Building the interactive web. MIT Press.

Sterne, Jonathan. 2006. “The mp3 as cultural artifact.” New Media & Society. 8(5): 825-842.

Sterne, Jonathan. 2012. MP3: The Meaning of a Format. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Networks and networking

Brunton, Finn (2013) Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet. MIT Press.

Hu, Tung-Hui (2015) A Prehistory of the Cloud. MIT Press.

Peters, Benjamin. How not to Network a Nation. MIT press.

Staroseilski, Nicole (2015) The Undersea Network. Duke University Press.

Tufecki, Zeynep (2018) Twitter and tear gas: the power and fragility of networked protest. Yale University Press.

Vaidhyanathan, Siva (2018) Anti-social media: how Facebook disconnects us and undermines democracy. Oxford University Press.


Shenzhen studies reading list

This is a reading list for Shenzhen studies, still under construction. It is basically comprised of academic works, but I have added some useful news articles at the end too.

General history

  • Shenzhen noted blog:
  • Jun Zhang, “From Hong Kong’s capitalist fundamentals to Singapore’s authoritarian governance: the policy mobility of neo-liberalizing Shenzhen, China.” Urban Studies 49 (2012): 2860.
  • Smart, Alan. 1999. ‘Flexible Accumulation Across The Hong Kong Border: Petty Capitalists As Pioneers Of Globalized Accumulation’. Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development 28(3/4):373–406.
  • Zhang, Xu and Robert C. Kloosterman. 2014. ‘Connecting the “Workshop of the World”: Intra- and Extra-Service Networks of the Pearl River Delta CityRegion’. Regional Studies 1–13.

Electronics, Shanzhai, and makerspaces

Urban History / Urban planning

  • Ya Ping Wang, Yanglin Wang, and Jiansheng Wu, “Urbanization and Informal Development in China: Urban Villages in Shenzhen” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 33, no. 4 (2009): 957-74.
  • Constance Clark, “The politics of place making in Shenzhen, China” Berkeley Planning Journal 12, no. 1 (1998): 103-125.

BGI, biotech, and biomedicine

  • Winnie Wong, “Speculative Authorship in the City of Fakes” Current Anthropology, Vol. 58, Issue S15, pages S103-S112.
  • Katherine Mason. Mobile Migrants, Mobile Germs: Migration, Contagion, and Boundary-Building in Shenzhen, China after SARS.Medical Anthropology 31(2): 113-131.
  • Mason, Katherine A. (2010) Becoming Modern After SARS: Battling the H1N1 Pandemic and the Politics of Backwardness in China’s Pearl River Delta. Special Issue, “Epidemic Orders.” Behemoth 2010(3): 8-35.
  • Mason, Katherine. 2016. Infectious Change: Reinventing Chinese Public Health After an Epidemic. Stanford.


General background on China:

  • Wu, Weiping and Piper Gaubatz. 2013. The Chinese City. Routledge.