“Hard at Work: Life in Singapore” (https://nuspress.nus.edu.sg/products/hard-at-work-life-in-singapore) is a collection of 60 stories, of people in contemporary Singapore talking about their work and life. With author Prof. Gerard Sasges, we discussed how he conceptualised the book and discussed the important elements of interviewing and ethnography. We also explored significant themes which emerged. “Hard at Work” was shortlisted for the 2020 Singapore Literature Prize and was a finalist for “Best Non-Fiction Title” at the 2020 Singapore Book Awards.
Prof. Sasges received a PhD from UC Berkeley in 2006. In 2012 he joined the National University of Singapore (NUS) where he is an associate professor in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies. The book was co-authored with Ng Shi Wen, a photographer, educator, and chronicler of everyday life. She is the founder of Photo Rikiki and has taught at NUS and the School of the Arts, Singapore.
My conversation with Prof. Sasges is part of our 2021 focus on researchers in Singapore (https://socialservice.sg/podcast/).