Ching, Martha profile picMA Graduate – Class of 2017

I grew up in Singapore and left for Cambridge to pursue my undergraduate degree in Sociology. Being away from home has shaped a lot of my current experiences. I’m an avid lover of food and find myself culinarily homesick very often. Cooking has therefore joined my rather meagre repertoire of survival skills and I’ve somehow acquired, as well, a strange sense of satisfaction at feeding my friends well. Moving to a small city like Cambridge has also cultivated my appreciation of quiet unassuming comfort and introspection but I’m definitely looking forward to a change of pace and environment. The most subtle, unexpected differences can be most impactful and I’m excited to see how new people, new places, and of course new foods, will continue to enrich my experience.

Research Interests

The notion of home is also of academic interest to me. I am especially interested in the way taken-for-granted understandings of who we are constructed, what they tend to obscure and therefore where reflexivity and re-evaluation are needed. I believe that every iteration of identity – racial, national or gendered – is part of a continuous process that simultaneously effects exclusion. I am therefore hoping to understand how this manifests in and impacts the way we think, feel, move and interact. This has real consequences and often renders entire communities such as migrant workers or refugees vulnerable. Post-colonial or feminist accounts are critical perspectives that aid in this exploration.

Ultimately, these interests also constitute an impetus for action. Motivated by the knowledge of suffering, often silenced, I want to take my work beyond the theoretical. When I complete my studies, I will return to Singapore to work with the civil service. I’m not quite sure what awaits; I’m almost certain my idealism will change but while I am here now I’m going to give it my best shot.

Education

  • B.A., Human, Social, & Political Sciences, University of Cambridge, 2014-2016