I’m a PhD student in University College London’s anthropology department, working under the supervision of Professor Daniel Miller. My research focuses on table-top roleplaying games — mainly Dungeons and Dragons — in Singapore and New Zealand. I’d like to study D&D as an example of a collaborative storytelling practice. One of anthropology’s primary interests is in how humans navigate the contingency of human existence. We struggle with the limits of the human capacity to affect and control the world around us in a predictable fashion, while also finding new ways to make sense of the events—good or bad, planned or serendipitous—that happen to us.
Narratives and games are rich arenas to explore this tension. To understand our lives, we tell stories; we affix meaning as well as cause and effect to events. And while play is often perceived as a pursuit limited to children and young adults, anthropologists have argued that it is a way of being and perceiving reality that spills into all domains of life. The aim of this research is to understand how humans deal with the contingency of life through storytelling games, and intends to unpack how social, political and cultural contexts affect the way that stories are made and told.
In a previous life as a research associate at the Asia Research Institute, I worked on migrant labour, precarity, intimacy, emotions and the body, everyday life, debt and credit, moral and ethical life, and temporality/potentiality. I’ve researched the day-off policy for domestic workers in Singapore, migrant civil society (both transnational and local), the migration industry for domestic workers, and skilled diasporas traversing multiple homelands.
I’m also a Senior Tutor at the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore, and a grateful recipient of the Ministry of Eduction’s Overseas Graduate Scholarship and the Tan Kah Kee Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship.
For copies of any publications please email me at kellynn (dot) wee (at) gmail (dot) com, or tweet me!
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
There is an option, whenever available, for accepted manuscripts to be downloaded. These are article submissions which have been peer-reviewed and accepted by the journal in its final form, but exist prior to copy-editing and formatting. They are generally very similar to the published article.
Wee, Kellynn and Yeoh, Brenda S.A. 2020. Serial migration, multiple belongings and orientations toward the future: The perspective of middle-class migrants in Singapore. Journal of Sociology. DOI: 10.1177/1440783320960521 [Download Accepted Manuscript]
Wee, Kellynn, Goh, Charmian, and Yeoh, Brenda S.A. 2020. Translating People and Policy: The Role of Maid Agents in Brokering Between Employers and Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore’s Migration Industry. International Migration Review 54(4): 992-1015. DOI: 10.1177/0197918319897570 [Download Accepted Manuscript]
Ortiga, Yasmin, Wee, Kellynn, and Yeoh, Brenda S.A. 2020. Connecting Care Chains and Care Diamonds: The Eldercare Skills Regime in Singapore. Global Networks. DOI: 10.1111/glob.12281 [Download Accepted Manuscript]
Yeoh, Brenda S.A., Goh, Charmian and Wee, Kellynn. 2020. Social Protection for Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore: International Conventions, the Law, and Civil Society Action. American Behavioral Scientist 64(6): 841-858. DOI: 10.1177/0002764220910208 [Download Accepted Manuscript]
Wee, Kellynn, Goh, Charmian, and Yeoh, Brenda S.A. 2019. Choreographing the Rhythms of Encounter in Singapore’s Maid Agencies. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 45: 109-122. DOI: 10.1111/tran.12332 [Download Accepted Manuscript]
Wee, Kellynn, Goh, Charmian, and Yeoh, Brenda S.A. 2018. Chutes-and-Ladders: The Migration Industry, Conditionality, and the Production of Precarity among Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 45 (14): 2672-2688. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2018.1528099 [Download Accepted Manuscript]
Wee, Kellynn, Vanyoro, Kudakwashe, and Jinnah, Zaheera. 2018. Repoliticizing International Migration Narratives? Critical Reflections on the Civil Society Days of the Global Forum on Migration and Development. Globalizations 15 (6): 795-808. DOI: 10.1080/14747731.2018.1446600 [Download Accepted Manuscript]
Palmary, Ingrid, De Gruchy, Thea, Ashraf, Ali, Koh, Chiu Yee, Wee, Kellynn, Goh, Charmian, and Yeoh, Brenda. 2018. How Unpopular Policies are Made: Examples from South Africa, Singapore and Bangladesh. International Migration 57(4): 254-268. DOI: 10.1111/imig.12505 [Open Access]
Goh, Charmian, Wee, Kellynn, and Yeoh, Brenda S.A. 2017. Migration Governance and the Migration Industry in Asia: Moving Domestic Workers from Indonesia to Singapore. International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 0: 1-33. DOI: 10.1093/irap/lcx010 [Open Access]
Koh, Chiu Yee, Wee, Kellynn, Goh, Charmian, and Yeoh, Brenda S.A. 2017. Cultural Mediation through Vernacularization: Framing Rights Claims through the Day-Off Campaign for Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore. International Migration 55 (3): 98-104. DOI: 10.1111/imig.12332 [Download Accepted Manuscript]
Yeoh, Brenda S.A, Baey, Grace, Platt, Maria, and Wee, Kellynn. 2017. Bangladeshi Construction Workers and the Politics of (Im)mobility in Singapore. City 21 (5): 641-649. DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2017.1374786 [Download Accepted Manuscript]
Koh, Chiu Yee, Goh, Charmian, Wee, Kellynn, and Yeoh, Brenda S.A. 2017. Drivers of Migration Policy Reform: The Day Off Policy for Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore. Global Social Policy 17 (2): 188-205. DOI: 10.1177/1468018116677218 [Download Accepted Manuscript]
Yeoh, Brenda S.A., Goh, Charmian, and Wee, Kellynn. 2020. “Emigration.” In International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography, edited by A. Kobayashi, 91-96. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Yeoh, Brenda S.A., Wee, Kellynn, and Goh, Charmian. 2019. “Corporeal Geographies of Labour Migration in Asia.” In Handbook on Critical Geographies of Migration, edited by K. Mitchell, R. Jones and J. L. Fluri, 92-105. Surrey: Edward Egar Publishing.
Wee, Kellynn. 2020. “‘Covidiots’ and caution tape: Care, surveillance and the elderly in Singapore.” Collecting COVID-19: A Crowd-Sourced Digital Ethnography of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Accessed 20 May 2020. https://anthrocovid.com/2020/05/20/covidiots-and-caution-tape-care-surveillance-and-the-elderly-in-singapore/
Wee, Kellynn. 2020. “What waiting bodies can tell us about Singapore’s maids.” Geography Directions. Accessed 19 February 2020. https://blog.geographydirections.com/2020/02/18/what-waiting-bodies-can-tell-us-about-singapores-maids/
Wee, Kellynn. 2020. Review of Follow the Maid, by Olivia Killias. Transitions.
Vanyoro, Kudakwashe, and Wee, Kellynn. 2016. “What could go wrong in this year’s Global Forum on Migration and Development?” Open Democracy. Accessed November 27, 2019. https://www.opendemocracy.net/kudakwashe-vanyoro-kellynn-wee/what-could-go-wrong-in-this-year-s-gfmd
Wee, Kellynn. 2015. “The making(s) of a domestic worker.” Migrating out of Poverty. Accessed 18 February 2020. https://migratingoutofpovertysg.org/2015/11/10/the-makings-of-a-domestic-worker/
Wee, Kellynn. “Separate but simultaneous”: Compositing individual accounts of a shared migration trajectory within migration & family research in Asia. Paper presented at AAS-in-Asia: Asia at the Crossroads, Solidarity through Scholarship, Association of Asian Studies, Kobe [Online], August 31-September 4, 2020.
Wee, Kellynn, and Yeoh, Brenda. “Serial Migration In and Through Southeast Asia: Orientations Towards the Future.” Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Center for Global Asia, Shanghai University, Shanghai, August 26-28, 2019.
Wee, Kellynn. “Bids and Bets: The Risky Brokerage of Debt-Credit Relations Within the Migration Industry for Domestic Workers in Singapore.”Paper presented at Shaping Migrant and Mobile Worlds: Connectivities, Comparisons, Collaborations, National University of Singapore, Singapore, February 21-22, 2019.
Wee, Kellynn, Goh, Charmian, and Yeoh, Brenda. “The Regime of Skills in Singapore’s Care Landscape.”Paper presented at The Question of Skills in Cross-Border Labour Mobility, Waseda University, Tokyo, September 20-21, 2018.
Wee, Kellynn, Goh, Charmian, and Yeoh, Brenda. “Geographies of Encounter in the Maid Agency: (Re)producing Binaries and the Politics of Misrecognition in the Cosmopolitan City-State of Singapore.” Paper presented at Migrants in the Globalizing City: Spaces, Places and Mobilities in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, Sorbonne University, Paris, July 8-9, 2018.
Wee, Kellynn, Goh, Charmian, and Yeoh, Brenda. “Micro-Brokerage: Translation, Discretion, and the Migration Industry for Domestic Workers in Singapore.” Paper presented at The Migration Industry: Facilitators and Brokerage in Asia, National University of Singapore, Singapore, June 1-2, 2017.
Wee, Kellynn, Goh, Charmian, and Yeoh, Brenda. “Conditionality and Chance: Migration brokers and the Production of Precarity Among Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore.” Plenary paper presented at Migrating out of Poverty: From Evidence to Policy, University of Sussex, Brighton, March 28-29, 2017.
Wee, Kellynn, and Yeoh, Brenda. “File In, Filed Away: Placement Agencies and the Mediation of Migrant Domestic Labour in Singapore.” Paper presented at Urban Arrival Infrastructures: An International Workshop on Migration and Cities in the 19th and 21st Century, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, December 10-11, 2015.
Edited Special Issues
Wee, Kellynn, Lam, Theodora, Spitzer, Denise & Brenda S.A. Yeoh. In preparation. Love’s labour’s cost? Gendered migration and intimate labour in Asia. Gender, Place and Culture
Spitzer, Denise, Lam, Theodora, Wee, Kellynn & Brenda S.A. Yeoh. In preparation. Close encounters: Migrant bodies, workplace and intimate labour in Asia. Gender, Work and Organization.
Yeoh, Brenda S.A, Wee, Kellynn & Lam, Theodora. In preparation. Migrant Workers in Singapore: Lives and Labour in a Transient Migration Regime. World Scientific Publishing.