Eating Chilli Crab in the Anthropocene edited  by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson front cover
Eating Chilli Crab in the Anthropocene edited  by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson back cover

Eating Chilli Crab in the Anthropocene

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edited by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson

Also available as an audiobook on Storytel here.


In this era of climate crisis, in which our very futures are at stake, sustainability is a global imperative. Yet we tend to associate sustainability, nature, and the environment with distant places, science, and policy. The truth is that everything is environmental, from transportation to taxes, work to love, cities to cuisine.

This book is the first to examine contemporary Singapore from an ecocultural lens, looking at the ways that Singaporean life and culture is deeply entangled with the nonhuman lives that flourish all around us. The authors represent a new generation of cultural critics and environmental thinkers, who will inherit the future we are creating today. From chilli crab to Tiger Beer, Changi Airport to Pulau Semakau, O-levels to orang minyak films, these essays offer fresh perspectives on familiar subjects, prompting us to recognise the incredible urgency of climate change and the need to transform our ways of thinking, acting, learning, living, and governing so as to maintain a stable planet and a decent future.

Read an exclusive preview of our book here.

And check out our Book Club Starter Pack, which includes chapter summaries, discussion questions and additional reading materials for Eating Chilli Crab in the Anthropocene.  

About the Editor

Matthew Schneider-Mayerson is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Yale-NUS College, where he writes and teaches about climate change, environmental politics, and environmental literature. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota and served as the Cultures of Energy Postdoctoral Fellow at Rice University. He is the co-editor of An Ecotopian Lexicon and author of Peak Oil: Apocalyptic Environmentalism and Libertarian Political Culture. He has lived in Singapore since 2015.


Michele Chong • Fu Xiyao • Feroz Khan • Heeeun Monica Kim • Lee Jin Hee • Al Lim • Aidan Mock • Neo Xiaoyun • Ng Xin • Mathias Ooi • Sarah Novak • Bertrand Seah • Yogesh Tulsi



"From paleo-anthropology to culinary culture; animism to activism to animal rights; displaced societies to invasive species to unsustainable icons; Singapore will be transformed after you read these exciting explorations into her past, present and future. Diverse dots are connected, silos deconstructed, sacred cows challenged and eloquent voice given to the forgotten, marginalised, ignored, hidden or unspoken. If 'leadership means influencing the community to face its problems', these writers are our leaders for a sustainable future."
—Geh Min, Immediate Past President, Nature Society Singapore and former Nominated Member of Parliament

"Read this book and become inspired by the feisty intellect and elegant writing of Singapore’s climate generation. These emerging scholars write with a sense of urgency, mobilizing their impressive literary and scholarly talents to command our attention. Their essays reorient our values, priorities and politics, demanding that we recognize the ethical responsibilities we have to the multispecies world we live in. As they analyze the entanglements of humans and nature in one of the world’s most technology obsessed cities, their voices offer a glimmer of hope for the future of Singapore and other cities in the Anthropocene. As the brilliant introduction notes: 'Everything is environmental … Even Singapore!' The city is an environment where diverse biological life teems alongside a new generation of inspiring thinkers. Listen to them as they rethink the ethical demands of a world where the 'life' we celebrate is not simply human but biological."
—Erik Harms, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Southeast Asia Studies, Yale University

"This spirited anthology connects seemingly ordinary Singaporean subjects to larger concerns of animal rights, environmental protection or simply, how to live ethically. Written with eloquence and empathy, these youthful contributors are the reason why we are ever hopeful for a better Singapore, in a better world."
—Harvey Neo, Senior Fellow and Programme Head at Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, Singapore University of Technology and Design

“These thoughtful and diverse essays deserve to be read by anyone seriously interested in environmental issues in Singapore. Our youth authors raise important questions about how we have come to understand and interact with nature and the environment we live in, and offer plausible ways forward. We must listen and act now.”
—Melissa Low, Research Fellow, Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore

"The book is about radical possibilities, and it more than accomplishes that.... Eating Chilli Crab in the Anthropocene presents alternative viewpoints for thinking about Singapore’s developmental story, and these alternatives broaden our imaginations of possible futures."
—Belicia Teo, New Mandala

“The interdisciplinary nature of the collection is exciting, presenting a smorgasbord of opinions worthy of the complex nature of Singaporean politics and culture…. The characteristic youthful and transitional voices of the writers—who have inherited a planet in decline as well as the privilege to apply their minds to a stable future—shine through. Collectively, the voices nudge (and sometimes push) the audience to learn more about the climate crisis and to act on their learning. This intention gives the anthology the feel of a gently revolutionary pamphlet.”
—Sebastian Taylor, Singapore Unbound

"Guided by the conceptual framework of the environmental humanities
and animated by the ethos of activism, the twelve essays centering on Singapore cover an impressive span of topics, from food consumption, infrastructure and energy production, to urban wildlife, waste, and more." 
—Jamie Wang, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 

"This work is a pioneering effort. Not only is it one of the first to synthesise the stories of non-human natures in Singapore from interdisciplinary sources, it centralises youth voices rarely amplified in public discourse. All the contributors to this book are born in the 1990s. It thus presents an emerging environmentalist perspective of a generation steeped in digitally facilitated calls for action against climate change and sensitive to the future vulnerability of living in this epoch." 
—Bryan Dennis G. Tiojanco, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

• • •

ISBN: 978-981-14-4136-3 (paperback) | 978-981-14-5963-4 (e-book)
Published: June 2020
Dimension: 150mm x 220mm 
Extent: 276
Finish: Paperback



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