Dr Clay Eaton was born in Washington, DC, and lived with his family in Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Hawai’i before settling in Seattle. He received his BA from Lewis & Clark College, where he studied International Relations, History, and Japanese. Dr Eaton pursued his graduate studies at Columbia University (MA 2012; PhD 2018). His dissertation focused on the relationship between Japanese administrators and local social elites in wartime Singapore. He enjoys travelling and sampling new varieties of durian.
Dr Eaton is a historian of empire with a particular interest in the social and political effects of imperial policy. He works to contextualise the wartime experience of the people of Singapore within the wider history of the Japanese empire. He uses Japanese, Chinese and Malay sources to analyse divisions within the Japanese administration of wartime Singapore (1942–1945) and the relationships between individual Japanese administrators and the Chinese businessmen, Arab landowners, Malay aristocrats, Indian lawyers and other communal leaders they compelled to help them govern the occupied city. Dr Eaton is currently working to revise his PhD dissertation into a book manuscript.
Eaton, Clay. 2014. “Communal welfare associations and the agricultural settlements of wartime Singapore.” In Africa and Asia across disciplinary and national lines: Proceedings of papers presented at Consortium for Asian and African Studies (CAAS) 5th International Conference, Columbia University, 3–4 October 2014, 45–50. Tokyo: Office of International Academic Strategy, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
Eaton, Clay. 2015. “A cenotaph for Singapore: Contesting ceremonial space at the Straits Settlements War Memorial.” Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 88, part 2, no. 309: 25–50.
Eaton, Clay. 2016. “The last days of Syonan.” In End of empire: 100 days in 1945 that changed Asia and the world, eds. David P. Chandler, Robert Cribb, and Li Narangoa, 120–121. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.
Eaton, Clay. 2016. “Mabel’s life goes on.” In End of empire: 100 days in 1945 that changed Asia and the world, eds. David P. Chandler, Robert Cribb, and Li Narangoa, 130–131. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.
Literature and Humanities I