Launch of The University Socialist Club and the Making of Malaya: Tangled Strands of Modernity
Where: Littered with Books
20 Duxton Road
When: Saturday, December 15, 2012, at 2:00pm (SGT)
Chong Fah Cheong: As the s/pores e-journal uses my First Generation sculpture as its emblem picture, I thought I could be bold and request that the forum post my open invitation to the cultural, social and concerned community of Singaporeans and others interested in Singapore to view my latest works. I am not a writer, so I am not submitting an article to s/pores. But I am a sculptor, and my social and artistic commentary upon many social issues is both visual and tactile. Please come to Emily Hill if you are interested in what I have to say and view my sculpture exhibition entitled Passages. The exhibition is open from 11 – 7.30, Monday to Saturday, from Nov 18 – 26, 2011.
By the way, I am very pleased that s/pores has decided to use First Generation in this emblematic way. Thank you.
s/pores editors: thank you Fah Cheong, for your art, and for your kind words.
Men in Black or White: History as Media Event in Singapore
A forum brought to you by Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore in collaboration with National Library Singapore
Date: 16 January 2010 (Saturday)
Time: 2:30pm – 6:00pm
Venue: The National Library Building, The POD, Level 16, 100 Victoria Street
The book, Men in White: the untold story of Singapore’s ruling party, has created a sensation in the mass media since its release in September 2009. Written by three senior journalists from The Straits Times and commissioned and published by Singapore Press Holdings, Men in White was publicized extensively in the print and cyber media. The book became an immediate bestseller in Singapore and generated buzz not only locally but reportedly in Asia as well. The media blitz surrounding Men in White turned on its claim to offer an accessible and unbiased history of the ruling PAP government and of post-World War Two Singapore history in general. Yet, this claim quickly provoked challenges and invited critical scrutiny of its contents and research methodology from different quarters in the country. For several months following the book’s launch, history took centerstage in the nation’s mass media.
This seminar is the first public forum since the launch of the book to examine Men in White as a sensation generated from the intersection between history and the mass media. Discussion will revolve around the popularization of history by non-professional historians, the writing and consumption of history in the mass media, the internet and the democratization of history as well as the specific impact of the book on the state of Singapore writing and historiography.
What a Book! What a Launch! What a Story!
Tan Tarn How, Institute of Policy Studies, National University of Singapore
It was an opportunity that Singapore Press Holdings was unlikely to let pass without its own journalistic and corporate public relations and other machinery revving into full gear. After all it had invested seven years of three of its best journalists into producing the tome. But how should one put this launch in the context of the other occasions in which the SPH covers itself?
Tan Tarn How is a senior research fellow in the Institute of Policy Studies where he researches Singapore’s media and arts policy. He was a journalist with The Straits Times for 16 years.
Men in White: “Untold Story” vs “History”
Hong Lysa, Independent Scholar
The publicity materials for the Untold Story of Singapore´s Ruling Party highlights the fact that its authors are not historians, and that it is not a work of history. I examine the implications of these claims, and attempt to place the book in the historiography of Singapore.
Hong Lysa was formerly a member of the History Department, National University of Singapore, and has since been doing research on her own steam. She is a founding member of the e-journal collective, s/pores: new directions in Singapore studies [www.s-pores.com] and co-author (with Huang Jianli) of The Scripting of A National History: Singapore and its Pasts (Hong Kong University Press, 2008).
From People’s Action Party to Men in White
Philip Holden, Department of English, Language and Literature, National University of Singapore
Any work of history is also an exercise in creative storytelling: a selection, shaping, and ordering of the events of the past into a compelling story. The stress on “men” in Men in White contrasts with the “people” in the People’s Action Party, and has two effects. First, it diminishes the centrality of gender equality to the early PAP’s programme of social reform, and the significant role played by women in the party’s later development: important women in the PAP’s history are completely absent from the book. Second, and more subtly, it promotes a specific style of storytelling that constructs certain figures as male heroes, while dismissing others as lacking in manly qualities. As Men in White’s narrative progresses beyond 1965 this stress on character gets in the way of historical reappraisal, and thus, rather than telling the untold story it promises, the book retreats back to the comfort of a story already frequently told.
Philip Holden is Associate Professor at the Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore. He researches and teaches Singapore and Southeast Asian Literatures. Two of his recent books are Autobiography and Decolonization (2008), which looks at the life stories of national “fathers,” and Writing Singapore (2009), the first comprehensive historical anthology of Singapore literature in English, co-edited with Angelia Poon and Shirley Geok-lin Lim.
Please click on the following link to register: http://golibrary.nlb.gov.sg/Event.aspx?EventID=31314
Seeking Stories of the British Bases and Military Withdrawal
Dear fellow Singaporeans
I am a Singaporean historian looking to speak to people who remember the British bases and their withdrawal in the early 1970s. The withdrawal was the first major crisis independent Singapore faced. The 56 bases contributed a fifth of our GDP and the pullout threatened the livelihood of one-sixth of the labour force, including an estimated 8,000 amahs. If you had lived or worked in the British bases and rundown, or have a family member, relative or friend who did, kindly contact me to lend your voice to an important episode of our national story. Thank you.
Loh Kah Seng (Dr)
Visiting Research Fellow
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore
Mobile: +65 81981172
Please send announcements to email@example.com; s/pores reserves the right to vet, edit or reject submitted announcements