venue: Possibility Room, Level 5 @ National Library, 100 Victoria Street
date / time: Saturday, 28 Aug 2010, 2.30 – 5.00pm
The Fajar Generation: The University Socialist Club and the Politics of Postwar Malaya and Singapore appeared quietly late last year. It is a collection of essays on a group of English-educated student activists at the University of Malaya (later Singapore) in the 1950s and 1960s, edited by the Club’s former presidents: Poh Soo Kai, Tan Jing Quee and Koh Kay Yew. In their preface, the editors expressed the hope that the book ‘would open the way to a more objective review and analysis of the diverse trends and movements that have contributed to the emergence of our nation-state’. In this symposium, three young Singaporean historians critically examine the writing of Singapore’s recent past and discuss the challenges faced by current efforts to reclaim the histories of the marginalised. The topics of their talks are:
Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied: ‘Alternative Histories of Singapore: A Derivative Discourse?’
Sai Siew Min: ‘The Fajar Generation: Under the Shadows of British Colonial Nationalism’
Edgar Liao: ‘The Fog of Dawn: The University Socialist Club and English-educated Student Activism in Singapore, 1949- 1971’
A discussion with the audience will follow.
Dr Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied is Assistant Professor in the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore. His recent publications include Colonialism, Violence and Muslims in Southeast Asia: The Maria Hertogh
Controversy and its Aftermath (2009) and Reframing Singapore: Memory, Identity and Trans- Regionalism (2009).
Dr Sai Siew Min is Assistant Professor at the History Department in the National University of Singapore where she
teaches Singapore, Southeast Asian and gender histories. Her main publications address issues concerning the Chinese
and Chineseness in Southeast Asia, in particular, Indonesia and Singapore.
Mr Edgar Liao is a Master of Arts candidate in the Department of History, National University of Singapore, and co-author of a forthcoming book on the University Socialist Club.
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