Now showing 1 - 10 of 16
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    Curricular coherence in the teaching of literature at the upper secondary levels
    (2006-12)
    "This project was an investigation into the ways in which the curricular coherence in the literature classrooms of two upper secondary literature teachers at average-ability schools in Singapore could be enhanced. Curricular coherence refers to the ways in which elements of curriculum, texts, different writers, themes, individual lessons, and classroom activities are related to each other (Applebee, 1996; Applebee, Burroughs, & Stevens, 2000)."-- [p. 1]
      136  47
  • Publication
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    Self-conscious and queer
    Writers of historical fiction invariably engage in acts of translation in order to make the past meaningful to present-day readers. Lydia Kwa’s This Place Called Absence depicts the lives of two Chinese prostitutes in turn-of-the-century colonial Singapore while Tan Twan Eng’s The Gift of Rain traces the relationship between Philip Hutton, a young British-Chinese man, and a mysterious Japanese spy during the Second World War in Penang. Both novelists use metafictional elements to dislodge if not fracture the realist narrative frame and seek self-consciously to foreground the competing tensions at work in representing the past in these two Southeast Asian countries. They contest the historical arrangements of race, gender, and sexuality which continue into the present, and force the reader to confront the limits of historical knowledge and knowability. At the same time, through their depiction of queer desire and sexuality as well as their disruption of linear time in these novels, Kwa and Tan present their protagonists as being out of place and out of time. In so doing, they mount a crucial critique of the way in which national histories in postcolonial Singapore and Malaysia are invariably presented as “straight” narratives.
      30
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Travelling in place
    (Ethos Books, 2021)
      4
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Universalism and the Malaysian anglophone novel: Exploring inequality, migrancy, and class in Tash Aw's We, the Survivors
    Tash Aw’s 2019 novel We, the Survivors narrates the story of a convicted killer, Ah Hock, whose life serves as a lens to refract contemporary Malaysia’s postcolonial history and its ethnic and class politics, as well as its location within the circuitry of global capitalism. This article examines Aw’s representation of migrancy, class, and inequality in contemporary Malaysian society, reading the text as a critique of global capitalism through its tactical employment of a universalist idiom that appropriates Darwinian ideas about survival, evolution, chance, environment, and competition. The text also reflects on the ethics of novel-writing since Ah Hock’s oral testimony is ostensibly mediated by a more privileged character. Aw locates his novel in the pivotal space between national specificity and general universalism while asking critical questions of his own position within the transnational literary marketplace, thereby underscoring the urgent need to re-world the world created by global capitalism.
    WOS© Citations 1Scopus© Citations 1  65  63
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Writing home: Alfian Sa’at and the politics of Malay Muslim belonging in global multiracial Singapore
    This essay focuses on Malay Sketches, a collection of flash fiction written by Alfian Sa'at, the only Malay writer in Singapore who has produced a substantial body of work in English. Alfian represents the specific dynamics of Malay identity and inter-race relations in Singapore, where contemporary pressures of globality complicate the colonial legacies entrenched in everyday cross-cultural interactions. In his writing he attempts to prise a gap in the seal between race, religion and language that the state's multiracial orthodoxy insists on enforcing, and to offer instead other permutations. By choosing deliberately to historicize structures of affect and sentiment, Alfian shows how the Singaporean state's official ideology and wide-ranging policies have played a significant role in constructing Malay subjectivities and informing their sense of being at home in Singapore.
    Scopus© Citations 1  789  1839
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Postcolonial and cosmopolitan connections: Teaching Anglophone Singapore literature for nation and world
    This article argues for the importance and relevance of postcolonial studies in achieving the goal of cosmopolitanism through Literature education. Having significantly redrawn the overall contours of literary study in the twentieth century, postcolonial studies as an interdisciplinary critical tradition provides us with a conceptual vocabulary, analytical lens and interpretive protocols with which to interrogate rigorously many salient aspects of contemporary globalization in our world today. There are at least three main areas where postcolonialism’s contribution remains vital: i) in critical discussion about the nation and nationalism, ii) in countering Eurocentrism, and iii) in the examination of form, style and literary poetics or aesthetics. In this article, I explore each of these areas first before suggesting ways in which Anglophone Singapore literature may be taught and read through these critical emphases, with the ultimate goal of answering nation-centred goals while also fulfiling the national curriculum’s desired outcome of growing empathetic and global thinkers.
      93  288
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Being in the world: Literary practice and pedagogy in global times
    In this article, I examine the implications for literature pedagogy based on recent developments in postcolonial theory and globalization studies. I argue for a critical cosmopolitan pedagogy that would nourish the creation of alternative imaginaries and teach young people through literature to be more fully in the world. Two instances of how this might be effected are provided. The first centers on how literary pedagogy in globalized times cannot avoid dealing with texts translated into English from other languages. Using the global, multicultural city of Singapore as a case in point, I show how teaching translated texts can be a strategic way of interrogating the hegemony of the Anglophone segment of the population, and historically, the English-educated class in Singapore, by providing minority perspectives erased by official history. A different past is thus used to question a normalized present. The second instance of a critical cosmopolitan pedagogy is discussed in relation to Mohsin Hamid’s novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which deals with the pressing global issue of terrorism. It focuses on how the teacher can further help the text in its work to render the reader, rather than the object of narration, strange. Ultimately, a literature pedagogy that takes the question of perspective seriously can help us resist neoliberal capitalism’s emphasis on the management and care of the self in the service of markets in favor of a more politicized global subject fully committed to engaging the world.
    WOS© Citations 5Scopus© Citations 4  154  159