The Asian Studies Centre, University of Oxford invites submissions for "Narrating the Nation: Thirty Years of 'A History of Singapore'", a one day workshop to be held at St Antony's College, Oxford, on 9 June 2007.
2007 marks the 30th anniversary of Mary Turnbull's 'A History of Singapore'. This conference will use this significant date to consider the history and future of the historiography of Singapore. Mary Turnbull will be a keynote speaker, reflecting on the past and future of 'A History of Singapore'.
The conference will provide a chance to examine the emergence of a ‘national’ Singaporean historiography in the years around and after independence in 1965. How did the intellectual and political context in the 1960s and 70s shape the way in which scholars considered Singapore’s significance and place in history? Equally importantly, the conference will examine how Singapore’s recent history has led to new agendas in historiography - and what remains to be done. What is the future of Singapore history?
Singapore poses particular challenges to historians, through the rapidity of economic and cultural change, and the hybrid nature of identity in this city-state built on migration. The perception of shared historical experience and consciousness play a particularly prominent part in Singaporean self-definition, reinforced by powerful mainstream narratives of nation-building. This workshop provides opportunities to consider the political and social significance of historiography in Singapore, as well as to reevaluate dominant interpretations.
Singapore has always emphasized its place in international and transnational networks, within the region and beyond. But how cosmopolitan is Singapore’s history? And how might new approaches to transnationalism enhance a Singaporean historiography which has always investigated migration and connectedness? As historiographical methodologies become increasingly internationalized, does that threaten to erase specificity? Post-colonial theories developed elsewhere have been both influential and controversial in Singaporean academic and cultural life. Hybridity has been increasingly foregrounded as a means to interpret identity in post-colonial Singapore. But do these grand theories illuminate or obscure the history of being, and becoming, Singaporean?
We welcome submissions on topics relating to the development of the history and historiography of Singapore. In particular, we seek papers which stand apart from the current historiography and develop new areas and approaches to Singapore history, and address areas and topics which are absent from the current historiography. These may include, but are not restricted to, topics such as social history, religion, women, minorities, and work based on non-English sources. We particularly welcome submissions from graduate students or recent PhDs.
Papers should be 20-25 minutes in length. Please send a short 300 word abstract, plus a short biographical paragraph, to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 April 2007.
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