Public Lecture: Heroes, Villains and Ordinary Citizens: A Short History of Singaporean Dissent
Venue:Seminar Room, Level 2
Date:SAT 24 OCT 2009 2:00pm – 3:30pm
What has it meant to dissent in a Singaporean context, to challenge the prevailing, pervasive orthodoxies of the day? Can one write a history of Singaporean dissent and ought one to do so? Lesser-known, though no less compelling, historical personalities from the Singapore story (including angry poets, radicalised bourgeoisie and even early feminists) fought their own struggles for the country, often against overbearing systems such as capitalism, imperialism or patriarchy in which they were themselves complicit. Do their attempts to challenge these systems represent evidence of a locally-grounded dissenting tradition? Or were such efforts as distinct and unique as the historical times to which their authors belonged? These are questions that Mark Ravinder Frost will explore in this talk, which will introduce Singapore: A Biography, a new work of history drawn from research undertaken in collaboration with the National Museum of Singapore.
Registration is required. Please email
Mark Ravinder Frost studied history at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge before moving to Singapore in 2002. Following three years with the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, he became a consultant to the National Museum of Singapore and then Content Director for its new Singapore History Gallery. Currently, he is Research Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong.
Mark has written extensively on intellectual and cultural history in Singapore and the broader Indian Ocean region, and published articles in journals such as Modern Asian Studies and the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. As well as Singapore: A Biography (written in collaboration with local Singaporean writer Yu-Mei Balasingamchow. He is the author of the forthcoming Dreams of Other Empires: The cosmopolitan moment in the Indian Ocean world, 1870-1920.
Yu-Mei Balasingamchow studied English and History at Northwestern University then worked as an English teacher prior to writing full time. Currently, she divides her time between writing about history, film and culture in Singapore, and travelling across Asia, researching and writing for publications such as Lonely Planet.