For the first instalment of the FASS Lunchtime Seminar Series this semester (19 October 2011), Professor Chua Beng Huat from the Department of Sociology gave us insights into “Pop Culture and ‘Soft Power’ Competition in East Asia”. Speaking at the FASS Faculty Lounge, Prof Chua highlighted the significance of pop culture in the export industry of East Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong—drawing attention to the “positive influences” that pop culture can have on the attitudes of the audience in target/importing countries. Against this backdrop, Prof Chua’s presentation focused on the role of Television Drama Series in the current state of ‘soft power’ competition or ‘cultural diplomacy’ among China, Japan and Korea.
Professor Bao Zhiming from the Department of English Language and Literature was the invited speaker for the second instalment of the FASS Lunchtime Seminar Series this semester (9 November 2011). Prof Bao discussed “How to Mix Languages”, using Singlish talk about time and action as his illustration. Specifically, the presentation demonstrated how Singlish time talk is the Chinese talk carried out through English words. The session ended with numerous questions and comments on similar examples of such merging of languages.