NUS Theatre Studies Joint Book Launch

Title: NUS Theatre Studies Joint Book Launch featuring Bodies and Transformance in Taiwanese Contemporary Theater by Dr Peilin Liang, Theatre-Fiction in Britain from Henry James to Doris Lessing: Writing in the Wings by Dr Graham Wolfe, and Enacting Lecoq: Movement in Theatre, Cognition, and Life by Dr Maiya Murphy

Date: Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Time: 6:30-9:05pm

Venue: The Pod, NLB

Organizers: FASS Research Division

RSVP at Eventbrite.

Description

Three authors will share their new books dealing with the study of theatre:

  1. Bodies and Transformance in Taiwanese Contemporary Theater (Routledge, 2019) by Dr Peilin Liang, Assistant Professor, NUS English Language & Literature

In Bodies and Transformance in Taiwanese Contemporary Theater, Peilin Liang develops a theory of bodily transformation. Proposing the concept of transformance, a conscious and rigorous process of self-cultivation toward a reconceptualized body, Liang shows how theater practitioners of minoritized cultures adopt transformance as a strategy to counteract the embodied practices of ideological and economic hegemony. This book observes key Taiwanese contemporary theater practitioners at work in forging five reconceptualized bodies: the energized, the rhythmic, the ritualized, the joyous, and the (re)productive. By focusing on the development of transformance between the years of 2000–2008, a tumultuous political watershed in Taiwan’s history, the author succeeds in bridging postcolonialism and interculturalism in her conceptual framework. Ideal for scholars of Asian and Postcolonial Theater, Bodies and Transformance in Taiwanese Contemporary Theater shows how transformance, rather than performance, calibrates with far greater precision and acuity the state of the body and the culture that it seeks to create.

2. Theatre-Fiction in Britain from Henry James to Doris Lessing: Writing in the Wings (Routledge, 2019) by Dr Graham Wolfe, Associate Professor, NUS English Language & Literature

Theatre-Fiction in Britain from Henry James to Doris LessingThis volume posits and explores an intermedial genre called theatre-fiction, understood in its broadest sense as referring to novels and stories that engage in concrete and sustained ways with theatre. Though theatre has made star appearances in dozens of literary fictions, including many by modern history’s most influential authors, no full-length study has dedicated itself specifically to theatre-fiction―in fact there has not even been a recognized name for the phenomenon. Focusing on Britain, where most of the world’s theatre-novels have been produced, and commencing in the late-nineteenth century, when theatre increasingly took on major roles in novels, Theatre-Fiction in Britain argues for the benefits of considering these works in relation to each other, to a history of development, and to the theatre of their time. New modes of intermedial analysis are modelled through close studies of Henry James, Somerset Maugham, Virginia Woolf, J. B. Priestley, Ngaio Marsh, Angela Carter, and Doris Lessing, all of whom were deeply involved in the theatre-world as playwrights, directors, reviewers, and theorists. Drawing as much on theatre scholarship as on literary theory, Theatre-Fiction in Britain presents theatre-fiction as one of the past century’s most vital means of exploring, reconsidering, and bringing forth theatre’s potentials.

3. Enacting Lecoq: Movement in Theatre, Cognition, and Life (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) by Dr Maiya Murphy, Assistant Professor, NUS English Language & Literature

This book examines the theatrical movement-based pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq (1921-1999)enacting lecoq through the lens of the cognitive scientific paradigm of enaction. The conversation between these two both uncovers more of the possible cognitive processes at work in Lecoq pedagogy and proposes how Lecoq’s own practical and philosophical approach could have something to offer the development of the enactive paradigm. Understanding Lecoq pedagogy through enaction can shed new light on the ways that movement, key to Lecoq’s own articulation of his pedagogy, might cognitively constitute the development of Lecoq’s ultimate creative figure – the actor-creator. Through an enactive lens, the actor-creator can be understood as not only a creative figure, but also the manifestation of a fundamentally new mode of cognitive selfhood. This book engages with Lecoq pedagogy’s significant practices and principles including the relationship between the instructor and student, identifications, mime, play, mask work, language, improvisation, and movement analysis.

 

Programme

6:30-7:00pm – Registration/Refreshments/Books available for purchase

7:00-7:05pm – Welcome Remarks by Chair, Dr Walter Lim, Associate Professor, NUS English Language & Literature

7:05-7:25pm – Peilin Liang Presentation on Bodies and Transformance in Taiwanese Contemporary Theater

7:25-7:45pm – Graham Wolfe Presentation on Theatre-Fiction in Britain from Henry James to Doris Lessing: Writing in the Wings

7:45-8:05pm – Maiya Murphy Presentation on Enacting Lecoq: Movement in Theatre, Cognition, and Life

8:05-8:35pm – Q and A/Discussion, Moderated by Chair

8:35-9:05pm – Book Sale with Autograph Signing

 

Author Bios

As a researcher, educator, facilitator and translator of theatre and performance, Peilin peilin liangLiang is immensely interested in storytelling through shapeshifting. She received her MA in English from the University of Auckland and her PhD from the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. Prior to her appointment at the National University of Singapore, she was a postdoctoral fellow with the Asian Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include (post)colonialism, minor transnationalism, cultural diversity and dynamics of cross-cultural exchange in relation to body training, performance pedagogy, and theatre.

 

graham wolfeGraham Wolfe is an Associate Professor in the Theatre Studies division of the English Language & Literature Department at NUS. He came to Singapore in 2012, having lived for most of his life in Canada. He has also taught at the University of Toronto, where he completed his Masters and PhD in Drama. He also holds a BA (Honours) and B.Ed from Queen’s University, Canada. At NUS, he teaches “Major Playwrights of the 20th Century”, “Theatre and Postmodernism”, and “The Theatre Experience”.

 

maiya murphy Maiya Murphy is a researcher, teacher, deviser, and performer. She began her career as an actor and dancer focused on movement-based training, creation, and performance. Her practical background informs her research on relationships between practice, theory, movement, and the cognitive sciences. She received her BA in Theater Studies from Yale University, trained in Lecoq-based pedagogy at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA), and received her Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama from the University of California, San Diego. She also makes theatre with her collective, Autopoetics.

 

 

Kent Ridge Alumni Family Day on 17 August 2019

CALLING ALL STUDENTS, STAFF AND ALUMNI!

Kent Ridge Alumni Family Day (KRAFD) on Saturday, 17 August!

Themed Fiesta On the Green, NUS’ biggest homecoming will commemorate Singapore’s Bicentennial, while welcoming home alumni, students, faculty, staff and their families back to the Kent Ridge Campus.

Come be dazzled by the star-studded line-up of celebrity alumni performers including Joanna Dong (Arts & Social Sciences ’04) who came in third in Sing! China 2017.  Other exciting activities include a showcase of autonomous and virtual technologies, hands-on stations at Student Life Fair, and networking at the Faculty booths.  The festivities will culminate in the largest outdoor movie screening on campus of the popular animated film, Smallfoot.

Date:        Saturday, 17 August 2019
Time: 5.00pm – 9.30pm
Venue: NUS University Town
Note: Please note that photography and videography will be carried out throughout the event. The NUS Office of Alumni Relations may use some or all of these images in its print publications, digital platforms and/or marketing channels.  

Book Launch – Hard at Work: Life in Singapore 

Title: Book Launch – Hard at Work: Life in Singapore 

Date: Friday, 1 November 2019

Time: 6:00-8:35 pm

Venue: The Pod, NLB

Organizers: Singapore Research Nexus

RSVP at Eventbrite.

Description

Hard at Work: Life in Singaporehard at work cover

Gerard Sasges & Ng Shi Wen (Editors)
NUS Press

For most of us, work is a basic daily fact of life. But that simple fact encompasses an incredibly wide range of experiences. Hard at Work (2019) takes readers into the day-to-day work experiences of more than fifty working people in Singapore who hold jobs that run from the ordinary to the unusual: from ice cream vendors, baristas, police officers and funeral directors to academic ghostwriters, temple flower sellers, and Thai disco girl agents.

Through first-person narratives based on detailed interviews, vividly augmented with color photographs, Hard at Work reminds us of the everyday labor that continually goes on around us, and that every job can reveal something interesting if we just look closely enough. It shows us too the ways inequalities of status and income are felt and internalized in this highly globalized society.

gerard sasges Gerard Sasges is a historian, educator, and chronicler of everyday life. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore. His work explores the relationship between technology and processes of social, political, economic, and environmental change in Southeast Asia.

 

 

 

 

shi wen ngNg Shi Wen is a photographer, educator, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Photo Rikiki and has taught at the National University of Singapore and at Singapore’s School of the Arts. Using words and light, she seeks to transcribe stories of people finding their way in a constantly changing city.

 

 

 

 

 

Programme

6:00-6:30 pm – Registration/Refreshments/Books available for purchase

6:30-6:35 pm – Welcome Remarks by Chair, Associate Professor Teo You Yenn, Provost’s Chair & Head of Sociology, NTU School of Social Sciences

6:35-7:35 pm – “Work/Life in Singapore” with Gerard Sasges, Ng Shi Wen, Choo Ruizhi, Nathene Chua, Qistina Ahmad, Samuel Devaraj, and Sutrisno Foo

7:35-8:05 pm – Q and A/Discussion, Moderated by Chair

8:05-8:35 pm – Book Sale with Autograph Signing

US-Sino Relations: Complex and Uncertain – Kausikan

Mr Bilahari Kausikan spoke at length about how US-China relations today affect the current global and regional political order on 20 March 2019 at his fourth FASS90 Political Science Lecture on the Practice of Foreign Affairs.

He was keen to emphasise that despite some similarities, Sino-American relations today are fundamentally different from those between the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. “The post-Cold War (world) is complex, not binary,” he stated.

Mr. Kausikan (right) responding to questions with Assoc Prof Bilveer Singh (left) from the Department of Political Science

“US-China Relations are Inextricably Entangled in a Way US-Soviet Relations Never Were”

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Cold War-era of international political structure that had persisted for more than four decades abruptly came to an end. “Despite its many dangers, the Cold War international order was clear and simple; essentially binary in structure,” said Mr Kausikan.

“You were either on one side or the other. Even if you tried to be or pretended to be non-aligned, you essentially defined your interests in relation to this binary structure. This entrenched a mode of thought: a binary view of the world that is still a powerful albeit usually unconscious, but certainly inappropriate influence on how we understand the trope of China’s rise.”

The biggest difference in today’s US-China relations compared to US-Soviet relations during the Cold War was how interlinked America was with each at the time. The Soviet Union “largely contained itself by pursuing autarky,” Kausikan said. “The US and the Soviet Union interacted only tangentially; their relationship was structured primarily by the need to avoid mutual destruction.”

This is unlike China today, which is inseparably inter-connected with the American economy and that of the world. “Unlike the Soviet Union, China is an irreplaceable node in the global economy, as vital as the American economy,” he stated. “US-China relations are simultaneously inter-dependent in a way that is historically unique between major powers, and simultaneously infused with a deep strategic distrust.” Yet despite this distrust, Kausikan was adamant that Sino-American rivalry was not a zero-sum game as some claim. “China’s rise is not necessarily America’s decline, except in relative terms,” he said, dismissing it as another relic of an outdated Cold War-era mentality.

Bilahari Kausikan discussing US-Sino relations.

America: “Spreading the Burden of Leadership”

Mr Kausikan also noted that despite their vast differences, “both Obama and Trump are iterations of the post-Cold War metamorphosis of American values.” Both have attempted to spread the burden of leadership, particularly defence costs, onto America’s allies; Obama merely did so in a more tactful manner than his successor.

In fact, Kausikan was of the opinion President Trump and his tough stance toward China was not a passing phase but a permanent shift in American policy. “Trump is not an aberration that will pass with the next administration,” he stated. “Key elements of his foreign policy, in particular the tougher approach to China as a strategic competitor enjoy strong bipartisan support across many policy domains.”

“Trump’s successor may speak more prudently and act more predictably, but the probability is that whoever succeeds Trump will represent the same political phenomenon and pursue much the same policies, at least towards China.”

China: Globalisation’s Biggest Winner, Protectionism’s Biggest Loser

This new hostile American stance to both China and globalisation will have serious implications for China, particularly for its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. “China was the main beneficiary of the American-led post-Cold War globalisation. China may well be the main loser if that order should further fray because the US now embraces a narrower concept of leadership,” Mr Kausikan noted.

“Can the Belt and Road Initiative succeed if the world turns protectionist as a result of the trade war? I don’t think so. More to the point, I don’t think the Chinese think so either.”

And despite its undeniable position as an economic superpower, Kausikan was not optimistic that China could be a substitute for American leadership in the global economy. “An open global order cannot be led on the basis of a still-largely closed and mercantilist Chinese model,” he remarked, especially when “Chinese growth rests on that open international order.” As such, he feels that some sort of temporary truce will be called on the ongoing trade war, although it would likely be “a very bad deal, and both sides will have the incentive to get out of it as soon as possible.”

Engagement Still the Main Tone of US-China Relationships

Nevertheless, Mr Kausikan emphasised that despite the rancour of the trade war, the central theme of US-China bilateral ties was that of engagement and communication. “War is highly improbable, nuclear deterrence impels caution, engagement will not cease and the US and China will still cooperate when their interests coincide,” he stated. Given how closely the two countries are tied to each other and the rest of the world economically, a continued policy of engagement would bode well for all sides.

Watch the lecture here.

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About the Speaker
Bilahari Kausikan is Chairman of the Middle East Institute, NUS. From 2001 to 2013, he was first the second Permanent Secretary and then Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). He was subsequently Ambassador-at-Large until May 2018, having previously served in various MFA appointments, including as the Deputy Secretary for Southeast Asia, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and as Ambassador to the Russian Federation.

FASS90 Political Science Lecture Series on the Practice of Foreign Affairs
This five part lecture series is organised by the NUS Political Science Society with support from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and the Department of Political Science. Established in 1929, FASS, one of the earliest and largest faculties is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. Whilst witnessing numerous changes, we remain steadfast to our vision to strive forward as a premier faculty of excellence in humanities and social sciences that nurtures tomorrow’s engaged, thoughtful and creative global citizens. To mark this occasion, the Faculty is organising a series of events showcasing the strength and breadth of the Faculty’s research as well as kick start future initiatives that would benefit the generations of students who will come through our halls.

Joint Book Launch – Citizens in Motion: Emigration, Immigration, and Re-migration Across China’s Borders & Marrying for a Future: Transnational Sri Lankan Tamil Marriages in the Shadow of War

A joint book launch celebrating the release of Citizens in Motion: Emigration, Immigration, and Re-migration Across China’s Borders by Associate Professor Elaine Ho (NUS Department of Geography and FASS Research Division) and Marrying for a Future: Transnational Sri Lankan Tamil Marriages in the Shadow of War by Assistant Professor Sidharthan Maunaguru (NUS Department of South Asian Studies and NUS Department of Sociology) will be held at the Pod, NLB on Tuesday, 7th May 2019.
 
In Citizens in Motion, A/P Ho examines the migration patterns and multifaceted national affiliations of both elaine hoChinese migrants overseas and foreign migrants in China. Through interviews and ethnographic observations conducted in China, Canada, Singapore, and the China-Myanmar border, A/P Ho captures the rich diversity of contemporary Chinese migration processes. By bringing together these various experiences and national contexts, A/P Ho offers an insightful analysis of the challenges and opportunities facing nation-building and cultural diversity management mediated by the influences of migration processes.
marrying for a futureAsst Prof Maunaguru focuses on Sri Lanka in Marrying for a Future, where he argues that the social institution of marriage sidharthan maunaguruserves as a critical means of reuniting dispersed segments of Tamil communities who fled Sri Lanka during the almost 26 year civil war. This is because key agents and elements of marriage such as marriage brokers and transit places help foster connections between these fragmented communities. Importantly, the book offers an interesting take on migration issues by situating transnational marriage within the larger scholarship of forced displacement and refugees.
 
Together, A/P Ho and Asst Prof Maunaguru contribute unique approaches to studying migration and opens up possibilities for future scholarship to build on these alternative perspectives. If you are interested to hear more from the authors themselves, please RSVP to reserve your seat. The event details are as follows:
Date: Tuesday, 7th May 2019
 
Time: 6.00–8.30pm
Venue: The Pod, National Library Building
 
Organizers: Singapore Research Nexus and FASS Migration Cluster, FASS Research Division
 
Click here for additional details.
 

FASS Bookshare – Thursday, 11 October 2018

FASS Bookshare celebrates and showcases books authored by faculty members who have dedicated years of research into their publications.

In previous years Bookshare has highlighted single-authored books in a range of disciplines and topics, such as Development, Migration, and Protest in Asia, Southeast Asian Cosmopolitanism, Urbanism, and Tourism, and Religion, Diaspora, and Travel.

This edition of Bookshare focuses on Southeast Asian Art, Culture, and Colonial History. 

 https://0.academia-photos.com/62407/17746/121289/s200_maurizio.peleggi.gif Professor Maurizio Peleggi will be speaking about his latest book, Monastery, Monument, Museum: Sites and Artifacts of Thai Cultural Memory.
 
 https://0.academia-photos.com/17225187/4761598/5488149/s200_gerard.sasges.jpg Assistant Professor Gerard Sasges will talk about his new book Imperial Intoxication: Alcohol and the Making of Colonial Indochina.
 
  Associate Professor David Teh will present on his recent book, Thai Art: Currencies of the Contemporary.

 

 

Date and Time: Thursday, 11 October, 12-1:45pm

Venue:  FASS Research Division Seminar Room, Level 6, Room 42, AS7 Shaw Foundation Building, 5 Arts Link, 117570

Attendance: If you would like to attend Bookshare, RSVP with your full name and email at the Eventbrite page. Seating is limited, so do RSVP early and if your plans change, please cancel the reservation.

Programme

12:00pm-12:15pm Registration and Refreshments
12:15-12:20pm Introduction by Chair, Associate Professor Itty Abraham
12:20-12:35pm Monastery, Monument, Museum: Sites and Artifacts of Thai Cultural Memory by Professor Maurizio Peleggi
12:35-12:50pm Imperial Intoxication: Alcohol and the Making of Colonial Indochina by Assistant Professor Gerard Sasges
12:50-1:05pm Thai Art: Currencies of the Contemporary by Associate Professor David Teh
1:05-1:20pm Q & A Session
1:20-1:45pm Refreshments