Eminent NUS historian Professor Wang Gungwu receives prestigious Tang Prize

The 2020 Tang Prize in Sinology has been awarded to Professor Wang Gungwu, University Professor at NUS Arts and Social Sciences and one of the world’s foremost experts on the Chinese diaspora.

Announced on 20 June 2020 by the Tang Prize Foundation, this prestigious award was conferred on Prof Wang in recognition of his trailblazing and dissecting insights on the history of the Chinese world order, overseas Chinese, and Chinese migratory experience.

Prof Wu Gangwu
The 2020 Tang Prize in Sinology has been awarded to Professor Wang Gungwu, University Professor at NUS Arts and Social Sciences and one of the world’s foremost experts on the Chinese diaspora

As a leading scholar on Sino-Southeast Asian historical relations, Prof Wang developed a unique approach to understanding China by scrutinising its long and complex relationship with its southern neighbours. His erudition and critical discernment have significantly enriched the explanation of China’s changing place in the world, traditionally developed from an internalist perspective or in relation to the West.

Prof Wang said, “It is a great honour to be awarded the Tang Prize in Sinology. When I was a student, Sinology was part of Oriental Studies and associated with classical studies, guoxue (国学) in China, Hanxue (汉学) in Japan and Europe. It was centred on ancient philology as the foundation for the study of literature, philosophy and history. The four previous awardees, Yu Ying-shih at Princeton, Ted de Bary at Columbia, Shiba Yoshinobu at Tokyo and Stephen Owen at Harvard, started with the study of classical Chinese. Yu and de Bary went on to enrich our knowledge of intellectual history while Shiba did the same for social and economic history. Although Owen is best known for his contributions to literature, his work on literary theory has illuminated key features of the historical imagination.”

“I am a historian who believes that China’s present cannot be separated from her total past. Living all my life outside China, I am fascinated by the way China had fallen and risen several times. Each time that happened had made a difference to the course of world history. For us to understand why that could happen requires us to go beyond the humanities to the social sciences. I am gratified that modern Sinology now recognises the centrality of shi (史) in Chinese civilisation,” he added.

One of Asia’s most important intellectuals
Prof Wang Gungwu has been University Professor at NUS Arts and Social Sciences since 2007, and Emeritus Professor of the Australian National University since 1988. He is Foreign Honorary Member of the History Division of the American Academy of Arts and Science and former President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Prof Wang received his BA and MA from University of Malaya (UM) in Singapore, and PhD at SOAS, London.

Spending much of his life immersed in different cultures gives Prof Wang diverse personae as a scholar. He is an “insider” in the academic tradition of Chinese Confucianism and British elite education, and an “outsider” in the interpretation of China’s perception of the world. His original approach to understanding China from the southern perspective is in part a natural choice given his personal experience. This same experience provided him with abundant inspiration in his formative years as he matured into an authoritative voice in the analysis of China’s worldview.

Besides being an outstanding scholar, Prof Wang has been an inspiring educator since he embarked on an academic career first at UM and subsequently at the Australian National University, before making his mark as Vice Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong from 1986 to 1995, Chairman of the Institute of East Asian Political Economy from 1996 to 1997, and Director of the NUS East Asian Institute from 1997 to 2007.

At 89 years old, Prof Wang is still very prolific as a scholar. “I am writing on Chinese hopes and fears following China’s opening and reforms, focusing on the period after the People’s Republic of China’s entry into the United Nations in October 1971,” he shared.

And when asked how COVID-19 has impacted him, Prof Wang said, “COVID-19 has moved me away from my routines and made me parcel my life more carefully and take into account how much time I might have to get my work completed.”

The biannual Tang Prize consists of four categories, namely Sustainable Development, Biopharmaceutical Science, Sinology and Rule of Law. It aims to promote the interaction and cooperation between cultural and technological research so as to find a 21st century path to the sustainable development of the world.

See citation for the prize.

This article was first published on 22 June 2020 in NUS News at https://news.nus.edu.sg/highlights/eminent-nus-historian-professor-wang-gungwu-receives-prestigious-tang-prize.

FASS Inspiring Mentor 2019 Award Winners Announced

FASS Inspiring Mentor Award 2019 Winners Announced

FASS Inspiring Mentor 2019 Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 FASS Inspiring Mentor Awards.

Launched in 2018, the annual FASS Inspiring Mentor Awards are conferred on Faculty and Administrative staff who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to mentoring their junior colleagues and whose mentorship has been especially impactful on the good conduct, performance and professional growth of their mentees.

“Mentorship is a crucial factor in retaining and nurturing quality faculty and administrative staff, and in building up a strong and cohesive institutional culture. The role that such inspiring mentors play in this, is greatly appreciated,” said Professor Robbie B.H. Goh, Dean, FASS, in his announcement of the winners.

“There were a number of worthy nominees. Evidence showed that the nominees did not simply do the things which might be considered ‘in the course of duty’ but went above and beyond that, and really sacrificed their own time and energy for the sake of their mentees,” added Professor Goh. “I hope that we will all try to do our part as mentors, and build up an institutional culture that we can all be proud of.”

The winners of the inaugural FASS Inspiring Mentor Awards were: Associate Professor Serene Tan (Economics); Associate Professor Chris McMorran (Japanese Studies); and Associate Professor Stephen Lim (Psychology).

Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards (FTEA) 2019

Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

The Faculty Teaching Excellence Award is awarded to faculty members who have displayed a high level of commitment to their teaching. Each year, a select few colleagues are recognised for their teaching based on peer reviews, student feedback and exposition of their teaching philosophy.

We congratulate the following colleagues on their achievements in teaching.  These FASS faculty members have been awarded the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award for their work in AY2018-19.

Name Department
Dr Zhou Ziqian Centre For English Language Communication
Ms Lam Wanli, Aileen Centre For English Language Communication
Dr Chan Kwang Guan Daniel Centre For Language Studies
Mr Muzzammil Bin Mohamed Yassin Centre For Language Studies
Mr Nagami, Masanori Centre For Language Studies
Mr Yuzuru Hamasaki Centre For Language Studies
Ms Klayklueng , Sasiwimol Centre For Language Studies
Ms Lian Oi Lin Centre For Language Studies
Ms Maria Inmaculada Melero Carras Centre For Language Studies
Prof Ong Chang Woei Chinese Studies
Dr Alexander Ian Mitchell Communications And New Media
Dr Ong Ee Cheng Economics
Mr Chua Yeow Hwee Economics
A/P Loon Seong Yun, Robin English Language & Literature
Dr Lee Huiying Nala English Language & Literature
Dr Leslie Lee English Language & Literature
Dr Rebecca Lurie Starr English Language & Literature
A/P Chang Tou Chuang Geography
Dr Kamalini Ramdas Geography
Dr Donna Maree Brunero History
Dr Jaradi Priya Manish History
Dr Lawrence, Kelvin History
Dr Wang Jinping History
A/P Bain, William Ward Political Science
Dr Graf, Sinja Ursula Political Science
Dr Lepori, Matthew Aaron Political Science
Dr Ray, Subhasish Political Science
A/P Lim Wee Hun, Stephen Psychology
Dr Cha Yeow Siah Psychology
Dr Lee Li Neng Psychology
Dr Nina Laurel Powell Psychology
Dr Pon Kwai Ling Social Work
Dr Wong Yuh Ju Peace Social Work
A/P Feng Qiushi Sociology
Dr Ivan Kwek Eng Tai Sociology
Dr Noorman Abdullah Sociology
Dr Radics, George Baylon Sociology

Special Teaching Award

The Special Teaching Award recognises colleagues with special capabilities in the following categories:-
Educational Leadership: Administrative service and leadership in curriculum development
Innovation: Innovative use of technology in teaching
Pedagogy: Research on teaching pedagogies
Students’ Choice: Excellence in student feedback and rapport with learners
Versatility: Range of modules taught across levels, student numbers and genres

Special Teaching Award Recipients

Education Leadership Award
Dr Lee Li Neng Psychology
Industry Engagement Award
Dr Wong Yuh Ju Peace Social Work
Students’ Choice Award
Mr Yuzuru Hamasaki
Ms Klaykleung, Sasiwimol
Centre for Language Studies
Centre for Language Studies
Versatility Award
Dr Kamalini Ramda Geography

Congratulations to all our winners for their excellent work!

A/P Chris McMorran’s new podcast – This little dot we call home

Associate Professor Chris McMorran from the Department of Japanese Studies, together with a team of students, recently produced a podcast series called “Home on the Dot” and the project was featured in NUS News.

The podcast consists of 10 episodes, each revolving around a particular aspect of Singapore related to the idea of home, such as public housing and hawker centres.

The podcast is available at the Home on the Dot blog or via iTunes by searching for “Home on the Dot”. Six episodes, each about 20 to 25 minutes in length, have been posted, with another four to be shared in the weeks to come.

 

Professor John Miksic wins inaugural Singapore History Prize

The inaugural Singapore History Prize was awarded to renowned archaeologist and NUS Southeast Asian Studies Professor John Miksic on 11 January. His book, titled Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300–1800, presents the history of Singapore in the context of Asia’s long-distance maritime trade in the years between 1300 and 1800.

Accompanied by 300 colour photos and maps, the book draws from over 25 years of archaeological research to reconstruct the 14th-century port history of Singapore and illustrates a well-organised, prosperous city with a cosmopolitan population, providing evidence that the Singapore story began long before Stamford Raffles arrived in 1819.

While historical textual evidence of ancient Singapore long existed in Chinese and Indian sources, there was never a way to “nail down” its early history until there was archaeological evidence to tie in with the text, said Prof Wang Gungwu, Chairman of the East Asian Institute in NUS, who headed the Jury Panel for the prize.

Calling the book a “truly monumental piece of work”, Prof Wang said, “With this book, Prof Miksic has laid the foundations for a fundamental reinterpretation of the history of Singapore and its place in the larger Asian context, bringing colour and definition to a whole new chapter of the Singaporean identity.  We now know more about Singapore in the 14th century than any other city in the region during the same period.”

The book was the unanimous choice for the award by the Jury Panel; made up of Prof Wang; Prof Kishore Mahbubani, Senior Advisor at the NUS Office of the Vice President (University & Global Relations); Ms Claire Chiang, FASS alumna and Senior Vice President of Banyan Trees Holding Limited; and Prof Peter A. Coclanis, Director of the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Prof Mahbubani, who first mooted the prize, spoke about how Prof Miksic’s book stood out for throwing significant light on Singapore’s history. “What makes a country strong in the long run is if the citizens actually understand their history well. If you understand your history well, your commitment and your loyalty to the country is much stronger. Your sense of identity to the country is also stronger if all citizens carry a common narrative of the country,” he said.

Some 1,000 Singaporean volunteers took part in the many excavations that led to the book, Prof Miksic shared, and he wrote the book as a tribute to them.

“Everybody who dug with me was a discoverer, everyone who worked with me found something; they discovered a piece of Singapore’s memory, which had been lost, and without them would never have been recovered. I felt I really owed them a debt to put this all together and show them the importance of what it is they had done,” he elaborated.

history_prize_2.jpg

Prof Miksic (centre in blue) with the Jury Panel for the Prize (from left) Prof Coclanis, Prof Mahbubani, Ms Chiang and Prof Wang

Prof Miksic will receive a $50,000 cash award. He hopes to use the money to build up the Archaeology Laboratory for NUS Southeast Asian Studies, as well as fund other excavations and training sessions.

“Historical enquiry serves as a basis for us to understand ourselves, our society and the world around us. Knowing our roots and appreciating our past will also help us better chart our future. I hope that the Singapore History Prize will inspire more research, discussion and debate about the history of Singapore, so that future generations of Singaporeans can better appreciate the Singapore story,” he said.

The book retails for $58 and is available in Kinokuniya and on the NUS Press website. It is on its third reprint and is in the midst of being translated into Chinese, to be published in 2019. Prof Miksic is also currently working with NUS Press on an online catalogue of ancient artefacts found in Singapore with the trial site to be launched next month.

Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards (FTEA) AY2016/17

Warmest congratulations to the following faculty members on their achievements in teaching!  42 FASS faculty members have been awarded the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award for their work in AY2016-17.  In addition, 18 of them have also been nominated for the Annual Teaching Excellence Award.  We will know the outcome of these nominations in due course (early 2018).

Name Department
Dr Zhou Ziqian Jan Centre For English Language Communication
Dr Chan Kwang Guan Daniel Centre For Language Studies
Dr Walker, Izumi Centre For Language Studies
Mr Nagami, Masanori Centre For Language Studies
Ms Cho Jin Hee Centre For Language Studies
Ms Indrianti Centre For Language Studies
Ms Klayklueng , Sasiwimol Centre For Language Studies
A/P Ong Chang Woei Chinese Studies
A/P Phua Chiew Pheng Chinese Studies
Dr Iccha Basnyat Communication And New Media
Mr Gui Kai Chong Communication And New Media
Dr Ong Ee Cheng Economics
Dr Seah Kah Cheng, Kelvin Economics
Dr Timothy Wong Chong Ji Economics
Dr Tkachenko, Denis Economics
A/P Mie Hiramoto English Language & Literature
A/P Wee Su-Lin, Valerie English Language & Literature
Dr Leslie Lee English Language & Literature
Dr Loon Seong Yun, Robin English Language & Literature
Dr Murphy, Maiya English Language & Literature
Dr Wolfe Graham John English Language & Literature
A/P Pow Choon Piew Geography
Dr Kamalini Ramdas Geography
Dr Woon Chih Yuan Geography
Dr Donna Maree Brunero History
Dr Lawrence, Kelvin History
Dr Wang Jinping History
Dr Graf, Sinja Ursula Political Science
A/P Iliana Magiati Psychology
Dr Cha Yeow Siah Psychology
Dr Jia Lile Psychology
Dr Lee Li Neng Psychology
Dr Nina Laurel Powell Psychology
Dr Lee Geok Ling Social Work
Dr Wong Yuh Ju Social Work
A/P Ganapathy, Narayanan Sociology
A/P Low Eng Yong, Kelvin Sociology
Dr Chua Hui Ching Emily Sociology
Dr Chua Kynn Hong, Vincent Sociology
Dr Noorman Abdullah Sociology
Dr Qiushi Feng Sociology
Dr Oona Margarita Thommes Paredes Southeast Asian Studies

In addition, over and above the above award categories, FASS also commends four faculty members for their contributions to education excellence through our FASS Teaching Special Awards:

  • Dr Wolfe Graham John (English Language & Literature)
    “Technology Award”, for innovative use of technology in teaching.
  • Dr Roy, Tania (English Language & Literature)
    “Versatility Award”, for versatility in modules taught, in terms of the range of student numbers, module level, mix of new and existing modules, etc.
  • A/P Iliana Magiati (Psychology)
    “Social Impact Award”, for making a positive social impact through one’s teaching.
  • DR Lee Li Neng (Psychology)
    “Students’ Choice Award”, for the most outstanding student feedback received based on excellent teaching, approachability and helpfulness.

 

Associate Professor Stephen Lim does Singapore proud at the Asia-Pacific Electone Festival 2017

The Asia-Pacific Electone Festival (APEF) 2017 took place on 15 October in Singapore at the Capitol Theatre, with a total of 23 contestants from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand vying for the Gold Prize and the Silver Prize in three Sections (Junior Section 2, Junior Section 3, and Senior Section), respectively. The six winners will proceed to compete at the international-level Yamaha Electone Concours (YEC) which will be held on 2 and 3 December 2017 in Osaka, Japan.

We are very proud to announce that Associate Professor Stephen Lim (Department of Psychology) had snared the Silver Prize at the APEF 2017 (Senior Section).

We wish Assoc Prof Lim the very best and every success in representing Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region at the YEC 2017!

Assoc Prof Stephen Lim wins Grand Prix Award at the Yamaha Electone Festival 2017 Singapore

 

We are delighted that Assoc Prof Lim Wee Hun Stephen (Department of Psychology) had clinched the Grand Prix Award (First Prize) at the national-level Yamaha Electone Festival (YEF) 2017 Singapore (Senior Section) held on 24 June 2017 at the Lee Foundation Theatre, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

Assoc Prof Lim will thus be representing Singapore at the 2017 Asia-Pacific Electone Festival (APEF) which will be held on 15 October in Singapore at the Capitol Theatre, and competing with winners from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand. Winner/s of the APEF will proceed to compete at the international-level Yamaha Electone Concours 2017 which will be held on 2 and 3 December in Osaka, Japan.

Last year, on 29 October 2016, the NUS Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music inaugurated the YST Electone Orchestra, of which Prof Lim was a part.

We wish Assoc Prof Lim all the best and every success in representing Singapore!

 

Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards (FTEA) 2016

We are very pleased to extend our warmest congratulations to the following colleagues on their achievements in teaching.  Forty-two FASS faculty members have been awarded the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award for their work in AY2015-16.  Of these faculty members, 15 have also been nominated for the Annual Teaching Excellence Award and one for the Outstanding Educator Award.  We will know the outcome of these nominations in due course (early 2017).

Name Department
Dr Chan Kwang Guan Daniel Centre For Language Studies
Dr Izumi Walker Centre For Language Studies
Dr Park Mihi Centre For Language Studies
Mr Yuzuru Hamasaki Centre For Language Studies
Ms Rungnapa Kitiarsa Centre For Language Studies
Ms Sasiwimol Klayklueng Centre For Language Studies
A/P Ong Chang Woei Chinese Studies
A/P Phua Chiew Pheng Chinese Studies
A/P Yung Sai-Shing Chinese Studies
Dr Mohamed Elmie Bin Nekmat Communications and New Media
Mr Gui Kai Chong Communications and New Media
Dr Georgios Georgiou Economics
Dr Ong Ee Cheng Economics
Dr Sng Tuan Hwee Economics
Mr Chua Yeow Hwee Economics
A/P Wee Su-Lin, Valerie English Language & Literature
Dr Ang Wan Ling, Susan English Language & Literature
Dr Leslie Lee English Language & Literature
Dr Liang Peilin English Language & Literature
Dr Loon Seong Yun, Robin English Language & Literature
Dr Daniel Adam Friess Geography
Dr Kamalini Ramdas Geography
A/P Neo Choong Tiong, Harvey Geography
A/P Maitrii Victoriano Aung Thwin History
A/P Timothy Percy Barnard History
Dr Donna Maree Brunero History
Dr Chris McMorran * Japanese Studies
Dr Sher Banu A.L. Khan Malay Studies
A/P John Christian Holbo Philosophy
A/P Lim Tze Kiat, Elvin Political Science
A/P Terence Lee Chek Liang Political Science
A/P William Ward Bain Political Science
A/P Trevor Bruce Penney Psychology
Dr Cha Yeow Siah Psychology
Dr Iliana Magiati Psychology
A/P Stuart William George Derbyshire Psychology
A/P Esther Goh Chor Leng Social Work
Dr Lee Geok Ling Social Work
Dr Wong Yuh Ju Social Work
A/P Joon Mo Son Sociology
Dr Feng Qiushi Sociology
A/P Irving Chan Johnson Southeast Asian Studies

Congratulations to all our winners for their excellent work!