Singapore, 13 November 2014 – The Department of History at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has introduced the NUS Singapore History Prize, the first ever prize devoted entirely to Singapore history. Created in support of the national SG50 programme to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence, the NUS Singapore History Prize will be awarded to an outstanding publication that will make a lasting impact on our understanding of the history of Singapore.
Mooted by Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS, the Prize aims to invigorate research relating to the history of Singapore. It seeks also to inspire the highest scholarly standards in research and publications that address the history of Singapore and also to promote critical interest in studying the history of Singapore.
Prof Mahbubani said, “History, contrary to conventional wisdom, is not dead. It re-surfaces politically from time to time, influencing both international affairs (for example, China-Japan relations) and domestic debates (for example, the struggle against the communists). Even as Singapore celebrates fifty years of peace and prosperity in 2015, there will be debates about Singapore’s history. The goal of this prize is to inspire new historical studies of Singapore and generate an informed historical discussion which will help future generations understand what was truly unique and special about Singapore’s history.”
Professor Brenda Yeoh, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, hopes that the Prize will create a “multipier” effect that will spawn more research in all aspects of Singapore history, especial in the “histories of the people and ordinary lives of people”.
The NUS Singapore History Prize will be awarded every three years and the author of the winning publication will receive a cash award of S$50,000, which makes it the largest prize devoted to Singapore history. The winner of the Prize will also speak at a public lecture hosted by the Department of History, during which the Prize will be presented. Nominations for the Prize will open from 1 January 2015 onwards, and the inaugural award will be presented in late 2017.
The Prize will be an open global competition and will accept nominations from any author or publisher of any work, published anywhere in English (written or translated). Nominations will have to be a book-length work of non-fiction; be authored or co-authored, rather than edited. The work should address any time period, theme, or field of Singapore history, or include a substantial analysis of any aspect of Singapore history as part of a wider story. The work will also need to be published at any time between when nomination opens and the final date for submission of nominations.
For the 2015-2017 competition, the Department of History has invited eminent Singaporeans and scholars to serve on the Jury Panel that will determine the winning publication. They are Ms Claire Chiang (Senior Vice President, Banyan Tree Holdings); Professor Peter Coclanis (Director, Global Research Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Professor Wang Gungwu (Chairman, East Asian Institute at NUS); and Professor Kishore Mahbubani. The Jury Panel will be chaired ex-officio by Prof Brian Farrell, the Head of the Department of History.
The NUS Singapore History Prize website will be available on 1 January 2015, which will provide further details on the Prize, nomination criteria, forms and other information.
The NUS Singapore History Prize is now open for submission. Click here to access the page.