Religion, Nation and Mother-Love: The Malay Peninsular Past and Present – a seminar by Maila Stivens (Wed, 31 March 2010)

Speaker: Maila Stivens (Principal Research Fellow, Asia Institute, University of Melbourne & William Lim Siew Wai Fellow in Cultural Studies, National University of Singapore)
Date: Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Time: 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

This paper reflects on the ways in which ideas about women – especially mother-love – and children have been at the epicentres of intersections of religion and nation within the high-level politics surrounding some prominent child custody cases in Malaysia and Singapore. While scholarly accounts have tended to gloss over affective dimensions, it is argued that an enriched understanding of the forces at work can result from paying attention to the ways that ‘family’, the ‘domestic’, ‘intimate’ and structures of feeling can be seen to configure these events and their popular representations.

About the speaker
Maila Stivens, a Principal Research Fellow at the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne is visiting NUS for 2010 as William Lim Siew Wai Fellow in Cultural Studies in Sociology and has also taught at Melbourne University, UCL, London and Sussex University. She has research in and published widely on Australian kinship; on matriliny; on modernity, work and family among the new Malay middle classes; ‘Public’ and ‘Private’ in Southeast Asia; Family Values East and West; and ‘New Asian Childhoods’.