HKUST-NUS: Navigating a World of Disruption

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS IRREVOCABLY changed the world, empowering us to take new approaches and employ new methods to do just about everythingโ€”from administering public policy and trade relations to managing economic and social activities.

The National University of Singaporeโ€™s Associate Professor Itty Abraham (Department of Southeast Asian Studies), Sooyeon Kim(Department of Political Science) and Prof David Taylor (Department of Geography) will be discussing this topic along with counterparts at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in the concluding episode of the HKUST Global Webinar Series.

During this session, โ€œNavigating a World of Disruptionโ€, the panel will be sharing their research and perspectives on the deep and varied effects of COVID-19 on food security, climate change, air quality, global trade, trends in international migration, remittances and scholarship.

Do not miss this! Register here https://bit.ly/HKUST_NUS_Webinar_Reg.

๐—™๐—”๐—ฆ๐—ฆ ๐—”๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—ช๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜‚๐—น๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€ & ๐—ช๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐˜€: ๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—œ, ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ-๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿญ

CALLING ALL FASS GRADUATE STUDENTS: Having trouble with your writing and need help? The Writing Programme continues through the new semester.

Please be on the lookout for an email from us asking for you to register!

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 Chinaโ€™s changing place in the world, traditionally developed from an internalist perspective or in relation to the West.

Prof Wang said, โ€œIt 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, guoxueย (ๅ›ฝๅญฆ) in China, Hanxueย (ๆฑ‰ๅญฆ) 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.โ€

โ€œI am a historian who believes that Chinaโ€™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 shiย (ๅฒ) in Chinese civilisation,โ€ he added.

One of Asiaโ€™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 โ€œinsiderโ€ in the academic tradition of Chinese Confucianism and British elite education, and an โ€œoutsiderโ€ in the interpretation of Chinaโ€™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 Chinaโ€™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. โ€œI am writing on Chinese hopes and fears following Chinaโ€™s opening and reforms, focusing on the period after the Peopleโ€™s Republic of Chinaโ€™s entry into the United Nations in October 1971,โ€ he shared.

And when asked how COVID-19 has impacted him, Prof Wang said, โ€œCOVID-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.โ€

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.

Seeย citationย 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).

In Memoriam | Mrs Ann Elizabeth Wee

Mrs Ann Elizabeth Wee
Associate Professorial Fellow
NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Social Work
1926 โ€“ 2019

Often described as the founding mother of social work education in Singapore, Mrs Ann Elizabeth Wee passed away in Singapore on 11 December 2019. She was 93 years of age.

Born on 19 August 1926 in Corbridge, United Kingdom, Mrs Wee arrived in Singapore in 1950 to be reunited with her fiancรฉ whom she met at Cambridge. Mrs Weeโ€™s career in social work spans six decades. After a four-year stint at the Methodist Girlsโ€™ School, Mrs Wee joined the Social Welfare Department in 1955. To better communicate with and advocate for her clients amongst low income families, she picked up Malay, Cantonese and Hokkien on the job. At the same time, Mrs Wee began part-time teaching at the then University of Malaya.

In 1957, Mrs Wee began teaching full-time at the Department of Social Work, and formally assumed headship of the Department in 1967, a role in which she served until her retirement in 1986. As the Departmentโ€™s longest serving Head, Mrs Wee was the driving force behind the Universityโ€™s decision to introduce a full-fledged Honours Degree programme, paving the way for social workers to be recognised as professionals, enjoy better career prospects, and gain access to policymaking. To impart her knowledge to future generations of social workers, Mrs Wee further co-authored and edited Social Work in the Singapore Context, the only textbook on social work in Singapore. In 2017, she published her memoir A Tiger Remembers: The Way We Were in Singapore, which chronicles her experiences in the Singapore of old.

Mrs Weeโ€™s contributions extend beyond the academic sphere and she served on panels that traversed demographics and issues. In addition to being appointed on the Advisory Panel to the Juvenile Court for nearly four decades (1970 โ€“ 2009), Mrs Wee also served a term on the Tribunal for the Maintenance of Parents; as an advisor on women’s and girl’s issues with the Ministry of Social Affairs; on the board of governors of the National Youth Leadership Training Institute; and several other boards and committees.

Mrs Wee was bestowed with the Public Service Star in 1972, and again with the Public Service Star (Bar) in 2004. Inducted into the Singapore Womenโ€™s Hall of Fame in 2014, Mrs Weeโ€™s public awards further include The Most Outstanding MCYS Volunteer Award (2004), Meritorious Service Medal (2010), and NUSS Distinguished Member Award (2012). Notably, Mrs Wee was also the inaugural recipient of the Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award, presented by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports in 2009. She was also conferred the FASS Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award and the NUS Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2019 in recognition of her lifelong dedication and contribution to social service and education.

In celebration of Mrs Weeโ€™s lasting contributions, the Department of Social Work established the Ann Wee NUS Social Work Alumni Award in 2014, during the Facultyโ€™s 85th Anniversary celebrations. The latter award is presented in her honour by NUS to recognise excellence in social work.

Mrs Ann Wee is survived by her two daughters and 4 grandchildren.

FASS Academic Writing Consultations & Workshops for Semester II, 2019-2020

CALLING ALL FASS GRADUATE STUDENTS!

Need help with beginning and completing your papers? Not sure how you can get published?

Get answers to these questions and more at our FASS Academic Writing Consultations and Workshops for Semester II, 2019-2020.

Keep a lookout in your emails to register!

Launch of Imperial Creatures: Humans and Other Animals in Colonial Singapore, 1819โ€“1942 by Tim Barnard

Imperial Creatures: Humans and Other Animals in Colonial Singapore, 1819โ€“1942


Date & Time:
Wednesday, 12 February 2020, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm
Venue: The Pod, NLB
Organizers: Singapore Research Nexus
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.sg/e/imperial-creatures-humans-and-other-animals-in-colonial-singapore-181919-registration-77088051437


Programme

6:00 pm Registration/Refreshments/Book Sale
6:30 pm Welcome Remarks by Chair, Associate Professor Maitrii Aung-Thwin (NUS History/Asia Research Institute)
6:35 pm Presentation by Associate Professor Timothy P. Barnard (NUS History)
6:55 pm Presentation by Assistant Professor Anthony Medrano (Yale-NUS)
7:15 pm Presentation by Assistant Professor Darinee Algirisamy (NUS South Asian Studies)
7:35 pm Q and A/Discussion, Moderated by Chair
8:05 pm Book Sale with Autograph Signing


About the Book

Imperial Creatures: Humans and Other Animals in Colonial Singapore, 1819-1942
Timothy P. Barnard
NUS Press

The environmental turn in the humanities and social sciences has meant a new focus on the imperial creatureshistory of animals. This is one of the first books to look across species at animals in a colonial, urban society. If imperialism is a series of power relationships, it involves not only the subjugation of human communities but also animals. What was the relationship between these two processes in colonial Singapore? How did various interactions with animals enable changes in interactions between people, and the expression of power in human terms?
The imposition of imperial power relationships was a process that was often complex and messy, and it led to the creation of new communities throughout the world, including the colonial port city of Singapore. Through a multidisciplinary consideration of fauna, this book weaves together a series of tales to document how animals were cherished, slaughtered, monitored and employed in a colonial society, to provide insight into how imperial rule was imposed on an island in Southeast Asia. Fauna and their histories of interacting with humans, thus, become useful tools for understanding our past, revealing the effects of establishing a colony on the biodiversity of a region, and the institutions that quickly transformed it. All animals, including humans, have been creatures of imperialism in Singapore. Their stories teach us lessons about the structures that upheld such a society and how it developed over time.

Author Bio
Timothy P. Barnard
is an associate professor in the Department of History at the National University of Singapore, where he specializes in the environmental and cultural history of island Southeast Asia.

Speaker Bios
Anthony Medrano is a historian of the Asian marine environment who studies the interplay between people and fish, science and society, and technology and nature.

Darinee Algirisamyโ€™s work engages with the history of poverty and social reform in colonial India, with a focus on South India, between the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. The transnational circulation of Indian reform movements in Southeast Asia and the history of the Tamil diaspora are related areas of interest.

Chair Bio
Maitrii Aung-Thwin received his PhD from the University of Michigan (2001) where he studied Burmese and Southeast Asian history. He has lived and conducted research in Southeast Asia for nearly two decades.

 

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.ย  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
Studentsโ€™ 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
Studentsโ€™ 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!

FASS90 GALA DINNER | Looking Back, Pressing Forward

NUS FASS marked its 90th anniversary, the Dean delivered a strong performance on stage, and Guest of Honour Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower, called for further government-academia collaboration on public policy.

From its beginnings in 1929 as part of Raffles College offering three-year diplomas in English, Economics, History and Geography, to its position today as a global top 20 provider of higher education in the Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences & Management, the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) has come a long way.

Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister of Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs, talked about the ways academia can help drive public policy and called for their greater collaboration with the government.Photo Credit: Ministry of Manpower

The Dean of FASS, Professor Robbie Goh, referenced this journey during his opening address at FASS 90th Anniversary Gala Dinner on Friday (15 November 2019) evening. โ€œFASS began lifeโ€ฆwith the four founding majors of English, History and Geography. Its inaugural intake was 43 students,โ€ said Professor Goh. โ€œFast forward 90 yearsโ€ฆFASS takes in about 1,600 undergraduate students each, has 16 departments offering 20 majors, [and so far can count] among its alumni โ€“ a President, a Prime Minister, several Ministers and ambassadors, and other top civil servants of Singapore, along with notable CEOs, entrepreneurs, well-known actors, musicians and others who have contributed much to the world.โ€

Professor Goh performed for all supporters of FASS’s fundraising efforts.

Professor Goh proceeded to share details of initiatives and programmes already underway at NUS FASS with close to 300 alumni, staff, students and other supporters who packed the Empress Ballroom at Carlton Hotel in downtown Singapore to celebrate the Facultyโ€™s 90th anniversary. These included the launch of: a new major under the Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) programme; joint and double degree programmes with overseas partners (the latest being the University of California, Berkeley); the FASS Social Incubator Programme, which sees to the provision of seed money to students working on innovative solutions to social work issues; and the โ€œIndustry Tracksโ€ programme, which seeks to enhance the employability of FASS graduates by giving them the training, guidance and experience they need to succeed in the key industry segments most likely to hire them.

Assembled to cut FASS’s 90th Birthday cake (from left): Professor Goh; Professor Ho; Emeritus Professor Edwin Thumboo; Mr Archie Ong; Mrs Tan Suan Imm; Mr Soh Yi Da; Ms Zoey Lim, President, NUS Students’ Arts and Social Sciences Club.

Guest of Honour Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister of Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs, a FASS alumnus herself, shared the Governmentโ€™s current approaches to helping ensure Singaporeโ€™s ageing population have sufficient funds to retire comfortably. She cited some of the major contributions the academic community has made to Central Provident Fund (CPF) policy to date, and called for further Government-academia collaboration in specific areas of research and public communications. Among her suggestions are programmes that seek to answer questions such as: How can it be ensured that the Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) of each CPF member is sufficient to cover basic expenses in the future?; How can the Government increase understanding of and promote take-up of schemes meant to enable retirees to supplement their incomes by making use of their HDB apartments?; How can older workers be incentivised to start their payouts later, so they will have higher payouts when they eventually retire?

Professor Ho Teck Hua, Senior Deputy President and Provost, NUS, sealed the FASS Leapfrog Time Capsule.

โ€œWe can make our system better through constantly looking over the horizon and planning ahead. In that sense, the CPF must remain a โ€˜live systemโ€™, always evolving and ever-responsive to emerging needs,โ€ Mrs Teo said. โ€œWe hope that the academic and social science research community can join us to make it better.โ€Immediately following a dazzling Malay dance performance by dance group NUS Ilsa Tari, came students Wesley Wang (Year 2 Linguistics Major) and Nediva Singam (Year 4 Geography Major) sharing their experiences and lessons learnt during their respective turns in overseas exchange study programmes. They spoke in support of the launch of the new FASS Student Advancement Fund that extends further financial support for needy students.

NUS Ilsa Tari in perfect form

The proceeds of the Gala Dinner went directly to this fund, and the generosity of all donors so moved Professor Goh that he dedicated his rendition of James Taylorโ€™s classic Youโ€™ve Got a Friend and the timeless hymn by John Newton, Amazing Grace to them. The audience returned his gesture not just with heartfelt applause.

Professor Goh, Professor Ho Teck Hua, Senior Deputy President and Provost, NUS, Singaporeโ€™s legendary poet Emeritus Professor Edwin Thumboo, illustrious Singapore educator and alumnus Mrs Tan Suan Imm, and, distinguished alumni Archie Ong and Soh Yi Da, who played key roles on the FASS 90 Gala Dinner Committee, came together to cut FASSโ€™s 90th birthday cake.

Vernon Cornelius (of the Quests from 1960s Singapore) and his band in action

The climax of the event was the sealing of the FASS Leapfrog Time Capsule in commemoration of FASSโ€™s 90th Anniversary. Professors Goh and Ho placed items representing the Deanery, every department, alumni, student body, along with the dayโ€™s edition of The Straits Times into the time capsule, which they set to reopen in 2079 on the occasion of FASSโ€™s 150th anniversary. Professor Ho then sealed it by pressing a virtual button on an iPad, setting off confetti and cheers from everyone.