25th Anniversary Dinner – Psychology at NUS

This academic year marks the 25th anniversary of the Department of Psychology. As such, the Department and the Psychology Student Society (Psyche) organized an Anniversary Dinner on March 29th 2012 and invited alumni, faculty, staff, and students to attend. The dinner was held in the Guild Hall at the NUSS Guild House.

The event was a great success. We had over 180 guests attending our dinner. The dinner started with an opening speech given by A/P Sim Tick Ngee. He acknowledged the prominent contributors to the Department in the past 25 years and the team of students and staff that made this event happen. He also presented tokens to Prof Brenda Yeoh, Prof Tan Tai Yong, A/P Chua Foo Kee, Prof George Bishop, A/P S. Vasoo, A/P Naigm Tee Liang, Dr Rosaleen Ow, A/P Ann Wee, Miss Irene Ho, and Miss Janice Ow, in recognition to their invaluable contribution to the development of the Department.  The opening speech was followed by the keynote address by A/P John Eillot. His wonderful talk walked us through the journey of the past 25 years. After then, all the guests mingled with each other while enjoying the international buffet.

The Department once again would like to thank all the guests for generously taking their time attending the dinner, and more importantly, to FASS Dean’s Office for their tremendous support to this event.

We hope to organize more activities for the alumni and students in near future.

Apply for Research Assistant Intern at Homerun Asia

Research Assistant (Executive Intern) at Homerun Asia

About Homerun Asia
Homerun Asia produces truly Asian movies from our base in Singapore. While our primary markets are the key Asian territories, the rest of the world is still very much within our focus. We are best placed to aggregate and integrate the most commercial Asian talents for Asian movies with an international outlook. Homerun Asia also sets its sight to be the key distributor of commercial titles for all South East Asian territories while our talent management will groom and market a new generation of Asian artistes for borderless movies.

Job Description
– To assist movie director in liaising with various institutions for research on Singapore’s history
– To check accuracy of dates, names, numbers  and other information in the movie script against the actual historical events
– To retrieve and take cohesive and accurate notes in the Archives whenever required to meet director’s needs
– Report to Producer and Director of the project

– Interested in the entertainment and movie industry
– Meticulous, diligent and organized in performing researching, with a caution for accuracy
– Able to commit for two months
– To start work as soon as possible (from May onwards)
– Intern will be paid SGD 500 a month, excluding expenses for traveling, etc.
– Communications majors preferred, but students of other majors and degrees are welcome to apply.
– Students from any year (Year 1, 2, 3, 4, or higher) are all welcomed.

Please send your cover letter and resume to contact@homerunasia.com.
Closing Date: 31 May 2012
We regret that only shortlisted applicants will be notified.

Deanery Connect with Prof T. C. Chang (6th February 2012)

The first Deanery Connect of the New Year held on the 6thof February was attended by seven undergraduates in the cosy setting of Seminar Room ABC at Blk AS7. It was chaired by the Vice-Dean (for External Relations and Student Life) Assoc Prof T. C. Chang. Issues raised by students ranged from career  prospects to academic matters.

Some of the issues discussed were:


–          An option to allow additional modular credits earned during internship into fulfilling unrestricted electives. One of the difficulties faced by student was having to take up an additional module to fulfill graduation requirements during her internship.

–          An option to allow students in their 4th year, to take up both ISMs as well as honours thesis. This option is only available for USP students currently.

Assoc Prof T.C Chang assured all students present that the faculty will look into the issues raised. 


London trip for two of FASS’ young Research Assistants

Two of FASS’ Research Assistants from our very own Research Clusters were recently in London on conference leave to attend CAAS 2012. Johan and Amy found a few moments to share with us what they got up to in London and explain how they are learning about the world and academia as junior research faculty at FASS.

What is CAAS about?

CAAS stands for The Consortium for Asian and African Studies. It was formed in 2007 with the aim of pulling together the strength of scholars and experts in the field of Asian and African studies. At present,the consortium consists of 7 member institutions – Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS), Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO), Leiden University, The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), National University of Singapore, Columbia University and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Each year,a member institution would take turn to host a conference on an agreed theme to boost research synergy, reaffirm ties and forge new collaborations. This year, the conference was organized by SOAS and it was held on 16-18 February 2012 at their campus in central London.
[In 2013 it will be at NUS – see here for the call for papers: https://blog.nus.edu.sg/fassnews/2012/04/24/call-for-papers-annual-conference-for-the-consortium-of-african-and-asian-studies-sustainable-cities/ ]

Registration for participants of CAAS 2012

 What were your motivations for submitting an abstract?

We are both relatively familiar with the topic of singles in Singapore as we were either involved in primary research work on singles in Singapore in the past and/or had first hand knowledge of how singles here are represented in the media. So looking at the theme of this year’s conference – Making a Difference: Representing/Constructing the Other in Asian/African Media, Cinema and Languages – we realized it would be a good idea to combine our knowledge on the social realities and state portrayal of singlehood to write a joint paper on the ‘othering’ of singles in Singapore. 

Getting ready for the first parallel session in the Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, University of London.

How was your experience in presenting the paper?

At first we were slightly apprehensive about the presentation as we felt that the approach and topic of our paper did not seem to fit with that of most other papers,which were grounded in the field of media studies, linguistics and discourse analysis. To our pleasant surprise, the turnout exceeded our expectations and we entertained interesting questions about our research data, as well as on Singapore society in general from an attentive audience. We also appreciated that there wasn’t a distinction between senior academics, junior researchers,and graduate students, in terms of how the presentations were scheduled. We felt this created a rather ‘egalitarian’ setting where discussions and points of criticisms were raised more freely.

What are some other highlights of your trip to SOAS?

Both of us were very intrigued by the “free meal” service just outside the SOAS campus, two English gentlemen were serving hot stewed potato, rice, cake and fruits off a push cart – for free. They were very generous and indiscriminating in handing out the food too. Something like this does not exist in Singapore (or not that we know of), so we were really curious. 

Men serving free meals to students and passers-by outside SOAS campus

We eventually tried the food because it looked so good – hot food in the cold is always inviting! We later found out that they were part of the Hare Krishna “Food for Life” project to distribute vegetarian meals throughout the world. It is amazing that London society is essentially diverse and inclusive.

Amy getting a taste of the Hare Krishna “Food for Life” meal

As a junior researcher,how did you benefit from the entire experience?

Another highlight of the trip was the conference dinner held on the second night of the programme. Having been to quite a few conference dinners before, we felt that this dinner had a stronger atmosphere of camaraderie; probably since the conference was an annual meeting between member institutions. Everyone was especially warm to each other and there was this sense of ‘familiarity’ amongst participants, which ultimately made it an extremely conducive and fruitful networking experience for us!

Johan outside the Brunei Gallery Suite – where the conference dinner was held.

Call For Papers: Annual Conference for the Consortium of African and Asian Studies – ‘Sustainable Cities’

Annual Conference for the Consortium of African and Asian Studies

‘Sustainable Cities’

National University of Singapore, 28-30 January 2013

AS7 Auditorium (01-02), The Shaw Foundation Building,
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore,
Kent Ridge Campus

The theme “sustainable cities” carry an increasing significance as globalization, increased mobilities, economic crises, and environmental hazards raise questions of management of risks and urban problems from the viewpoint of families, communities and governments.

Papers are invited to explore issues relating to the following sub-themes:

1.     Migration

The impact of immigration on urban resource management, for example pressures on housing, transport, public space and subsequent political implications. How important is diversity to creating sustainable urban forms? Can migration be part of a sustainable future? What modes of management will be involved? How do the politics of migration and sustainability relate to each-other?

2.     Environment

Issues such as pollution, conservation, and climate change should be addressed, with emphasis on current problems and possible challenges for the future

3.     Planning and Managing the Sustainable City

By 2025 there will be more urbanites in Asia than anywhere else; nearly 1/3 of humankind will live in Asian cities. The way these urbanites work, consume, and travel profoundly affects the future. Asian cities may lead the global sustainability movement, and some –Singapore, HK, Beijing, and Shanghai– are already attempting. However, for this to happen, aligning city makers’ visions on sustainability and livability is crucial; new problem-oriented, transdiscliplinary knowledge can bolster this endeavor.  

4.     Cities and Disaster Management

Cities experience unpredictable events on a regular basis, many of them generated by urbanity itself. These include epidemics, terrorist attacks, natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons, or political convulsions.  Global climate change will make emergency management all the more important in coming decades. 

5.     Surviving the Urban Economy

Economic stress (as a result of income loss, unemployment, high living costs), and family functioning in cities is an important issue to explore in the Sustainable City. This can relate to a wide range of issues related to family. For example, family conflict/cohesion, family formation behavior (marriage and divorce), child poverty, or young adults transistion to adulthood.

6.     Languages, Cultures and/in the City

Cities intensify multiculturalism and cultural transactions, creating interesting phenomena of language contact and change, artistic forms and cultural expressions.  In addition, the representation of cities in literature, film and other cultural documents reflects many of the critical issues and anxieties about cities in Asia and Africa today.

Abstracts: maximum 300 words by 15th September 2012.
Abstracts, Expressions of Interest and Enquiries to: Ms Amy Tan,
email fastxr@nus.edu.sg; 65-6516 7710 (DID); 65-67794662 (Fax).

‘A New History of Southeast Asia’ receives the Choice Outstanding Book Award

The book A New History of Southeast Asia, written by members of the Department of History has been given a Choice Outstanding Book Award in the 2011 Outstanding Academic Titles category.


The book is by Prof Merle Ricklefs, A/P Bruce Lockhart, A/P Albert Lau, Dr Portia Reyes and Dr Maitrii Aung-Thwin and is published by Palgrave Macmillan (London).

The publisher’s write-up heralds the book as a ‘new, comprehensive, one volume history of Southeast Asia that spans prehistory to the present. Ricklefs brings together colleagues at the National University of Singapore whose expertise covers the entire region, encompassing political, social, economic, religious and cultural history. 

‘Opening with an account of the ethnic groups and initial cultural and social structures of Southeast Asia, the book moves through the early ‘classical’ states, the arrival of new global religions and the impact of non-indigenous actors. The history of early modern states and their colonial successors is followed by analysis of World War II across the region, Offering a definitive account of decolonisation and early post-colonial nation-building, the text then transports us to modern-day Southeast Asia, exploring its place in a world recovering from the financial crisis. The distinguished author team provide an authoritative and accessible narrative, drawing upon the latest research and offering detailed guidance on further reading. A landmark contribution to the field, this is an essential text for scholars, students and anyone interested in Southeast Asia.’

Victor Lieberman, Professor of History at the University of Michigan has high praise for the book, “A New History of Southeast Asia will perform a service for Southeast Asian studies no less seminal than that rendered by D.G.E. Hall’s pioneering volume some 55 years ago. It will provide Southeast Asian Studies with a new intellectual agenda, a new set of research questions, and a new instrument with which to instruct and stimulate the next generation. Without doubt, the appearance of this history text is itself an historic achievement.”
For more bibliographical information please visit the publisher’s website here: http://us.macmillan.com/anewhistoryofsoutheastasia/MCRicklefs 

Polytechnic Admissions Talk 2012

The Polytechnic Admissions Talk 2012 took place on Wednesday, 18 April 2012 at LT9. Bryan Loh and Cheryl Hoon, started off the event by introducing themselves as Ngee Ann Polytechnic Mass Communication graduates, who have recently graduated from FASS, NUS in 2011. They shared their experiences and views on the similarities and differences between polytechnic and nus campus life. Bryan Loh graduated with First Class Honours in Sociology and Cheryl Hoon graduated with Second Upper Honours in Sociology in 2011. Both of them are currently Research Assistants at the Department of Sociology, FASS, NUS.

Following that, Dr Luisa from the Centre for English Language Communications, presented the importance of the Qualifying English Test (QET) for all students who do not possess the necessary English Language qualifications to enter FASS, NUS. The purpose of the QET is to discern the level of English Language support appropriate to the students, for example, whether the student will benefit from a Basic English course or an English for Academic Purposes course, which will help them meet the language needs of their other courses.

Associate Professor Paulin Straughan presented a talk on the Faculty curriculum structure, course offerings, study abroad opportunities, funding and scholarships and career choices to all students who were present. She also addressed questions from the audience, who comprised of both students who have been offered a place at FASS as well as their parents and friends. They also had the opportunity to meet and mingle with other FASS students who were also from our local polytechnics, to find out more about student life at FASS, over lunch.

The video recording of the talks are now available here.