Undergraduate Student Lounge at AS8 is now open!

The Faculty is pleased to announce that a new student lounge has been created exclusively for FASS undergraduates at AS8/01-03. Conveniently located near the Central Library and The Coffee Roaster café, the lounge will be a cosy corner for our undergraduates to discuss project work, study or mingle with fellow students. (Please note that no food and drinks are allowed in the lounge.)

The lounge is now open.  Do feel free to drop by to explore another possible study venue as you prepare for your examinations.

Wishing all students the best for your coming examinations!



CELC research project student assistant

CELC is looking for a student assistant to assist in a research project.

Applicants must possess the following skills and knowledge:

Skills: Able to type texts accurately; analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative data.
Software: Able to use Excel. Applicants with knowledge of SPSS and NVivo will have an added

Education: Graduate students with experience in interpreting data. Undergraduates with the relevant skills and experience may also apply.

Time period: Able to work 10‐16 hours per week, from now till January 2017 (with possible extension).

Remuneration: $10 per hour.

To apply, please email your cover letter and CV to elcbox8@nus.edu.sg with the subject “Application:
Student Assistant (Research)”. You should indicate clearly in your application the instances which you have applied the relevant skills and software. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted directly.
Deadline for application: Friday 18 November 2016.

Social network inequality that is often neglected (Page 29)

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Lianhe Zaobao

This was an article contribution by Assistant Professor Vincent Chua from the Department of Sociology of the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Asst Prof Chua noted there are currently very few studies in Singapore on social network inequality and highlighted that this is a blind spot in current social sciences research. He shared the findings of his study on the various sources of network inequality, and opined that in order to achieve social integration, it is important to focus on how social networks bring together people from all social classes and social backgrounds.

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!

Vigilante patriots in Assam

Monday, 31 October 2016

The Statesman

This was an article contribution by Mr Suraj Gogoi from the Department of Sociology at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Associate Professor Prasenjit Biswas from North Eastern Hill University, India. The authors discussed the vigilante propensity in Assam, India, for proclaiming bans and indulging in castigation, with the latest ‘call to arms’ that concerns a diktat to embargo ‘Chinese products’ and to refrain from buying or selling these. The authors opined that the current sprees of agitations against foreigners and foreign goods stems from a self-disparaging sense of insecurity that creates more problems than can be solved. They added that this leads to social and cultural paranoia of a variety that turns the imagination virile, as it keeps generating talks about loss, be it the Brahmaputra or the official status of language and culture.

Click here to read the full article.

Against the Grain: Arabisation and the Malay identity

Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Edge

This was an article contribution by Associate Professor Syed Farid Alatas from the Department of Sociology at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, in which he discussed the trend of the Arabisation of the Malay identity and culture. He opined that if Arabisation is founded on the idea of the greater Islamic authenticity of Arab culture, it would result in the erosion and marginalisation of Malay culture and the adoption of inappropriate practices. Assoc Prof Alatas noted that it is this sense of Arabisation that has come under attack in Malaysia recently and added that the same can be said of the influence of any other culture such as Westernisation.

Click here to read the article.

One of China’s most important political events begins today

Monday, 24 October 2016


This was a studio interview with Assistant Professor Chong Ja Ian from the Department of Political Science at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Asst Prof Chong discussed his views about the sixth plenum of China’s Communist Party and noted that the economy, an anti-corruption drive and foreign policy will be topics of discussion at the meeting.

Click here to watch the video.

Of Courage and Character – The Story Behind the New Sociology Scholarship

We are pleased to announce that the new SP Shotam and Sarojini Shotam Scholarship has been up in memory of Mr SP Shotam and Ms Sarojini Shotam at the FASS. The Scholarship will be awarded to students majoring in sociology, with preference given to candidates who double major or minor in social work.


The following article on the courage and character of the Shotams was kindly contributed by the donor.

This scholarship is in memory of Srirekam PuruShotam and Sarojini Shotam, who gave generously – materially and otherwise – to their families and friends, acquaintances, and even strangers who came into their orbit. S. P. Shotam was a British Subject, and passed away before Singapore attained independence.  Sarojini Shotam, born British Malayan, embraced Singapore’s independence with a glad heart.

Both of them provided all who were blessed to be connected with them with real-life lessons of courage and daring; of staying steadfast in times of immense difficulties; and of enjoying, with gratitude, the gift that Life is.

Two aspects of their lives suffice to illustrate this. S. P. Shotam was interned and suffered terrible tortures at the time of the Japanese occupation of Singapore. He survived, to live on without rancor nor bitterness of any kind.  He rebuilt his business, S. P. Shotam & Company Ltd at 12 Orchard Road.  He set up home at 21 Balmoral Road.  He loved the challenge of his work and balanced it well.  His hobbies included communicating globally via the ham radio system he set up in his home, at a time when wireless communication was relatively new.  As a member of the Royal Singapore Flying Club he would fly over his house to the delight of his children. But the war had taken its toll on him: he died five days before his 44th birthday.

Sarojini Shotam was 38 years old when she became a single mother to eight children. The eldest was in her teens and the youngest was five months of age.  She was a phenomenal role model to all who knew her.  A prime aspect of her character was understanding the power of resources which went well beyond the material.  Her home and her table – filled with the amazing food she always provided – was always open to all and sundry despite her having eight children to feed!  She glowed with an inner strength and compassion that is hard to describe. Her gentle firmness and her certitude about the Truth, came from her deep interest in philosophy and history. Nary a day went by without her spending some hours in the afternoon studying the Bhagavad Gita.

It is hard to abstract the potency of their lives in a short brief. S. P. Shotam, to give one example, was skin and bones, terribly ill and severely in pain after his internment.  His wife was not yet back in Singapore:  He had insisted she take the last boat out, with two young children.  There was to be no communication between them thereafter.  Her ship was bombed and he presumed she had died.  She, similarly, had no clue he had been accused of anti-Japanese activities, imprisoned and tortured.

But S. P. Shotam had made an impact on people that would be repaid to him at this time. Former servants returned to him to care and tend him back to life after the Japanese Occupation. Indeed, one of them had saved him from death in the ‘camp’:  he took a job there and risking his own life, surreptitiously provided him with extra food and nursed him whenever he could.  Others returned to take care of him after the occupation:  nursing him, feeding him, providing for him at a time when he was physically unable to work, hire anyone to help him, nor be fully aware of what was being done for him out of the love he had engendered among former servants. He never forgot their love and kindnesses:  a gratitude his wife shared, when she finally returned to his side after the war.  His plight was still unbearable to see, but he had survived despite all the odds.

Sarojini Shotam also had a character that drew people to her. After she passed away, one of her children had called for a taxi to take her from her mother’s home to work.  The taxi driver, a Chinese man who was mostly conversant in Mandarin, said, “Oh I know the woman who lives here.”  “My mother” she replied.  “Oh how is she?” he asked. “She passed away”.  On hearing this the cab driver, who had already driven some way off, asked to please return to her home so he could his respects to her.  She had such an impact on him that he went before a framed photograph of her, prostrated before it, and using incense sticks like Chinese joss sticks, did what devotees at a Chinese temple would do.  When asked how he knew her, he said they talked when she had used his cab, three or four times in all!

Through a marriage arranged early in their lives, S. P. Shotam and Sarojini Shotam, shared a sense of direction and purpose. They were independent of thinkers, beyond the times they lived in, and their lives provided the example of living not by what others thought and did, but with an inner compass of a Spirit within.

The recipient of this study is thus chosen with respect to sociology; preferably paired with social work. Sociology harbours a project similar to the way S. P. Shotam and Sarojini Shotam were in their thinking if the potential of its intellectual daring is recognised.  It asks questions of assumptions that are considered unquestionable and it refuses to allow one the comfort of living merely by received knowledge.  Social work underlines the importance of lived experiences connection to varied lives and a recognition that when we give generously we are also simultaneously being given in return.  Both can lead to that most amazing gift of all that both the Shotams had:  the beauty of the silence within which gave their lives that Light that this scholarship celebrates.

The Department of Sociology has selected one scholarship recipient in Academic Year 2016-17. For more details on the Scholarship, please click here.

FASS Forward to the Exams



Dear FASS Freshmen,
As we approach the end of the semester, the Dean’s Office is organising a 2-hour session next week to help you prepare for your first exams at FASS. Specially designed for students in their first year, FASS Forward to the Exams features 4 lecturers and 4 senior-year students across different disciplines, who will share their insight on how to deal with your exams in an interactive seminar setting.

If you would like to obtain first-hand study tips and advice from lecturers on how to cope with exams, this session is just for you! Together with senior students from Economics, Political Science, Psychology and Southeast Asian Studies, our very own FASS lecturers from Geography, Philosophy, English Literature and Japanese Studies will be there to share their personal experiences, study tips and exam strategies!

Format: Panel session and Small-Group Q&A

Details of Event
Date: Tuesday 25 October 2016
Time: 10am-12pm
Venue: Seminar Room B, Block AS7, FASS

Refreshment will be provided after the event.

Register HERE: http://www.tinyurl.com/fassfwdtoexams16

Due to limited places, we’d encourage you to register ASAP before it’s fully subscribed.

Contact: Lynn Seah (lynnseah@nus.edu.sg / 66013496) for more details.

ArtsConnect – Careers & Networking Event on 5 October 2016

5 October 2016
University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore

by Yang Yilin, Year 2, Yale-NUS College

artsconnect-edm-as-of-20-sepOn 5 October 2016, NUS held the inaugural ArtsConnect – Careers & Networking Event at the University Cultural Centre. The event was jointly organized by the Centre for Future-ready Graduates, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Yale-NUS College, NUS Centre For the Arts, supported by the Office of Alumni Relations and was targeted at students interested in pursuing careers in the local Arts and Culture scene. Unlike the plenitude of networking events available that are geared towards the fields of business consulting and entrepreneurship, ArtsConnect provided an unparalleled platform to connect undergraduates with the elusive and commonly misperceived Arts and Culture scene in Singapore.

Given the full house turnout for the event, it was evident that there is a high level of curiosity and concern with regards to post-graduation career prospects. The event kicked off with a comprehensive keynote address by Ms. Yvonne Tham, Assistant CEO from The Esplanade. As a veteran in the local Arts and Culture scene, she shared with us her valuable experience of working in both public and private organizations in the sector. In her keynote address, Ms. Yvonne Lim highlighted the ample and often overlooked opportunities available for graduates in the booming Singapore’s Arts and Culture sector in recent years. It is no longer a niche that attracts specifically skilled individuals, but it has also become an increasingly competitive territory which requires the inter-connectedness of a multitude of talents to sustain itself both regionally and globally. In other words, there is definitely a place for every interested and passionate individual to be part of within the Arts and Culture scene.

From left to right: Dr. Danny Tan, A/Prof Loy Hui Chieh (moderator), Ms Cystal Lim Leahey (Director of CFG), Mr. Gaurav Kripalani, Ms. Yvonne Tham, Mr. Steven Chia, Ms Sharon Tan (director of CFA), Ms. Hoon Jia Jia, and Mr Novin Ng (Director Yale-NUS)

With this new knowledge on the multitude of opportunities available, the next burning question raised by attendees during the event was “What exactly does the Arts and Culture sector look for in a fresh graduate?” This concern was well addressed during the panel discussion by prominent representatives from respective fields in the local Arts and Culture scene. The panelists included Ms. Yvonne Tham from The Esplanade, Dr. Danny Tan from Odyssey Dance Theatre, Mr. Steven Chia from Channel NewsAsia, Ms. Hoon Jia Jia from National Arts Council, and Mr. Gaurav Kripalani from Singapore Repertory Theatre. With their light-hearted and whimsical sharing, all panelists affirmed the one crucial quality they look for in a fresh graduate – passion! Given the multi-faceted and bustling Arts and Culture scene, embodying a passionate stance is essential for one to sustain and thrive with a positive attitude as he or she embarks on this journey.

After the insightful panel discussion, all panelists and attendees enjoyed light refreshments during which they had the opportunity to network and engage in more intimate conversations. Apart from the panelists, there were also other networking representatives present during the event. They included organizations and corporations such as NUS Museum, ArtScience Museum, National Gallery Singapore, National Library Board, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Checkpoint Theatre, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Centre For the Arts (CFA) and Asian Film Archives.

ArtConnect was truly an engaging and enlightening event that broadened my perspective on Singapore’s emerging Arts and Culture scene. I left with interesting anecdotes and advice from prominent leaders who have helped to shape the local Arts and Culture scene into the lively platform for creative thought it is today. The event also served as a reminder for the increasing need for young talents like us in this booming sector, which is set to grow and develop further in the years to come. ArtsConnect equipped students with the knowledge and empowered them with the passion to continue their pursuit in the Arts and Culture scene, and we all look forward to the next instalment of ArtsConnect!