FASS Holds International Workshop on Children-at-Risk

Speakers at the Children-at-Risk Workshop

FASS has just held a unique workshop targeted at sharing ways on how to help children in the region at risk due to poverty and other threats to their welfare. Jointly organised by the Centre for Social Development Asia (CSDA) in the Department of Social Work and the Family, Children and Youth Cluster at FASS, discussions were held over the 16th  and 17th of December on campus.

The workshop, themed around Childhood Poverty and Child Protection, brought together a select group of academics and practitioners who presented papers covering eleven countries in the Asia-Pacific region on children-at-risk. In her opening remarks, Dr Rosaleen Ow, head of the Social Work Department at NUS, remarked that due to regional economic and population changes, ever more families are at risk and more children are affected, hence the need for this workshop. Dr Ow noted that in recent years her department is approaching such issues more from an intergenerational perspective. This means that problems faced today within families are often linked to what has happened potentially several generations ago, and only by dealing with such issues will the problems cease to persist. Dr Ow also shared that her department has always had an interest in working with children and will continue to do so as it heads into its 60th anniversary in 2012.

The organizer of the workshop, Dr Irene Ng, from the Social Work department commented that the targeted workshop is focused on sharing best practices and ideas that can be applied to programmes in countries around Asia. A publication bringing together the papers as either a book or a special edition journal is expected.

For the full workshop programme please click here: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/fcy/newsevents/Children-at-Risk%20Workshop%20Programme-draft29Nov.pdf

FASS Lunchtime Seminar Series AY11/12 – Semester One

Prof Chua Beng Huat presenting
Prof Chua Beng Huat presenting

For the first instalment of the FASS Lunchtime Seminar Series this semester (19 October 2011), Professor Chua Beng Huat from the Department of Sociology gave us insights into “Pop Culture and ‘Soft Power’ Competition in East Asia”. Speaking at the FASS Faculty Lounge, Prof Chua highlighted the significance of pop culture in the export industry of East Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong—drawing attention to the “positive influences” that pop culture can have on the attitudes of the audience in target/importing countries. Against this backdrop, Prof Chua’s presentation focused on the role of Television Drama Series in the current state of ‘soft power’ competition or ‘cultural diplomacy’ among China, Japan and Korea. 

Prof Bao Zhiming presenting
Prof Bao Zhiming presenting

Professor Bao Zhiming from the Department of English Language and Literature was the invited speaker for the second instalment of the FASS Lunchtime Seminar Series this semester (9 November 2011). Prof Bao discussed “How to Mix Languages”, using Singlish talk about time and action as his illustration. Specifically, the presentation demonstrated how Singlish time talk is the Chinese talk carried out through English words. The session ended with numerous questions and comments on similar examples of such merging of languages.

20 Years of the Malaysia-Singapore Forum

Participants from FASS, UNiversity of Malaya and FASS, NUS on day one of the Forum
Participants from FASS, University of Malaya and FASS, NUS on day one of the Forum

FASS is delighted to be hosting the 13th Malaysia-Singapore Forum here at NUS, marking 20 years of networking and collaboration between the two Arts and Social Sciences Faculties of University of Malaya (UM) and NUS respectively. The UM delegation was warmly welcomed by Dean of FASS, Prof Brenda Yeoh who referred to the special historical ties between the two universities and to the collegiate relations that have built over the years between faculty and students involved in the Forum.

The Forum is held every two years at alternating campuses and this year focused the two day discussions on the subject of ‘Nation-State and Development’. Faculty and graduate students from both universities have presented on themes covering development, gender, literature, ethnicity, history and identity. To mark this special anniversary FASS NUS has produced a short film with photo archives from past fora and interviews with academics from both universities.
The film can be viewed by clicking here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCb2dPitpYg 

Psychology’s A/Prof Eddie Tong recognized by APS Observer as a “Rising Star”

eddietongAssociate Professor Eddie Tong from FASS’ Department of Psychology has just been featured in the latest issue of the Association for Psychology Science (APS) Observer, and has been listed as a “Rising Star” in the field!

In the feature, Eddie discusses how his research centres on appraisal theories of emotion as well as the cognitive processes associated with different emotions. Amongst others, he gives credit to his Master’s supervisor George Bishop (Head of Psychology at NUS) for encouraging him to explore areas outside of his research to help him in his work. When asked what advice he would give to younger psychological scientists he replies:

“It is important to work in areas that your advisors have expertise in, but you should also carve out an area of research that you can call your own. Try to do what everyone else is not doing, but not so much that no one takes you seriously. Science is an adventure where you often start out not knowing what to do and whether it will work. It is often a risky enterprise and a gamble. Publication is as heartbreaking as it is gratifying — sometimes even more so. I have had many more rejections than acceptances. Don’t be discouraged, you must keep trying.”

Congratualtions to A/P Eddie Tong from FASS for this well-earned international recognition.

For the full article click here: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2011/october-11/rising-stars-6.html#tong

Dr. Stephen Lim receives 2011 NUS-Japan Scientist Exchange Programme Scholarship

Dr Stephen Lim
Dr Stephen Lim

Dr. Stephen Lim, who joined the NUS Department of Psychology as a Lecturer in July 2010, recently competed for and successfully earned the 2011 NUS-Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Scientist Exchange Programme Scholarship. The NUS-JSPS programme encourages and funds research collaborations between scientists based in Japan and researchers based in Singapore at the NUS in the areas of Natural Science, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Dr. Lim will be visiting Associate Professor Hiroshi Ashida at Kyoto University in December 2011 to work on research projects concerning visual and auditory perception and cognition. Heartiest congratulations!

Ee Peng Liang Memorial Forum gets policy makers thinking

Mr Ng Kok Hoe, Dr Vasoo and BG (NS) Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister of State for Manpower and National Development
Mr Ng Kok Hoe, Dr Vasoo and BG (NS) Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister of State for Manpower and National Development

On August 22nd the Department of Social Work held the second Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund Forum. The Guest-of-Honour for the Forum was BG (NS) Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister of State for Manpower and National Development. NUS alumnus Mr Ng Kok Hoe, who was awarded the Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund Scholarship last year to pursue his PhD in Social Policy at the London School of Economics, presented some findings from his research, titled “Old-age income security and intergenerational co-residence in Hong Kong and Singapore.

In a very thorough and clear presentation, Mr Ng discussed how the sources of income and the living arrangements for the aged in Singapore and Hong Kong have changed between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s. Mr Ng noted that the aged who live with their children are more financially secure. However the number of elderly living with their children here is going down; as Singapore’s retirement income system is built on inter-generational family support, he said, the sustainability of the current system, particularly related to CPF, is in doubt. Some of the more shocking findings showed the income and assets disparity between the sexes going into retirement.

Guest-of-Honour , BG (NS) Tan Chuan-Jin, spoke on meeting the challenge of securing retirement adequacy in the face of an ageing population. He remarked that Mr Ng’s presentation broughtup some interesting issues which will be further analyzed by policy makers.

Mr Gerald Ee, Chairman of the National Kidney Foundation and son of the late Mr Ee Peng Liang, also spoke on the hopes for his father’s legacy. The event is named after the late Dr Ee, widely acknowledged as Singapore’s Father of Charity and a founder member of what is today called the National Council of Social Service, and the Community Chest.

Prof David Higgitt – Guest Editor of Innovation and Secretary General of AOGS

Professor David Higgitt
Professor David Higgitt

Prof David Higgitt, Geomorphologist and Professor in the Department of Geography, is the co-guest editor of the latest issue of Innovation, the Singapore Magazine of Research, Technology and Education (Vol.10 No.2, 2011). This special issue on Earth Sciences in Singapore is co-edited by Dr Grahame Oliver, a Geologist from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Grahame is now Visiting Senior Fellow in the Department of Geography, where he teaches modules in geology and petroleum geoscience.

Earth Science comprises the four basic sciences of geology, meteorology, oceanography and astronomy. As Prof Higgitt notes, “For much of its history, there has been no formal teaching in earth sciences in Singapore.” However this is all changing with the establishment of the Earth Observatory of Singapore at NTU and the Singapore Geological Office, as well as the reintroduction of Geology to the curriculum at NUS. A Geosciences Minor programme, administered through the Department of Geography, has proved very popular with students.  The current issue of Innovation shows how earth scientists in Singapore are playing key roles in efforts to resolve problems ranging from volcanoes, earthquakes and landslides to floods, tornadoes and cyclones. In August 2012 Singapore will be hosting a major geosciences conference as Asia Oceania Geosciences Society and the American Geophysical Union host a joint assembly.

In related news, Prof Higgitt has recently been elected as the Secretary General of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS), by a vote of 464 to 3. Congratulations from FASS to Prof Higgitt on this remarkable appointment.

Limited copies of Innovation magazine are available in the Geography Department and more on AOGS can be found at: http://www.asiaoceania.org/society/index.asp

FASS Researchers headline Masculinities in Asia Conference


FASS Researchers and workshop organisers are currently attending the inaugural International Workshop on Masculinities in Asia. The workshop is jointly organized by the Asia Research Institute (ARI) and FASS (the Asian Studies Division, the Gender Studies Minor Programme and the ‘Doing Asian Studies’ Reading Group).

Victor Zhuang (NUS) presents his paper on male disability in Singapore
Victor Zhuang (NUS) presents his paper on male disability in Singapore

In the opening and welcome remarks by Prof Prasenjit Duara (Director of ARI and ODPRT ) and A/P Robbie Goh (FASS) it was noted that gender studies has become one of the most productive areas within the academic study of Asia. However, the analytical category of ‘men/masculinities’ remains largely underexamined and under-theorized in gender studies of Asia.

More than 30 academics from across Asia, Europe and the Americas are speaking on very diverse issues covering class, ethnicity, religion,  sexual identity, family, nationalism and the male body. As such the workshop addresses the need for a regional, comparative and interdisciplinary dialogue to establish new frameworks for anlaysis and interpretation.

For the full programme click here: http://www.ari.nus.edu.sg/showfile.asp?eventfileid=649

Applications welcomed for the Lee Kong Chian NUS-Stanford Distinguished Fellowship on Contemporary Southeast Asia


The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Stanford University (Stanford) are pleased to announce that applications are welcome between now and 1st September 2011 for the 2011-12 Lee Kong Chian NUS-Stanford Distinguished Fellowship on Southeast Asia.   Interested individuals with backgrounds or positions in the social sciences or humanities are encouraged to apply.  Candidates may be of any nationality or seniority.

For information on elligibility and the application process click here: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/nusstanfordsea/appointments.html

New Publications of the Month from FASS


A/P Ho Kong Chong, Vice-Dean of Research, has announced a new initiative designed to showcase our faculty’s top research publications. 

Publications of the Month, on the FASS website, will highlight two or three recent publications from Tier 1 journals or books published by faculty. The first three submissions for April 2011 (from CNM, Economics and Sociology) already begin to show the quality and breadth of research undertaken by FASS colleagues. The new pages can be viewed here : http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/research/pubsofthemonth.html