Writing Malaysia & Singapore: Shared Pasts, Global Futures

deadline for submissions: 
July 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Dr Alex Tickell, The Open University; Dr Florian Stadtler, University of Exeter; Kelly Tse, University of Oxford.
contact email: 

One-Day Symposium. The Open University, Camden, London. Friday 20th October 2017

In the last decade an emerging generation of writers from Malaysia and Singapore has achieved international recognition, pioneering new global English fiction and embarking on more confident imaginative journeys across South East Asia. This one-day symposium, a collaboration between the Open University and the University of Exeter, seeks to remap global English fiction (dominated by neighbouring South Asia) and draw fresh attention to the dynamic colonial literary cultures and postcolonial, globalising futures of Malaysian and Singaporean Anglophone writing.

The shared past of Singapore and Malaysia, until the former’s secession from Malaysia in 1965, and the comparable post/colonial trajectories and contexts of English fiction in the region, form the geographical rationale for the symposium’s two-country approach. Consequently, colonial fiction, new forms of historical writing and the narrative potential of the region’s wartime history, and conflicts such as the ‘Emergency’ will be a focal point. Another significant, shared literary concern is the position of the creative writer in relation to the colonial and postcolonial legacies and the ambiguous place of English in the postcolonial cultural politics of both countries. Papers are also welcome on ethnicity, diaspora and English, publishing and book history, significant writers, and on the development of local forms of Anglophone genre fiction.


Keynote Speakers: Philip Holden, National University of Singapore; Angelia Poon Mui Cheng, National Institute of Education, Singapore.

Topics include but are not limited:

·     Colonial Literary Cultures of Malaysia and Singapore

·     History, Memory and Historical Fiction

·     Malaysian and Singaporean Multi-ethnicity and Regional Diasporas

·     The Anglophone Author and the Malaysian/Singaporean State

·     Writing, Ecology and Resource Fiction

·     Publishing and the History of the Book

·     Adaptation, Economics and Literary Change

·     New Forms: From Graphic Novels to Genre Fiction

Please send your title, abstract (250 words) and short biography (80-100 words) to Kelly Tse atkelly.tse@sant.ox.ac.uk by 30th July 2017.

Organisers: Dr Alex Tickell, The Open University; Dr Florian Stadtler, University of Exeter; Kelly Tse, University of Oxford.