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Today's date is Wednesday, December 02, 2020
School of Social Sciences
 February 2020
Friday 14
12:30 - SEMINAR - A preliminary typology of Australian interjections:results and methodological insights More Information
In this seminar I will present a preliminary typology of the interjections documented in 37 languages of diverse genetic affiliation across the Australian continent. I will spell out the results concerning Australian interjections themselves, which for most of them raise the question of whether they reflect specifically Australian properties, or universals of language. I will also discuss theoretical and methodological issues involved in studying interjections typologically.
Friday 28
11:00 - SEMINAR - Hearing the Voice of Chinese International Students at the National Library of Australia More Information
As a recipient of the prestigious Asian Studies Grant, Dr Tao spent four weeks at the National Library of Australia in January 2020, when he was able to explore and investigate into the memoirs published by Chinese international students who studied in Australia since the 1980s. In this talk, Dr Tao will report the preliminary findings of his research residency. According to these findings, the study environment for Chinese international students in Australia changed significantly in the last four decades as a result of the rapid process of globalisation and the advance of telecommunication technologies. However, the key factors that impact the experience of Chinese international students in Australia remain persistent, including the challenges of establishing cross-cultural friendships and the importance of mono-cultural support networks. Dr Tao will also reflect on his experience of working on NLA’s Australiana Collection in the Chinese Language, which is a globally unique resource for researchers and readers who care particularly about how Australia is perceived and presented in the Chinese-language publications.

12:30 - SEMINAR - Embedding variationist perspectives in undergraduate linguistics teaching More Information
Abstract

When I began my PhD research on complex language repertoires, I found my linguistic toolkit was pretty empty of the kinds of analytic approaches that would allow me to do justice to the linguistic dexterity of my participants. This is partly down to the luck of the draw; I had studied my undergraduate linguistics degree at time prior to the upsurge in interest in variationist sociolinguistics in Australia and so no such courses were on offer at my alma mater. But as I embarked on the process of upskilling and methodological innovation that my PhD demanded of me, I also felt at times I was ‘unlearning’ some of the ways of thinking about language that had been engrained during my bachelor studies. In this talk, I reflect on the concept of linguistic variation (and the linguistic variable) and explore how this is navigated in a typical undergraduate linguistics program. In particular, I focus on opportunities for embedding the concept of variable grammar ‘early and often’ as a way to undermine linguistic prejudice and equip the linguists of the future to grapple with some of the big divisions in our field, such as between probabilistic, usage-based accounts and formal theories of language.

Short bio

My research and applied work is focused at the intersection of descriptive linguistics, sociolinguistics and education. I have always been interested in linguistic outcomes of contact, such as individual multilingualism, language practises in border regions, and contact varieties. I joined the Aboriginal Child Language Acquisition project in 2011, undertaking a study of Alyawarr children’s use of two closely-related language varieties in central Australia. Prior to this, I worked for several years at Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre as a field linguist and I also spent a year in the Philippines working for a local Indigenous people’s education NGO, where I developed multilingual curricula and teaching materials. Before coming to UNE in 2019, I lived in Germany for 3.5 years, teaching linguistics in the English Studies departments of the Friedrich Schiller University (Jena) and Erfurt University (Erfurt).

 March 2020
Friday 06
12:30 - SEMINAR - The End: how a language dies More Information
Abstract

What Tolstoy wrote about happy and unhappy families applies equally to languages: all living languages are alike; each dying language is dying in its own way. Because the death of a language is a particular death, the death of this language and not some other one, the story of its demise has to be a specific story. For the past thirty years I have conducted research on an isolate Papuan language in the lower Sepik region of Papua New Guinea. The language, called Tayap, is dying; it currently has fewer than fifty active speakers. My talk will discuss how Tayap is disappearing; both in terms of the social and cultural factors that inexorably are leading to its passing, and also in terms of the grammar of the language itself, as it dissolves in the speech of young people who attempt to speak it.

Short bio

Don Kulick is Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology at Uppsala University, Sweden, where he directs the Engaging Vulnerability research program. He has published widely on sociolinguistics, gender and sexuality studies, disability studies, queer theory and animal studies. His most recent books are A Grammar and Dictionary of Tayap: the life and death of a Papuan language (with Angela Terrill, Mouton de Gruyter), and A Death in the Rainforest: how a language and a way of life came to an end in Papua New Guinea (Algonquin Books), both from last year.

14:30 - SEMINAR - DISONANCE OF “NON-ALIGNED” POST WWII HERITAGE More Information
Abstract

As early as in the late 1940s, Yugoslavia developed its own brand of Socialism based on self-management. In the cultural sphere, the uniqueness of the Yugoslav context gave way to the official renunciation of Soviet Socialist Realism around 1948 and contributed to the rise of a unique brand of moderate (Socialist) modernism. The post-WWII architectural heritage in "non-aligned" Yugoslavia articulated and legitimized a different political stance toward ideology while insisting on new art that signified a break with typical Soviet Socialist (Realism) art and architecture as well as integration into the international art world, a situation that allowed greater radicalization of artistic practices in Yugoslavia than in other countries of real Socialism. The very "ordinariness" of these post-war works and negligible official recognition of their modernist principles and significance, was a major obstacle for their heritage listing in comparison with the "historic", older heritage. Furthermore, after the 1991-95 war, the region has been managing its difficult, recent past not through recognition of it but through concealment and cultural reframing, directing attention away from the post WWII legacy, towards counter-trends of national historicism and nation branding. This discursive strategy and readjustment of identity politics have proven to be especially critical for the generation who is coming of age in the era of ideology-neutral pluralism.

Bio

Sandra Uskokovic, a scholar of modern and contemporary Central and Eastern European art, is Associate Professor at the University of Dubrovnik, Croatia. A visiting scholar at universities in Europe, Asia, and North America, her research interests include art criticism, modern and contemporary art, urban and cultural theory, performative arts, heritage studies.
Thursday 12
16:00 - SEMINAR - Swahili social landscapes: a case study from northern Zanzibar,1000-1400 CE More Information
Abstract

The large group of people commonly known as the Swahili occupied an expansive stretch of coastline between Somalia and Mozambique from the 6th and 7th centuries CE, with early villages being built with wattle and daub while later settlements also included stone structures such as tombs, mosques, and private houses. Increased involvement in long-distance trade, urbanisation, and religious developments led to a gradually more hierarchical social structure in many Swahili societies, which included forced labour and servitude. In this research seminar, I will present some of the results from two archaeological field seasons in Tumbatu and Mkokotoni in north-western Zanzibar (Unguja) in Tanzania, and their relationship to my larger doctoral project at Uppsala University titled: “Swahili Social Landscapes - Material expressions of slavery, labour, and non-elite identity in pre-colonial Zanzibar”. The results from surveys and household excavations at both sites reveal that the two sites were closely connected, partially relying on each other for food and trade commodities, while simultaneously operating within larger regional and international networks of trade and communication. Although long believed to be an elite stone town, the data from Tumbatu is showing a settlement highly reliant on its neighbours and questions the assumed dichotomy between elite and non-elite inhabitants.

Biographical information

Henriette Rødland is an archaeologist and PhD student at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University, Sweden, where she has also been teaching undergraduate and postgraduate classes on heritage, slavery, and urbanisation. She has also been a visiting teacher at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She specialises in Swahili urban archaeology and the history and archaeology of slavery in East Africa, with a particular focus on the role of artefacts in reflecting, maintaining, and negotiating social identities and inequalities. Her research currently centres on northern Zanzibar, Tanzania, and two early second millennium urban sites that were well-connected to the Indian Ocean sphere of commerce. These relationships brought pottery, cloth, beads, and glass to East Africa, while timber, gold, ivory, and enslaved individuals were exported to other Indian Ocean ports. Henriette holds a BA from the University of York and an MA from the University of East Anglia (Sainsbury Research Unit), where her research focused on archaeological and historical approaches to slavery in West and East Africa.
Friday 13
11:00 - SEMINAR - Somatic Experiences of Ageing and Beauty Work Among Older Korean and Chinese Migrants More Information
Over the past decade, a growing number of sociological research has sought to understand the role of beauty work in promoting positive ageing among older people. However, majority of these studies have been conducted in the Western context, and only a limited number of studies have focused on older people of Asian ancestry. In the West, ageing has often been theorised as a negative challenge to individual’s identity and agency; however, in many East Asian countries old age has, at least up until very recently, been considered a sign of greater understanding of the world, and therefore ageing has been perceived as a process to be celebrated. This project will explore the ways in which older Korean and Chinese migrants living in Western Australia experience their ageing bodies specifically in the context of their engagement with everyday beauty work. Focusing on their lived experiences of ‘doing beauty’ and engaging with everyday beauty practices, this project will contribute to the current body of knowledge by providing a general understanding of how ageing bodies are perceived and experienced, particularly how beauty work and aesthetic care of self intersect with notions of wellbeing and positive ageing in later life in migrant contexts.

14:30 - SEMINAR - ‘Memoirs .. serve as excellent types’: C.R. Browne and the Ethnographical Survey of Ireland – Excluded Ancestor and Invisible Genealogy in the History of Anthropology More Information
Abstract

At various times in the 1890s and early 1900s the reports of Charles Robert Browne’s ethnographic studies undertaken in the West of Ireland were described as exemplary ethnography. Yet the Ethnographical Survey of Ireland on which Browne worked is largely forgotten in anthropology and if remembered, seen as only preliminary to the main business of AC Haddon’s anthropological career and a mere adjunct to the Ethnographic Survey of the United Kingdom. When it is discussed, typically only the initial work of Haddon and Browne on Aran is mentioned or the ongoing role of Haddon in the enterprise exaggerated.

In this paper I explore the anthropological career of Charles Robert Browne, the only person to list his occupation in the 1901 census of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland as ‘anthropologists’, albeit alongside his other profession: ‘general practitioner’. I argue, on the one hand, that the Ethnographical Survey of Ireland is part of an invisible genealogy in the development of modern professional anthropology, with Browne an excluded ancestor and, on the other, that the survey was part of an Imperial Science project that ultimately failed to take root in Ireland as the country moved to Independence.

Bio

Dr Edward M. McDonald is the principal of Ethnosciences (2003-present) and formerly Managing Director and principal anthropologist of McDonald, Hales and Associates (1988-2003).Dr McDonald is currently the President of the Anthropological Society of Western Australia (ASWA).

He has 44 years’ experience as an applied anthropologist. His areas of research include Aboriginal and youth homelessness and housing programs, service delivery and client processing in welfare organisations, evaluations of group foster care and day care and of work organisation in a heavy industrial setting, in addition to a major community study in Inner City Perth. Dr McDonald’s article on the ethnography of Indigenous archaeology will be published shortly in Cooney, Gilhooly, Kelly & Mallía-Guest (eds.) Cultures of Stone: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Materiality of Stone. He has a continuing interest in the history of anthropology, with a primary focus on the ethnography of Daisy Bates and on the work Charles Robert Browne and the Ethnographic Survey of Ireland (1891-1903).
Tuesday 17
14:00 - SEMINAR - ‘Performing Bromance On and Offline: Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhall’, Presented by Jackie Raphael More Information
ABSTRACT: Bromances in Hollywood have become an increasingly useful form of promotion. Hugh Jackman in particular has utilised this technique in the X-Men franchise and crossed over into Deadpool. His friendship with Ryan Reynolds has even intersected into the films, as well as social media and into Jackman’s theatre show. They have also taken it a step further by including Jake Gyllenhall, whom they have both worked with individually. Analysing these friendships, it is evident that they choose to perform their bromances publicly in order to promote their films and charities, but also to gain online attention and develop their individual brands further. Going viral and having the mass media speak about their social media posts, generates further publicity and strengthens their fun and engaging identities. However, it is reliant on perceived authenticity, ‘celebrity capital’ (Gunter 2014) and humour to stimulate audiences. Thus, the friendship between Jackman, Reynolds and Gyllenhall will be used as a case study to examine how viral campaigns intersect with the curation of digital persona, celebrity capital and perceived brand authenticity.

Dr Jackie Raphael has a PhD in Creative Advertising and Design from Curtin University, where she explored endorsements, branding and social media. Her current research examines media, popular culture, bromance as a promotional tool and persona. She has published several papers and books on these topics. Dr Raphael has lectured and tutored undergraduates in Design and Communication since 2010. She has coordinated a Masters course and various undergraduate units. Dr Raphael has also supervised Honours, Masters and PhD students. Her current role is Senior Learning Skills Officer in STUDYSmarter (UWA’s Academic Skills Centre) and Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences.
Wednesday 18
14:00 - SEMINAR - A masterclass with Henriette Rødland, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Sweden. More Information
Connecting three continents and spanning a vast network of coastlines, the Indian Ocean has been an arena for commerce and interaction for at least 2,000 years. An integral part of this interaction was the movement of people, both voluntary and involuntary, or something in-between. Labourers, merchants, indentured and enslaved individuals moved (or were moved) between settlements, regions, and coasts, leading to a wide dispersal of commodities, languages, and ideologies. These events have left tangible remains in the form of texts, artefacts, and architecture, as well as intangible traces embedded in religion, culture, and customs, many of which can still be observed today. This masterclass will focus on the ways in which these labour histories and their impact within the Indian Ocean can be studied through a variety of disciplines, including history, archaeology, and heritage management, and why it is important to understand the movement of people in the past. The history of slavery in the Indian Ocean is particularly interesting yet understudied, and the way in which this history is remembered varies greatly depending on specific cultural and political factors. In this masterclass, the Indian Ocean will offer a comparative lens through which we can understand these different factors. It aims to discuss and problematise the role of researchers in the history and heritage of slavery, and how it is remembered, studied, and communicated.

About the Speaker:

Henriette Rødland is an archaeologist and PhD student at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University, Sweden, where she has also been teaching undergraduate and postgraduate classes on heritage, slavery, and urbanisation. She has also been a visiting teacher at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She specialises in Swahili urban archaeology and the history and archaeology of slavery in East Africa, with a particular focus on the role of artefacts in reflecting, maintaining, and negotiating social identities and inequalities. Her research currently centres on northern Zanzibar, Tanzania, and two early second millennium urban sites that were wellconnected to the Indian Ocean sphere of commerce. These relationships brought pottery, cloth, beads, and glass to East Africa, while timber, gold, ivory, and enslaved individuals were exported to other Indian Ocean ports. Henriette holds a BA from the University of York and an MA from the University of East Anglia (Sainsbury Research Unit), where her research focused on archaeological and historical approaches to slavery in West and East Africa.
Thursday 19
16:00 - EVENT - Archaeology Seminar Series 2020 : Archaeology Seminar More Information
Visible and Near Infrared - Short Wave Infrared spectroscopy allows the identification of molecular bonds in samples by the absorption of energy at chararacteristic wavelengths. An introduction to the technology is provided. Two case studies in the application of non-destructive, non-invasive VNIR-SWIR spectral technology to Aborigianl archaeology in Western Australia are discussed. Hyperspectral Core Imager analysis of a small grindstone from Red Hill Camp in Swan River People Nyoongar Country and portable VNIR-SWIR measurements on in situ rock art at Weld Range in Wajarri Yamaji Country.
Friday 27
11:00 - SEMINAR - Understanding the Role of Transnational Intellectual Networks within the South Korean Pro-democracy Movement – A case study of the Letters from South Korea Project More Information
What role did transnational intellectual networks play in South Korea’s pro-democracy movement? The political turmoil in post-war Korea that culminated in the proclamation of martial law on 17 October 1972 and the promulgation of the Yushin Constitution on 27 December 1972 resulted in a fracture in the link between the South Korean state and civil society. The government actively undermined freedom of speech within the country and was accused of disregarding human rights. In response, domestic actors sought to engage international connections to pressure their government from the outside to change its behaviour. My research focuses on one particular project which sought to influence the Park Regime through a transnational intellectual network. The “Letters from South Korea” was a 16–year long series of articles that were published monthly between May 1973 and March 1988 in the influential Japanese magazine, “Sekai”. These articles were the public face of a project that was built on an elaborate network of individuals and groups that worked together to covertly collect information from Korea and smuggle it into Japan for translation and publication. The articles provided information to the magazine’s readers on Korean activists who fought to restore democracy. The articles, which were published in Japanese, were translated into many languages and circulated worldwide. By focusing on this under-explored narrative of grassroots cooperation between South Korea and Japan, my research attempts to rethink the recent political history between these two nations, with the aim of identifying possible avenues for improving relations going forward.

 April 2020
Friday 03
11:00 - SEMINAR - The Practice of Environmental Education in Franciscan Schools in Jakarta and Bekasi, Indonesia Website | More Information
This presentation discusses the draft of paper on Franciscan senior high schools in Indonesia to see how Franciscan philosophy regarding the environment is transformed into practice in Franciscan schools. Using mainly qualitative data gained from participant observation in two Franciscan senior high schools in Bekasi and Jakarta and interviews with leaders, teachers and students, the presentation then examines how teachers and students put the philosophy and teachings into practice. Students and teachers have a clear Franciscan identity, and the presentation explores what this means in terms of religious beliefs and attitudes towards the environment as well as motivation for pro-environment practices. Finally, the presentation explains the students’ reported environmental practices, including the challenges and the limitations.

Suhadi is a Lecturer at the State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta Indonesia. Previously he was associate researcher at the School of Social Sciences, University of Western Australia.

14:30 - SEMINAR - On the Dearth of Ethnography in Higher Education Website | More Information
Abstract:

In the decade that just passed there were some notable lamentation about the lack of attention to ethnographic research in post-secondary education, or higher education (HE) as it is better known (Thrift 2011; Pabian 2014, Iloh & Tierney 2014; Gusterson 2017). To call the level, or amount of concern significant, would be an exaggeration, but this does not mean that the claims regarding a dearth of ethnography in HE is not significant, at least for those of us with professional interest in the area. In this chapter I want to bring the concerns together into the one space, opening up an important question for any ethnographer – “what is going on here”? (Geertz 1976; Walvoord & McCarthy 1990). The question takes us to the heart of the ethnographic imaginary, or more accurately imaginaries – views and versions of ethnography after all are matters of perspective and standpoint (Massey 2004). From there, I want to explore what it means to apply ethnographic imaginaries to higher education, speculating on whether some of the various ways in which ethnography is imagined and represented hinder its adaptation into HE.

Bio:

Martin is an educational sociologist/anthropologist with particular interests in the social and cultural effects of schooling. More recently he has been paying attention to higher education, focusing on learning & teaching and the internationalization of tertiary education. Martin’s publications include books on neoliberal reform of government schooling and school choice. The range of papers reflect his interdisciplinary commitments as well as his interest in qualitative research methods. Martin recently became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Tuesday 07
13:00 - SEMINAR - The Imperial Discipline: Race and the Founding of International Relations Website | More Information
Disciplinary history defines the identity of a field of research. IR has traditionally told itself that it started in 1919 with the goal of bringing about world peace. This ‘world peace’ though, was far from the utopia we think of when we hear the term today. For the past four years, I have been writing a disciplinary history with Vineet Thakur and Peter Vale which emphasises the imperial margins in the development of IR. The project traced the ideas, institutions and methods associated with the discipline. We argue that some of the key ideas behind the discipline emerged in 19th century South Africa. These ideas then travelled to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, returned to South Africa anew and, eventually, came to India, spread by a committed network of imperial ideologues. IR’s origins, then, lie partly in the attempt to bring the empire together, to see world affairs the same way, and to better control world order. Racial ideas were central to the debates that took place within this network. This seminar will go through the argument and case studies presented in our forthcoming book The Imperial Discipline: Race and the Founding of International Relations, along with our call for plural, diverse and less US/UKcentred histories of the discipline.
Thursday 23
16:00 - SEMINAR - Aboriginal archaeological case studies in Visible and Near Infrared – Shortwave Infrared Spectroscopy Website | More Information
Abstract

Visible and Near Infrared – Short Wave Infrared spectroscopy allows the identification of molecular bonds in samples by the absorption of energy at characteristic wavelengths. An introduction to the technology is provided. Two case studies in the application of non- destructive, non-invasive VNIR-SWIR spectral technology to Aboriginal archaeology in Western Australia are discussed: Hyperspectral Core Imager analysis of a small grindstone from Red Hill Camp in Swan River People Nyoongar Country and portable VNIR-SWIR measurements on in situ rock art at Weld Range in Wajarri Yamaji Country.

Biographies

Lionel Fonteneau is a Senior Spectral Geologist at Corescan Pty Ltd and a specialist in interpretation of iron ore, nickel laterite and oil/gas hyperspectral data. He has a Masters degree in geosciences from Université de Poitiers and through Corescan he undertakes Research and Development for their cutting edge Hyperspectral Core Imagers. Karen Horn undertook an HDR Preliminary thesis at UWA in 2016. Her project investigated whether portable VNIR- SWIR could identify the molecular constituents of paints made experimentally with ochre and carriers and/or binders. The final part of the project was scoped alongside the Blood of the Red Kangaroo project (www.facebook.cm/bloodoftheredkangaroo) as a field test of VNIR-SWIR readings on painted rock art in Wajarri Country at Weld Range but due to word count limitations the results of this were not included in the thesis. Vicky Winton is a UWA Honorary researcher and consultant archaeologist. She emigrated to Western Australia from the UK in 2008 and her research interests have evolved from a doctorate on the stone artefacts of archaic humans to more diverse aspects of Aboriginal archaeology in Western Australia.

Erick Ramanaidou and Ian Lau are affiliated with CSIRO and Graham Walker is retired (formerly CSIRO).
Friday 24
12:30 - SEMINAR - Aboriginal languages use in Darwin Website | More Information
Abstract

Research on Aboriginal languages is usually conducted in remote communities. But with increasing mobility of speakers, Aboriginal language can now be heard far beyond their homelands, with social orbits taking in urban centres such as Darwin and Alice Springs. As the speakers of these languages continue to seek out new social horizons, urban language ecologies can be expected to play a key role in the future of Aboriginal languages. I here present initial findings from a project on Aboriginal language use in Darwin.

The latest census reports 1101 speakers of Aboriginal languages in Darwin (ABS 2016), though this may undercount in various ways. In my 2018-2019 fieldwork the languages I encountered most were Anindilyakwa, Burarra, Kriol, Murrinhpatha, Tiwi and Yolngu varieties, spoken by both permanent residents and visitors from remote communities. Some speakers move back and forth regularly between homelands and Darwin. There is some degree of social differentiation between those who live in mainstream housing, those who live in Aboriginal-only ‘town camps’, and those who sleep in public parks and bushland, i.e. ‘long-grassers’. Another particularly intensive site of Aboriginal language use is Darwin prison, where the majority of some 1000 prisoners speak one or more Aboriginal language. Recently there has been a push to provide more languge-appropriate rehabilitation activities for these prisoners.

Short bio

John Mansfield is a lecturer in linguistics at the University of Melbourne, and an Honorary Fellow of the Northern Institute at Charles Darwin University. He is currently working on an ARC-funded project, ‘Remotely urban: Aboriginal language use in Darwin’.

13:00 - SEMINAR - A SOCIAL SCIENCE RESPONSE TO ISOLATION IN COVID-19 TIMES Website | More Information
The current COVID-19 crisis has created a situation in which suddenly many social researchers have found themselves isolated at home, unable to move freely among the community doing the work they normally do. Researchers have suddenly found doors closed to work internationally and unable to reach their targeted communities.

This is a crisis like no other. We need to think collectively about the various ways that researchers can creatively respond to this situation.

TO DISCUSS

Identifying the current issues

Analysing the issues

Shifting approaches: past,present and into the future

Tools to overcome the issues

*We recognise that some coming and going during the symposium are inevitable and acceptable.
Thursday 30
16:00 - SEMINAR - Metal Burial: understanding caching behaviour and ‘contact’ material culture in the NE Kimberley : Archaeology Seminar Series 2020 More Information
This paper explores identity, and the impacts of cross-cultural encounters on individuals, material objects and cultural practices through a lens on cached modified metal objects and associated cultural materials from the NE Kimberley. These objects were wrapped in paperbark and weighed down within a stone rock-ring, a bundling practice also seen in human burials in this region. The utilisation of new materials (e.g. metal) with traditional techniques (edge-grinding metal into an axe) is explored. These objects and their potential owner(s) are contextualised within the invasion/ contact and particularly pastoral history of this region.

 May 2020
Friday 01
11:00 - SEMINAR - Asian Studies Seminar : The Origins of Urban Renewal in Singapore: A Transnational History Website | More Information
This paper examines the origins of urban renewal in Singapore through a transnational history lens. It focuses on the role in particular of two United Nations led teams of experts one headed by Erik Lorange and the other by Charles Abrams in the early 1960s and the impact these had on how urban renewal proceeded in Singapore’s central city area. This approach broadens the focus to encompass more than just the role played by Singapore’s Housing and Development Board and Urban Renewal Authority which dominates much of the existing scholarship. In doing so it finds that there was much more agreement between these international experts and their visions of a modern city and that of the Singaporean agencies and individuals tasked with implementing renewal. The paper finds that both the foreign experts and local authorities perceived urban renewal of Singapore’s central area (and more broadly) as a key stone in the state’s plans for national development.

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