My talk is about Yeo Hui Xuan's comic Dream Walker, which began publication in 2009. The comic spans three series of trade paperback volumes and Yeo is currently working on a fourth series. Dream Walker stands out among twenty-first century graphic narratives from Singapore for its long run and for featuring a female protagonist, Yume. Yume can be read as a mahō shōjo (magical girl) character who is a struggling student by day but a guardian of the dream world by night. Using Jacqueline Berndt's concept of the manga-esque and other approaches from comics and gender studies, I discuss how Dream Walker is not only a Singaporean glocalization of Japanese manga style and conventions but also offers a figure to think about representations of gender and identity in Singapore today.
About the Speaker
Weihsin Gui is Associate Professor of English at the University of California-Riverside. He is the author of National Consciousness and Literary Cosmopolitics (2013) and the editor of Common Lines and City Spaces (2014), an essay collection on Singaporean poet Arthur Yap. He also co-edited a 2016 special issue of the journal Interventions about Singaporean literature and culture. Notable among his numerous publications about Southeast Asian literature are his essay on “Contemporary Literature From Singapore” in the online Oxford Research Encyclopedia for Literature (2017) and a chapter on “Narrating the Global South East Asian Diaspora” in Volume 10 of the Oxford History of the Novel in English (2019).