Singapore Culture and Literature in English is a significant area of focus in NTU English. Literary and cultural expression are an indispensable part of Singapore’s identity, manifesting both the commonality and multicultural richness of Singaporeans as a people. The stories, poems, plays and other imaginative artistic genres engage and challenge us with issues and shared experiences of the city-state’s people that span the entirety of the colonial era, the immediate nation-building years after independence, and right to our contemporary moment. Research and teaching interests at NTU English cover fiction, poetry, theatre, film and visual culture, and includes emergent areas of narrative study, such as Illness Narratives in the city-state, and related areas of interest such as Aesthetics and Ethics in contemporary Singapore literature. The department has close ties to the local literary and artistic scenes and has a creative writing programme which hosts writing residencies for national and international writers. In addition, NTU is home to Singapore Literature in English: An Annotated Bibliography, which is the first digital bibliography of the entire body of the nation’s literature written in the English language and in translation. NTU English is committed to Singapore Literature and Culture being a vital part of a larger comprehension of literature in English as a subject of study.
Faculty publications in this area, and in the related field of postcolonial studies, include The Asian Modern: Culture, Capitalist Development, Singapore by C. J. Wan-ling Wee (NUS Press, 2007), Sim Wai Chew’s 2019 translation of Singapore Chinese author Chia Joo Ming’s (谢裕民) novel Exile or Pursuit, Bede Scott’s Affective Disorders: Emotion in Colonial and Postcolonial Literature (Liverpool University Press, 2019), and Shirley Chew’s introduction to Madeleine Lee’s, ‘impermanence: poems 2003—2022’ (firstfruits publications, 2023).