Global Asia Cluster

The Global Asia cluster tracks the rise of Asia and studies the region from an interconnected global-contextualist perspective. Research will explore global and local issues such as social change, economic development, ethnic and cultural identity, and multilingualism

Cluster Coordinators
Zhan Shaohua Zhan Shaohua's research interests include Economic sociology; Global development; Historical sociology; Labor migration; and China studies​. His research primarily focuses on China including labor migration, the hukou system, rural development, land issues, food security, urbanization and state-society relations​.​
Kei Koga Kei Koga's research interests include international relations theory, international security, international institutions, institutional changes, and East Asian regional security, with current research focus on U.S.-bilateral security networks and ASEAN–led institutions. He has published on topics that include East Asian security, U.S. and Japanese foreign policies, the U.S.-Japan alliance, and ASEAN. Previously, he served as a Vasey Fellow at the Pacific Forum CSIS in 2009–2010 and as the RSIS-MacArthur visiting associate fellow at the RSIS, NTU in 2010.
Cluster Members
Alexander Coupe Analysis of tone systems, phonetics and phonology, the role of pragmatics in grammar, case marking systems, morphosyntax, clause linkage, nominalization, grammaticalization and language contact.
Francesco Cavallaro Francesco Cavallaro is primarily a sociolinguist, but also conducts research in applied linguistics. His training in analysing linguistics issues in multilingual communities has been put to use in the fertile context of Singapore where bilingualism is a norm and multilingualism influences every aspect of the society. Hence, his current research direction involves exploring language attitudes, identity and language shift in this multilingual context.
Francis Bond Francis is an active member of the Deep Linguistic Processing with HPSG Initiative (DELPH-IN) and the Global WordNet Association. His main research interest is in natural language understanding.
Goh Geok Yian Goh Geok Yian teaches Southeast Asian history and culture at HSS. Geok’s research interests include archaeology and early history of Southeast Asia, with particular focus on Burma and mainland Southeast Asia, world history and civilizations, classical and modern Burmese literature, and early networks connecting Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean and South China Sea.
Potential areas of collaboration with other members include: a) how earlier connections can be rendered more comprehensible to scholars, students, and the general public through new media, b) how to preserve and conserve these materials which are increasingly subjected to destruction, c) create an emotive bond between younger generations and the place they inhabit which comes not from the pursuit of material gain, but from understanding of their society’s culture, history, heritage, and language.
K.K. Luke Interaction between tone and intonation; Prosody in Conversational Interaction; Conversation Analysis; English and Chinese grammar; Chinese Linguistics; History and structure of Cantonese; Language and Cognitive Neuroscience; Corpus Linguistics; Natural Language Processing.
Kamaludeen Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir recently received his PhD from the University of Western Sydney before taking up the Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship with the Singapore National Library. His recent books and articles include Muslims as Minorities: History and Social Realities of Muslims in Singapore, Muslims in Singapore: Piety, Politics and Policies, Dipesh Chakrabarty’s Provincializing Europe Project, Rethinking the 'Malay Problem' in Singapore: Image, Rhetoric and Social Realities and Defensive Dining: Notes on the Public Dining Experiences in Singapore.
Kwan Sze Pui Uganda Uganda Sze Pui Kwan research interests include modern Chinese literature and translation studies. She has so far published for more than 40 pieces of journal articles and book chapters in English, Chinese and Japanese. She is currently working on two monographs about the British interpreters in Asia in the 19th Century.
Leong Ping, Alvin Leong Ping, Alvin's research interests is in systemic functional grammar/linguistics, discourse analysis, and literacy studies.
Li Chenyang Chenyang is writing a book manuscript tentatively entitled “Li as Cultural Grammar: Seminal Ideas of Pre-imperial Confucianism” and several journal articles.
Liu Hong Liu Hong’s key research interests covers the China rising and implications for Southeast and East Asia; Chinese international migration, nationalism, transnationalism, and globalization; Transnational history of modern China/Asia; Globalization and international talent strategies; Political and cultural history of postcolonial Southeast Asia.
Ng Bee Chin Bee Chin works mainly in the area of bilingualism and multilingualism with a focus on the impact on language contact on individuals and the community they live in. Her research is interdisciplinary in nature and her collaboration with Halina Gottlieb from the Interactive Institute in Stockholm has focused her work on the role of language as a critical aspect of intangible heritage. Together, they founded an interdisciplinary research cluster, DIHA – Digital Intangible Heritage of Asia.  
Premchand Dommaraju Premchand Dommaraju's research interest is in Social demography of South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia, Fertility and reproductive health, Ageing and mortality and Marriage and divorce patterns
Randy John LaPolla My work on the intersection of Sino-Tibetan historical linguistics, pragmatics, and linguistic typology has led me to an understanding of communication that is based only on ostension (showing the desire to communicate) and abductive inference without any coding or decoding. This view entails that each language is unique, and necessarily reflects the cultural and cognitive categories (world view) of the speakers. I would like to develop a large multidisciplinary project to test this view of communicative behavior.
Shirley Sun ​Dr. Shirley Sun studies family, population and genomic medicine in global contexts.
Tan Ying Ying Tan Ying Ying is trained as a phonetician. Her research in phonetics has focused largely on the prosody (stress, intonation, rhythm) of Singapore English and other languages in Singapore, with particular attention to social-indexical variation, ethnic differentiation and substrate influence. Her current research inquiry concerns the constitution of the Singaporean accent. Besides Singapore English, she is also interested in the tonology of Southern Min languages such as Teochew and Hokkien. A firm believer in interdisciplinarity, she is engaged in understanding and analyzing language policy and planning through the lenses of cultural theory and contemporary thought. She has published in areas as phonetics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics and cultural theory.
Teo You Yenn You Yenn’s current work looks at how welfare policies are conceptualized in Singapore. She is interested in how citizens are defined and produced through welfare policies, and the class and gender inequalities that are generated through welfare approaches. In collaboration with colleagues in the Sociology departments at NTU and NUS, she is also starting on a project that examines the experiences of poverty in Singapore.
Yow Cheun Hoe His academic interest is in Chinese diaspora, particularly topics pertaining to relations between Chinese overseas and China, Chinese migration and new migrants, and Chinese writers and their works.
Winnie Sung Hiu-Chuk ​Winnie's grant allows her to work on a project on self-knowledge that seeks to examine the nature of self-knowledge. The questions to be addressed include what self-knowledge is, how we come to know ourselves, the relation between self-knowledge and agency, the relation between self-knowledge and emotions, and the possibility of lacking self-knowledge. A distinctive feature of this project is that it will draw on insights from both Chinese and Anglo-American philosophies. The nature of the project is not comparative; rather, as a start-up project, it has the more modest goal of letting the ideas between these two traditions to first flow and exchange.


Faculty and researchers from the following disciplines (not exhaustive), Schools, and research centres could participate in this research thrust:

Linguistics and Multilingual StudiesChineseSociologyPsychology
EnglishHistoryPhilosophyLanguage and Communication Centre
Centre for Modern Languages​Centre for Chinese Language and CultureChinese Heritage Centre (part of NTU after Oct 2011)WKWSCI
Institute for Media Innovation    
Globally, Asia's dramatic rise in importance can be seen as key countries emerge as major economic powerhouses with a dynamism forecasted to herald the coming of the Asian Century. The need is for better innovative interdisciplinary research drawing upon the disciplines’ unique contributions to understand critical issues within Asia.
Strengths include:

·        Language, Chinese culture and philosophy
·        Ethnic Chinese studies
·        Documentation and archiving of Asian languages and cultures
·        Linguistic and sociological issues relevant to Singapore and other multilingual communities in Asia
·        Identity and migration issues
·        Politics and public administration
·        Study in multilingualism and pluralism
·        Machine translation involving different languages such as English, Chinese, Japanese etc.
·        Cultural psychology
The New Silk Road, Innovation Asia, and New Media 

Funding could come from NTU, the College and the School as well as local Chinese and Indian business communities. Interested faculty could also apply for grants from national and international funding organisations.

Activities could include the setting up of a Centre which will bring together researchers in a variety of disciplines who share an interest in Asian languages and cultures, and to provide leadership for research in this field. The Centre could provide for a number of research programs and initiatives under its guiding theme. It may also include the publications of international journals in the areas of Asia and migration studies as well as cultural studies. 

Globalisation, China studies, Contemporary China, Chinese culture and philosophy, Inter-generational mobility, disapora, Transnational migration, Family, gender and welfare in Asia, Demography, Nuclear politics, Multilingual communities, Social transformation in East and South Asia, Multilingualism and pluralism, Language death, Cultural identity.
No upcoming events planned by Global Asia cluster. Stay tuned to future updates.