How should we frame our study of literature? Should we attempt to imagine a national tradition, or move beyond the nation through a stress either on the diversity of world literature, or a conscious breaking of cultural boundaries? Our panelists will stir the pot.
Loh Chin Ee – Reimagining Singapore through a National Canon/Curriculum
Loh Chin Ee broaches the idea of a national canon and argues for Singapore literature’s place in curriculums. Art education in Singapore has come a long way, but still lacks the much-needed focus on Singapore literature. Struck by her experiences overseas, Chin Ee found that our neighbours in Southeast Asia boast accomplished literary histories, and that Singapore should draw on its multicultural, multilinguistic richness in the quest to develop a national curriculum. The regional and international connections would be important to understand the nature of works that can be selected to be included in the Singapore canon, and what represents Singapore best.
Suzanne Choo – Cosmopolitanizing Literature Education in Singapore: Rethinking Why and How We Teach Literature
Literature education in Singapore schools has historically centered on aesthetic appreciation of texts. In this paper, I explore what it means to cosmopolitanize literature education, by which I mean to consider ways that it can equip students to understand, empathize, and engage with multiple and marginalized communities in the world. When ethics rather than aesthetics becomes the end goal of literature education, literature teachers may be empowered to provide space for diverse voices and texts, to apply pedagogical approaches that encourage transnational comparison and interruption, and to encourage assessments that empower students to be active, performative citizens of the world.
Zhou Decheng – Zoo as Metaphor: The Paradigm Shift from a Singapore “Chinese Literature” to “Literature in Chinese” Education in the Global Asian Sinophone
Through the metaphor of zoos, this presentation views the choice of literature texts and genres selected in school literature syllabus similar to the collection of different animals kept in various zoo institutions. In order to be forwardlooking, with the change of the larger Sinophone landscape and the reconstructing of Southeast Asian and Asian identities, I will propose a possible framework to construct the future Chinese-language literature course, which transcends both spatial and linguistic borders, but maintains a Singaporean identity, so as to nurture future patrons, critics and creators of the linguistic arts ecosystem.
Admission: Free. Please register at http://peatix.com/event/153635
Venue: Centre 42, 42 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187951
When: 14 Apr 2016, 7.30pm