What it means to be a ‘free hair’ in a predominantly Muslim society

This is an edited version of a conference and seminar paper presented at the National University of Singapore in March 2016 and Australian National University in April 2016: Women who decide to remain un-veiled or ‘free hair’ (colloquial, noun) are a significant minority within predominantly Muslim societies. Their sartorial decisions are often couched in a… Continue reading What it means to be a ‘free hair’ in a predominantly Muslim society

The rise of the modern female subject in modern Malay literature in the 1960s

The following is an excerpt from an early version of my book chapter on modernity and the ‘new woman’ in 60s Malay literature. It’ll be discussed at my public talk this Saturday in Silverfish Books, Kuala Lumpur: Extant literature in both Malay and English makes it rather clear that there appears to be a divide… Continue reading The rise of the modern female subject in modern Malay literature in the 1960s

Public talk: Women writers on gender and sexuality in 60’s Malay literature

I will be giving a public talk this coming Saturday, 30th April 2016 (5-7 pm), in Silverfish Books in Kuala Lumpur based on a forthcoming book chapter entitled ‘The New Malay Woman: The rise of modern female subject and transnational encounters in postcolonial Malay literature.’ Synopsis of my talk: The new Malay woman in modern… Continue reading Public talk: Women writers on gender and sexuality in 60’s Malay literature

The object of feminist reading groups

I have organised three feminist reading group meetings at the women’s organisation and advocacy centre, AWAM, in Petaling Jaya (see here, here, and here for details) between December 2015 to March 2016. Considering the limited means of publicity at my disposal, the three meetings were nonetheless a success at getting people to engage rather deeply,… Continue reading The object of feminist reading groups

The Lower Gladstone Link in the Bodleian Library

Many who enter the hallowed halls of libraries, universities, and colleges will find that rooms, parts of and entire buildings are named after people, very usually men. These people and their families have bequeathed large sums to make such an infrastructure possible for the benefit of knowledge. And for that, we all are very grateful.… Continue reading The Lower Gladstone Link in the Bodleian Library

Sound, fury and écriture féminine in Violette (2013): a review

When I first heard about the film Violette (2013, dir. Martin Provost), I had little knowledge about the life and work of the French writer, Violette Leduc (1907-1972), on which the film was based. What drew me to the film was the fact that she was one time a protégé of Simone de Beauvoir. Imagine… Continue reading Sound, fury and écriture féminine in Violette (2013): a review

Alat-alat tukang kepunyaan penindas tidak akan meruntuhkan rumah penindas

“Alat-alat tukang kepunyaan penindas tidak akan meruntuhkankan rumah penindas. Alat-alat itu boleh menewaskan penindas hanya buat seketika, namun ia tidak akan menjamin perubahan yang murni. Perkauman dan homofobia adalah perkara yang kian dialami oleh kita semua. Saya menyeru kepada semua untuk menyelam ke dalam minda masing-masing dan ‘menyentuh’ unsur-unsur yang menimbulkan ketakutan dan kejelekan yang… Continue reading Alat-alat tukang kepunyaan penindas tidak akan meruntuhkan rumah penindas