Comments on Alluring Monsters: The Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization

On 28th January 2022, I was invited to discuss Rosalind Galt’s new book, Alluring Monsters: The Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization (Columbia University Press) at NTU’s Asian Cinema Research Lab. We had a great audience and Rosalind was superb. The following are my comments on her book, soon to be published in the journal of… Continue reading Comments on Alluring Monsters: The Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization

The New Malay Woman, a modern cosmopolitan subject

Plenty of research are re-discovering cosmopolitan female subjects and the ‘modern girl’ in the late colonial and early postcolonial eras. In my own work, I’ve added to the list the ‘New Malay Woman’ who was more than a consumer and image, but a literary voice and agent of change: [She is ] independent, highly-educated, urban… Continue reading The New Malay Woman, a modern cosmopolitan subject

On being like Robyn Penrose

Robyn Penrose is a newly minted lecturer in women’s studies and English literature who specialises in the ‘industrial novel’, fiction written in the mid-1800’s that reflected the values and anxieties of the British industrial revolution. She is a feminist academic with an unflagging belief in uprooting social injustice inside and outside the classroom. She joins… Continue reading On being like Robyn Penrose

Just two foreign single women getting drunk in Paris: femininity adrift in Good Morning, Midnight (1939) and The Dud Avocado (1958)

Sasha Jansen and Sally Jay Gorce are the quintessential flâneuse in the birth city of the flânerie, Paris. They represent two sides of the flâneuse’s emotional inner landscape; aimless, lonely, and morally suspect on the one hand, freewheeling and liberated on the other. As single women, they defy the expectations of women in the city… Continue reading Just two foreign single women getting drunk in Paris: femininity adrift in Good Morning, Midnight (1939) and The Dud Avocado (1958)

Mummy issues: the reproduction of motherhood in Elena Ferrante’s Troubling Love

The mother-daughter relationship can be the greatest cause of vexation in a woman’s life. This is a platitude no doubt and a sweeping generalisation as many are lucky to have a really splendid mother-daughter relationship. Happy or not, it is characterised by maternal projections of hope, insecurities, anxiety, and disappointments. A mother conceives not just… Continue reading Mummy issues: the reproduction of motherhood in Elena Ferrante’s Troubling Love

Living as though dead: the dark power of Natsume Sōseki’s Kokoro

The intertwining themes of living dishonorably and dying honorably form the linchpin of Natsume Sōseki’s dark and desolate landmark 1914 novel, Kokoro (Heart). Consumed by guilt of possibly causing his best friend’s suicide in decades prior, the unnamed protagonist Sensei (or literally, ‘Teacher’) takes his own life ‘for the spirit of the Meiji’. In Kokoro,… Continue reading Living as though dead: the dark power of Natsume Sōseki’s Kokoro

My first book: Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema

I feel pleased and humbled to announce the publication of my first book, Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema (2017 Palgrave Macmillan. Chapters can purchased separately here) based on my field research between 2011 and 2012 in Jakarta and Yogyakarta where I was privileged to interview film directors, film producers, festival organisers, film critics and enthusiasts in… Continue reading My first book: Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema

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