Structures of feeling and dark laughter: A few more publications for 2019

Utter neglect has plagued this blog yet again. To my detriment I’m sure. I’ve missed opportunities to properly self-promote my work on this blog, the very place that launched my life in writing. To remedy that, here are some rather belated updates. 1. Back in February 2018, my friends Adil Johan, Nazry Bahrawi and me… Continue reading Structures of feeling and dark laughter: A few more publications for 2019

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

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

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

On Anis Sabirin the Malay feminist writer (and translation of my new column)

I cannot remember what I was doing in the British Library one fine afternoon in 2014, but I had found a who’s who of Malay literature published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. In it was a short biography of Anis Sabirin, a name I was faintly familiar with for being the singular critical voice against… Continue reading On Anis Sabirin the Malay feminist writer (and translation of my new column)

New column on the Malay Mail: Are we ready for post-nationalism?

I have a new column out on the Malay Mail, Are ready for postnationalism?, published on 13th February 2015. It’s nice to see the dust settling after a week of nationalistic confabulation. In its wake, the political appropriation of the life and achievements of Tunku Abdul Rahman last week left a distinct kind of aftertaste.… Continue reading New column on the Malay Mail: Are we ready for post-nationalism?

In supermodernity, is the subaltern a cyborg?

First published in The State on 20th January 2014. When I lived in South Jakarta, my initial access to the internet was in the nearby warnet, a portmanteau word composed of ‘warung’ (cafe or stall) and internet. The warnet was tiny and had no chairs. Planks of wood were used as benches for a dozen… Continue reading In supermodernity, is the subaltern a cyborg?

What is teh tarik enlightenment?

This is my first column on The Malay Mail, published 3rd December 2013 Jamal Al-Din Al-Afghani was something of a charismatic maverick and crusader of anti-colonial ideas in late nineteenth century Egypt. His informal engagement with the public evokes a scene not dissimilar to a small forum led by Socrates. Surrounded by earnest disciples in… Continue reading What is teh tarik enlightenment?

Despite Merdeka, we still show plenty of love for our colonial masters

Here’s some food for thought: Why did colonialism occur on our land for several hundred years? Why didn’t proto-Malaysians fight back the moment invasion was upon them? And here’s a tougher nougat for thought; despite everything, was colonialism a good thing for Malaysia? Before answering those big questions without empirical certainty, perhaps we should ask… Continue reading Despite Merdeka, we still show plenty of love for our colonial masters