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This series highlights research on historical and related matters in Singapore and the region, creating an appreciation of the role of humanities and social science research in contemporary society.
What was the May Fourth Movement and what did it mean for Singapore? Perspectives on its hundredth anniversary
2019 marks the centennial of the May Fourth Movement, but what exactly did it represent? In this discussion, we reflect on the legacy and commemoration of the movement, both in Singapore and beyond, and what it means with regard to the use and meaning of history in public life.
Thursday, 28 November 2019
7.00 pm – 8.30 pm
Level 5, Possibility Room
National Library Building
Els van Dongen is an Assistant Professor of History at the Nanyang Technological University. She teaches and writes about 20th-century Chinese thought and Chinese migration and how the two intersect. She is the author of Realistic Revolution: Contesting Chinese History, Culture, and Politics After 1989 (Cambridge UP, 2019).
David Kenley is the Director of the Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking and a Professor of Chinese History at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, USA. He is the author of New Culture in a New World: The May Fourth Movement and the Chinese Diaspora in Singapore, 1919-1932 (2003, 2007, and 2013) and the editor of Contested Community: Identities, Spaces, and Hierarchies of the Chinese in the Cuban Republic (2017). He is fascinated with the role memorials and commemorations play in constructing and perpetuating public memory. He is currently researching the role of NGOs in peacemaking activities in early 20th century China.
Huang Jianli is an Associate Professor at the Department of History of the National University of Singapore. His book, The Politics of Depoliticization in Republican China (1996, 2nd edition 1999), was translated into Chinese in 2010. He is also the author of The Scripting of a National History: Singapore and Its Pasts (2008, with Hong Lysa). His co-edited works include Power and Identity in the Chinese World Order (2003) and Macro Perspectives and New Directions in the Studies of Chinese Overseas (Chinese, 2002).