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From the pre-modern to contemporary periods, Singapore has had a vibrant history of being imagined as a utopia. Most of these were top-down political narratives, but it was with the onset of print media that utopia began to be packaged as a commodity. Focusing on print advertisements from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this talk will examine specific imaginings of the Singapore Dream. In doing so, it aims to unveil the underlying prevailing worldviews that dominated these periods, while also making the case that the study of popular culture is serious business.
This session will also feature a short 15-minute presentation by SUTD students about their digital exhibits for 'Selling Dreams: Early Advertising in Singapore'.
About the Speaker
Dr. Nazry Bahrawi is senior lecturer at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). As a literary critic, he specialises in the comparative study of Muslim texts, thoughts and traditions of Indian Ocean cultures between Southeast Asia and the Middle East.