Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - NUS
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) is increasingly recognised as an important centre for scholarship on Southeast Asia. Its attention to Southeast Asia echoes resoundingly through all of its departments and programmes.
The Southeast Asian Studies Programme (SEASP) spearheads FASS’s scholarly consideration of Southeast Asia, adopting an interdisciplinary approach towards matters ranging from the region’s prehistory to contemporary issues. A more disciplinary approach towards Southeast Asia continues at the departments of Communications and New Media, Economics, English Language and Literature, Geography, History, Malay Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, and Sociology which have a substantial number of Southeast Asianists in their ranks. The SEASP and individual departments regularly come together and collaborate, reflecting global academic trends toward interdisciplinary inquiry. This is further enhanced by a faculty initiative of six specifically dedicated research clusters focusing on important themes affecting contemporary society. Even faculty in other area-based fields like American, European, Japanese Studies and South Asian Studies reflect this attention towards Southeast Asia by paying attention to the region’s interaction with each respective area.
Students at FASS also contribute to this Southeast Asian focus with the burgeoning graduate student community focusing on Southeast Asian topics emerging as a site of mature reflection on the region. This is also true of upperclassmen as seen in a perusal of honours thesis topics in the recent past. Such student orientation and interest is attributable in part to the faculty’s ability to offer a large number of modules on diverse topics and themes on Southeast Asia.
FASS also shares their scholarly resources on Southeast Asia with other centres of learning. For instance, in 2006, the FASS Summer School: "Southeast Asia in Context” brought together undergraduates from Yale University and NUS for five weeks in Singapore. These students made field-trips to Singapore, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand besides taking three different modules, namely Southeast Asia in Context, History of Southeast Asia, and Southeast Asia's Cultural Mosaic. Also in 2006, FASS played host to undergraduates from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Stanford University who came to Singapore as part of a module on Southeast Asia at their respective universities.