The Makers and Keepers of Singapore History








In exploring the past, researchers labour in the present: to locate the archival document which is located somewhere behind a gate with its keeper; or to find that elusive participant who will throw light on a gap in our knowledge, and convince them to speak. The Makers and Keepers of Singapore History meditates on this relationship between past and present in a developmental city-state. It discusses how researchers seek to gain entry to archives and memories, in endeavours which crucially shape the imagination of Singapore as a nation and the identity of its people as citizens.


Part 1 – History & The Gates

Chp 1: Encounters at the Gates – Loh Kah Seng

Chp 2: Walls, Gates and Locks: Reflections on Sources for Research on Student Political Activism – Huang Jianli

Chp 3: Archival Records in the Writing of Singapore History: A Perspective from the Archives – Kwa Chong Guan and Ho Chi Tim

Part 2 – Front Gates

Chp 4: Traversing the Boundaries of Historical Research: From the Singapore River to the Kra Canal – Stephen Dobbs

Chp 5: Seeking the Bukit Ho Swee Fire – Loh Kah Seng

Chp 6: Research on Rural Associations in the Early Phase of Nation-building in Singapore – C. C. Chin

Chp 7: An Insider’s Research into Buddhist History – Jack Chia Meng Tat

Chp 8: Archaeology and its Role in the Construction of Singapore History – Derek Heng

Chp 9: The National Museum as Maker and Keeper of Singapore History – Kevin Y. L. Tan

Part 3 – Side Gates

Chp 10: Perils and Prospects of Researching the Maria Hertogh Controversy – Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied

Chp 11: Making and Keeping the History of the US Involvement in Singapore – S. R. Joey Long

Chp 12: The United States, the Cold War and Countersubversion in Singapore – P. J. Thum

Chp 13: Writing Diplomatic History: A Personal Journey – Ang Cheng Guan

Chp 14: Digging up the Past in Singapore, Mainland China and Taiwan: Research into the Overseas Chinese Merchants in the China-Singapore Trade – Jason Lim

Part 4 – Memory Gates

Chp 15: Singapore Memories: Remembering, and the Makers and Keepers of Singapore History – Ernest Koh Wee Song

Chp 16: Oral History as a Product of Malleable and Shifting Memories in Singapore – Kevin Blackburn

Chp 17: The Women I Met – Lai Ah Eng

Chp 18: Researcher Positionalities, Moral Gatekeeping and Knowledge Production: Some Thoughts on Doing Research on the Samsui Women in Singapore – Kelvin E. Y. Low

Chp 19: A Diaspora at War: National and Transnational Narratives of Singapore’s Second World War – Ernest Koh Wee Song

Chp 20: A Personal Journey in Search of Art and Society in Singapore – Lim Cheng Tju

Chp 21: Coming to Terms with Relocation and Loss: Interviews on Diminishing Memories – Eng Yee Peng

Chp 22: Film and the Making and Keeping of Singapore History and Memory:A Dialogue with Martyn See and Tan Pin Pin moderated by Loh Kah Seng

Chp 23:The ‘Detention-Writing-Healing’ Forum, 2006: A Public Oral History of Former Leftists

For more information about the book and reviews, visit The Makers & Keepers of Singapore History.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s