Loh Kah Seng
-Academic Qualifications: PhD (History), Murdoch University 2009
-Research Interests: Disasters in history, Singapore and Malayan history (postwar, colonial), Urban social history, Squatters and slum dwellers, History of medicine, Oral history ; memory, Student activism, Archival access
Loh Kah Seng’s research investigates little-studied subjects in the social and cultural history of Singapore and Malaysia and explores linkages between the past and the present in public history, oral history, social memory, and heritage. He is author of two books, “Making and Unmaking the Asylum: Leprosy and Modernity in Singapore and Malaysia” (SIRD 2009) and “The Makers and Keepers of Singapore History” (co-edited, Ethos Books & Singapore Heritage Society 2010). He has two forthcoming books, “The University Socialist Club and the Contest for Malaya: Tangled Strands of Modernity” (co-authored, Amsterdam University Press 2012) and on the 1961 Bukit Ho Swee fire (under review). He has also published numerous articles in peer-reviewed history, Asian studies and interdisciplinary journals. His other research includes the British military withdrawal from Singapore, interdisciplinary approaches to oral history and memory in Southeast Asia and urban natural disasters in the region. He was previously a history teacher and still speaks to students and teachers about the joys and challenges of researching the past.
-Main Research Achievements:
1.‘The British Military Withdrawal from Singapore and the Anatomy of a Catalyst’. In Derek Heng and Syed Khairudin Aljunied eds. Singapore in Global History. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011: 185-204.
2.‘“No more road to walk”: Cultures of Heritage and Leprosariums in Singapore and Malaysia’. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 17 (3), 2011: 230-44.
3.The Makers and Keepers of Singapore History. Co-edited with Liew Kai Khiun. Singapore: Ethos Books and Singapore Heritage Society, 2010.
4.Making and Unmaking the Asylum: Leprosy and Modernity in Singapore and Malaysia. Petaling Jaya: SIRD, 2009.
5.‘Kampong, Fire, Nation: Towards a Social History of Postwar Singapore’. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 40 (3), October 2009: 613-43.
6.‘Change and Conflict at the Margins: Emergency Kampong Clearance and the Making of Modern Singapore’. Asian Studies Review, 33 (2), June 2009: 139-59.
7.‘The Politics of Fires in Post-1950s Singapore and the Making of a Modernist Nation-State’. Book chapter in Derek Heng and Syed Khairudin eds. Reframing Singapore: Memory, Identity and Trans-Regionalism (Selected Papers from the 5th International Conference of Asian Scholars). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009: 89-108.
8.‘The Left-Wing Trade Unions in Singapore, 1945-1970’. Book chapter co-authored with Michael Fernandez in Michael Barr and Carl Trocki eds. Paths Not Taken: Political Pluralism in Postwar Singapore. Singapore: NUS Press, 2008: 206-27.
9.‘“Our lives are bad but our luck is good”: A Social History of Leprosy in Singapore’. Social History of Medicine, 21 (2), 2008: 291-309.
10.‘Records and Voices of Social History: The Case of the Great Depression in Singapore’. Tonan Ajia Kenkyu (Southeast Asian Studies). 44 (1), 2006: 31-54.
11.‘Within the Singapore Story: The Use and Narrative of History in Singapore’. Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. 12 (2), 1998: 1-21.