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Hang Tuah in a Time of Independence: Malay Texts in the 1950s and 1960s
Saturday, 21 October 2017
2:00pm – 3:00pm
Level 5, Possibility Room
Speaker: Associate Professor Timothy P. Barnard
This talk will be conducted in English
One of the great heroes of the Malay world, the legend of Hang Tuah centres on loyalty to family, friends and the ruler. The legend is found in numerous accounts in various manuscripts over the past 400 years. This talk will trace the development of Hang Tuah’s image in the original source materials through to comics and film in the mid-20th century. In the modern genres of literature, Hang Tuah’s loyalty to the sultan – a symbol of traditional subservience – becomes controversial, making his role ambivalent. This development is particularly significant during a period in which colonialism, loyalty and individualism became contested values as Singapore and Malaya moved towards independence.
Timothy P. Barnard is an associate professor in the Department of History, National University of Singapore. His research has focused on a range of topics including state formation in the 18th-century Strait of Melaka, Malay identity throughout history, Malay film in the 1950s and Singapore’s environmental history.
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