Junior Scholar Seminar on Nantah

Events / Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

Nanyang University has an outsized place in the story of Malayan decolonization, symbolizing community-led educational pathways towards a postcolonial future. However, as a product of Asia’s Cold War, Nanyang University was also one node within a broader Cold War educational infrastructure entangled within American-led efforts to retain Free Chinese elites within Free Asia. Drawing on U.S.-based archives, Joshua Tan argues that beyond the proto-nationalist stories of activist students and enterprising merchants, more attention should be paid to the diverse experiences of Nanyang’s transnational Chinese faculty, for a fuller appreciation of mutual imbrications between diasporic Chinese higher education and American Cold War agendas.

Joshua Tan is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of California, Santa Cruz, specializing in the histories of modern China, Chinese migration and diaspora, the Cold War in Asia, and global Christianity. His dissertation is titled: “Schooling Free Asia: Diasporic Chinese and Educational Activism in the Transpacific Cold War.”


Wayne Soon, University of Minnesota


Department of History, University of California, Santa Cruz

This event is part of AcademiaSG’s Singapore Studies Junior Scholar Seminar Series.