Junior Scholar Seminar: Notions of death in 1950s Malay magazines

Academic Views, Events / Saturday, June 8th, 2024

Friday 14 June 2024, 8pm

This presentation explores the circulation of knowledge about death and its eschatology in Malay print publications of the 1950s. Most of the early articles were grounded on Islamic interpretations of life and deed. The argument herein is to sketch a cultural consciousness of death and dying as disseminated by the editor of Qalam, one of the magazines for the local Jawi-reading community. The author of one such article, for example, adopts a teleological approach to apprehending death under the Islamic exegesis. The transactional consequences of vital actions and behaviour appear to be representative in popular songs and films of the period.

Pow Jun Kai, PhD, is a cultural historian specialising in gender, music and media technology of twentieth-century Southeast Asia and Western Europe. He studied for a BMus (Hons) at the University of Birmingham, and then moved to King’s College London, where he completed an MA (Distinction) and PhD in Historical Musicology. He was appointed Research Fellow at the University of Leiden, Uppsala University, the National Library and National Museum of Singapore.


Farish A. Noor, Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia