DEBATING SINGAPORE'S SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC HISTORY
2016/2017, Semester 1
Non-Faculty-Based Departments (College of Alice & Peter Tan)
Modular Credits: 4
Singapore has passed through different phases in her economic and social history, in each of which there can be a debate about whether there were alternatives that could have been followed which would have led to a different history for Singapore. This course will examine these phases and the debate that could be engaged during that phase. Three field trips will be organised to enable students to view Singapore as it was in the past as seen from the present to help in the debate.
There are no prerequisites except an open mind and the necessity to ask questions.
There will be a three hour seminar each week on Mondays from 10 am to 1 pm in CAPT seminar room 3 for thirteen teaching weeks. For three weeks there will be a field trip instead of a seminar as history can be understood through the ground and not only through writings. These field trips are organised by the National Heritage Board: a minibus will leave the College at 9.30 am in the morning, and return at 1 pm after the briefing done in the heritage site. Do take notes or photos in these 3 visits, as you are required to write a reflection after each of these trips.
(1)Monday 8 August
Was the founding of Singapore in 1819 deliberate or circumstantial?
(2)Monday 15 August
Guest speaker: Mr.Kwa Chong Guan
(3)Monday 22 August
Could the setting up of the Straits dollar in 1899 have been avoided?
(4)Monday 29 August
lst Field trip to the "Jewish quarter"
(5)Monday 5 September
Guest speaker: Mrs.Rosemary Khoo and lecture on the role of Chinese leaders
(6)Monday 12 September
Could the British expand to the Malay peninsula without Singapore?
MONDAY 19 SEPTEMBER NO CLASS (mid-semester recess)
(7)Monday 26 September
2nd Field trip to the "three pillars of the Chinese community".
(8)Monday 3 October
Could the fall of Singapore in 1942 been avoided?
(9)Monday 10 October
Could the administrative separation of Singapore in 1946 been avoided?
(10)Monday 17 October
3rd Field trip to the catholic cathedral and Prinsep St. Presbyterian Church.
(11)Monday 24 October
Could the separation of Singapore from Malaysia been avoided?
(12)Monday 31 October
How Singapore survived and guest speaker: Mr.J.Y.Pillay, Rector of CAPT
(13)Monday 7 November
Can Singapore survive without foreigners?
Singapore as run by the East India Company: session 1, 2
Singapore as part of the colony of the Straits Settlements: session 3,4,5,6,7 and 8
Singapore as a colony by itself and part of Malaysia: session 9 and 10
Singapore as an independent republic: session 11, 12 and 13
The debate about Singapore is about its identity arising out of an interplay between forms of governance and people. The British founded Singapore as a trading settlement out of maritime rivalry (session 1) on a deserted island (session 2). Traders came who were moulded into an economic unit through British-initiated currency (session 3): these traders were cosmopolitan (session 4 and 5). The expansion of British rule to adjoining territory enabled Singapore to grow further (session 6). Singapore became a Chinese community (session 7) but its very success attracted a foreign invasion (session 8) which led to a change in the way Singapore was governed (session 9). Yet people were held together by their faith (session 10): Singapore became part of Malaysia (session 11) only to be ejected. However its identity held firm after independence (session 12): the future will test whether this identity will survive (session 13).
There is no practical work except for 3 field trips.
After each field trip, students will write a one page report on their reflections: each reflection 20%, total 60%. Due in the last week of the semester is a 2000 word essay on a topic to be chosen from a list given (40%).
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week