Organized Panel Session
The management of difference has been a key aspect of Singapore both as a colonial city and as a postcolonial nation state. This management of difference has also taken various forms across different nation-states in Southeast Asia. In this panel, we explore this state governmentality by considering racial, youth, mad and disabled bodies spanning both colonial and postcolonial Singapore. In the interest of a cohesive colonial/national community, both the colonial and postcolonial state has endeavoured to smooth over rough edges. We interrogate the ways in which the state has sought to discipline such unruly bodies and the tactics and technologies which were deployed. This panel also adopts critical and historically situated perspectives on state governmentality so as to illustrates the tensions, problems and resistances in managing such bodies. We bring these perspectives into conversation with the aspirations and desires of such bodies within the question of both colonial and postcolonial futures.
In the context of continued statehood and nation building in Southeast Asia, these questions surrounding the management of difference will be key as we turn to the future. The panel hopes to draw links between colonial and postcolonial Singapore and the imagined futures that are espoused within discourses surrounding such bodies. The panel’s aim is to forge new lines of inquiries into colonial and postcolonial Singapore by focusing on these ignored and taken for granted aspects of society