Men in Black or White: History as Media Event in Singapore

Men in Black or White: History as Media Event in Singapore

This forum is brought to you by Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore in collaboration with National Library Singapore.

The book, Men in White: the untold story of Singapore’s ruling party, has created a sensation in the mass media since its release in September 2009. Written by three senior journalists from The Straits Times and commissioned and published by Singapore Press Holdings, Men in White was publicized extensively in the print and cyber media. The book became an immediate bestseller in Singapore and generated buzz not only locally but reportedly in Asia as well. The media blitz surrounding Men in White turned on its claim to offer an accessible and unbiased history of the ruling PAP government and of post-World War Two Singapore history in general. Yet, this claim quickly provoked challenges and invited critical scrutiny of its contents and research methodology from different quarters in the country. For several months following the book’s launch, history took centerstage in the nation’s mass media.

This seminar is the first public forum since the launch of the book to examine Men in White as a sensation generated from the intersection between history and the mass media. Discussion will revolve around the popularization of history by non-professional historians, the writing and consumption of history in the mass media, the internet and the democratization of history as well as the specific impact of the book on the state of Singapore writing and historiography.

Date: 16 Jan 2010
Time: 14:30 – 18:00
Venue: The National Library Building The POD, Level 16, 100 Victoria Street Singapore 188064

To register, follow the link here.

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