Title Date & Time
Propagating the Singapore Model: Geographic Imaginaries of Urban Renewal and Transnational Cooperation in the Belt and Road Era
Dr Elmo Gonzaga



Studies of Singapore as a creative or communicative city typically focus on its Renaissance City Plan to refashion its urban environment into a domain with “cultural vibrancy", which would draw foreign capital and talent to fuel innovation. Looking at the global circulation of cultural flows amid the shift of the world economy to Asia, this paper examines Singapore’s expanding sphere of influence in the burgeoning ASEAN Economic Community, whose aggregate GDP is already the world’s fifth largest. Consolidating its geopolitical position within the region, Singapore aims to transform itself into a leading hub for knowledge production by disseminating geographic imaginaries of urban renewal and transnational cooperation that highlight its exceptionality. On the one hand, the state-owned consultancy firm Surbana Jurong designs master plans for emerging metropolitan areas using templates for Special Economic Zones and Smart Cities based on Singapore's successful trajectory of development. On the other, the state-run cultural institutions National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum stage international exhibitions that promote new narratives and networks of intraregional creative practice with Singapore at the vanguard of innovation.

Short bio:
Elmo Gonzaga is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He obtained his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley with a focus on Southeast Asian media cultures. His two recent publications in Cinema Journal and Cultural Studies look respectively at the culture industry of poverty porn and digital nostalgia in the smart city.

Please click here for youtube video of the seminar.

10 Sep 2018 (Mon)