Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Assoc Prof Hee Wai Siam

Associate Professor, School of Humanities

Assoc Prof Hee Wai Siam

Dr. Hee's areas of expertise include Cultural studies and Chinese Literature. His research has a highly interdisciplinary orientation, spanning the fields of film studies, gender studies, Sinophone studies, Cold War studies, history, mass media and sociology. He has published three scholarly monographs that has received high praise and co-edited two academic books. His monographs were reviewed widely in high-profile publications such as The Journal of Asian Studies, Frontiers of Literary Studies in China, and East Asian Journal of Popular Culture. He is the author of From Amorous Histories to Sexual Histories: Tongzhi Writings and the Construction of Masculinities in Late Qing and Modern China. At present, 9 scholars from the US, UK, China, Japan and Taiwan have recommended this monograph in book reviews in major periodicals in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. His other monograph, Post-Malaysian Chinese-language Film: Accented Style, Sinophone and Auteur Theory is shortlisted for the 2019 ICAS Best Book Prize by the International Convention of Asia Scholars,The Netherlands.

He was the winner of the Fulbright Singapore Researcher Award and served as Fulbright scholar at the Harvard University in 2017. He teaches Chinese literature and culture, Gender studies, Chinese Cinemas and Sinophone studies at the School of Humanities. He was the recipient of the 2017 Nanyang Education Award (School of Humanities).
Research Interests
His current research focuses on “anti-Communist films sponsored by the UK and US governments in Southeast Asia during the Cold War period.” This research project will analyze the USIS/USIA anti-Communist films made in Southeast Asia, comparing them with anti-Communist films produced by the Malayan Film Unit; with USIA-sponsored anti-Communist films produced in other parts of the world; and with Hollywood-made films with strong anti-Communist messages. Though replete with significant research potential in a variety of disciplines, the production, distribution, exhibition and reception of anti-communist films made in this region have been overlooked in past scholarship. His research project intends to fill in the gaps of this aspect of film and cultural-political history. It will draw on Cold War era archives covering film, public diplomacy, propaganda, cultural production and language policies from the U.S. and U.K. governments, as well as reportage on film culture in old newspapers, periodicals and other publications. These resources will be combined and analyzed to reveal the Cold War ideologies then running through Southeast Asian cinema.
Current Projects
  • On anti-Communist films sponsored by the UK and US governments in Southeast Asia during the Cold War period
  • Rewriting the early history of Sinophone Cinemas in Singapore and Malaya (1926-1965)
  • The Spirit of Chinese Brushwork & Crafts
Selected Publications
  • Hee Wai-siam. (2019). Accented Style: On Namewee’s Sinophone Malaysian Film and Rap Songs. Interventions, 21(2), 273-290 (SSCI, A&HCI, SCOPUS and SJR).
  • Hee Wai-siam. (2018). 《重绘华语语系版图:冷战前后新马华语电影的文化生产》Remapping the Sinophone: The Cultural Production of Chinese-language Cinema in Singapore and Malaya Before and During the Cold War. Hong Kong University Press.
  • Hee Wai-siam. (2018). 《华语电影在后马来西亚:土腔风格、华夷风与作者论》 [Post-Malaysian Chinese-language Film: Accented Style, Sinophone and Auteur Theory]. Linking Press.
  • Hee Wai-siam. (2017). Anti-Communist Moving Image and Cold War Ideology: on the Malayan Film Unit. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 18(4), 593-609(SSCI, A&HCI, SCOPUS and SJR).
  • Brian Bergen-Aurand, Mary Mazzilli, Hee Wai-siam. (Ed.). (2014). Transnational Chinese Cinema: Corporeality, Desire and the Ethics of FailureUnited States of America: Los Angeles: Bridge21 Publications.

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