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Lecture Schedule Essays 

Singapore Literature in English: Selected Texts
2019-20, Second Semester

Course Lecturer: A/P Ismail S Talib

Modular Credits: 4 MCs


    Live interactive sessions (weekly): Friday 4 pm – 6 pm, AS4-0118

    Tutorials (fortnightly): Thursday 10 am – 12 pm or 2 pm – 4 pm at AS6-0214 (week A only).

Important Announcement

This module will be taught as a flipped module this academic year (2019–20). All lectures are available on video. You attend the live interactive sessions in class, at U-Town's LT51, to do some exercises. The tutorials however, will be entirely taught face-to-face.


This is a dedicated Singapore Studies module for students who want to gain some exposure to Singapore literature in English. It will look at some of the literary achievements of Singapore writers in English. It is hoped that students would develop a greater awareness of how these texts contribute to a better and more multi-faceted understanding of Singapore.

Module Description

This module will focus on Singapore literature in English. It will deal with selected texts in the three main genres: poetry, fiction and drama. One of its main aims is to show how literature will help us gain a more comprehensive insight into our understanding of Singapore.

Mode of Teaching

This is a blended learning module. All the lectures will be available online. Questions will be asked on the online videos and on the set texts during the sessions indicated in the schedule. These sessions follow the B.Y.O.D. mode of teaching, and students are required to bring their own devices that can be connected to the Internet. You can make use of the wi-fi facility at the designated lecture theatre for this. Further information is given in the programme for this module. The tutorials will be taught face-to-face. 

Learning Outcomes

This module has the following goals:

  1. It aims to enhance the students’ appreciation of Singapore literature in English.
  2. As a Singapore Studies module, it also aims to show the relevance of literary texts for a more comprehensive study of the country.
  3. As a blended-learning module, an important minor aim is to increase the students’ confidence and proficiency in the use of computers for the purpose of learning.

Workload Per Week

No. of hours
Main session per week: viewing of videos + answers to online questions  2
Tutorial hours per week (2 hours fortnightly tutorials)  1
Time for projects and assignments  3
Time for reading the set texts  4
Total hours per week  10

Major Topics
(The following are the topics to be covered this semester: for more details, an updated list and links to the videos, see the programme for 2019-20)

1.  Introduction
2.  Some general observations on Singapore poetry
3.  Lee Tzu Pheng's “My Country and My People,” & Edwin Thumboo's “Ulysses by the Merlion”
4.  Robert Yeo's & Cyril Wong's poetry in Writing Singapore
5.  Introduction to narrative, drama & Singapore drama
6.  Kuo Pao Kun's The Coffin Is Too Big for the Hole 
7.  Stella Kon's Emily of Emerald Hill
8.  Haresh Sharma's Good People
9. The Singapore short story; Catherine Lim’s “The Taximan’s Story”
10.  Goh Poh Seng's If We Dream Too Long
11.  Suchen Christine Lim's A Bit of Earth
The publication of Singapore literature


i) Tutorials  10%
ii) Discussion forum participation  10%
iii) Electronic responses (in relation to the module videos)  15%
iv) Individual assignment: essay, fan fiction, or bibliographical research  20%
v) Presentations  15%
Total for CA  70%
Total for Final Examinations  30%
Total  100%

Explanation of Assessment Tasks

  1. Tutorials: There will be fortnightly tutorials where students are  expected to contribute orally to the discussion.
  2. Discussion forum participation: The discussion forum will be on LumiNUS, and students are expected to contribute on issues related to the lecture topics.
  3. Electronic responses: Responses to the online videos, and to questions during the interactive sessions.
  4. Essays: Students write a short essay on a prescribed topic (1,500 to 2,000 words) More

Final exam: Students write two essay-type questions, one of which is compulsory.


Last revised: 01 April 2020