New Graduate Coursework Programmes

24 November 2020

NUS History is proud to unveil its newest graduate coursework programmes, the latest additions to the department's existing robust MA (Research) and PhD programmes. Firstly, in partnership with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), NUS History will now offer a MA (Coursework) Double-Degree in History. This Double-Degree Programme (DDP) was conceived to offer broader opportunities to candidates to study the history of diverse cultures and societies across Asia and the world. Candidates pursuing the DDP will, after successful completion, obtain the Master of Arts (MA) in History, NUS, and the Master of Arts (MA) in Asian and International History, LSE. The department will also be introducing two new MA (Coursework) programmes - one in Applied and Public History, and the other in Asian and Global History. These programmes are available as Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas as well. The purpose of these new graduate programmes is to support the Continuing and Professional Education initiative at NUS. With a greater emphasis on coursework, the department seeks to promote the appropriate use of History in the arts, business, government, and other sectors of society. Candidates pursuing these programmes will be trained to use History to anticipate and exploit trends, craft policies, make decisions, and pursue their endeavours. Applications for Academic Year 21/22 are now open. You may view the brochure here or visit the respective programme pages for more information. For further information on the application process, please visit the FASS website.

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

22 September 2020

Great Powers and Globalizing China during the ‘Century of Humiliation,’ 1842-1949

The Department of History at the National University of Singapore is pleased to offer one postdoctoral fellowship in connection with this unfolding research project. This will be a two-year full-time appointment, beginning 1 January 2020. The successful candidate will become an investigator in this project, directed by Professor Brian P. Farrell.

The details of the position can be found here.

NUS Singapore History Prize

17 August 2020

The NUS Singapore History Prize was established in 2014 when an anonymous donor provided an endowed gift to fund the Prize, The Department of History of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore (NUS), administers the NUS Singapore History Prize that will be awarded every 3 years.

For more information, please visit the webpage.



Eminent NUS historian Professor Wang Gungwu receives prestigious Tang Prize

22 June 2020

The 2020 Tang Prize in Sinology has been awarded to Professor Wang Gungwu, University Professor at NUS Arts and Social Sciences and one of the world's foremost experts on the Chinese diaspora.

Announced on 20 June 2020 by the Tang Prize Foundation, this prestigious award was conferred on Prof Wang in recognition of his trailblazing and dissecting insights on the history of the Chinese world order, overseas Chinese, and Chinese migratory experience.

Prof Wu Gangwu
The 2020 Tang Prize in Sinology has been awarded to Professor Wang Gungwu, University Professor at NUS Arts and Social Sciences and one of the world's foremost experts on the Chinese diaspora

As a leading scholar on Sino-Southeast Asian historical relations, Prof Wang developed a unique approach to understanding China by scrutinising its long and complex relationship with its southern neighbours. His erudition and critical discernment have significantly enriched the explanation of China’s changing place in the world, traditionally developed from an internalist perspective or in relation to the West.

Prof Wang said, “It is a great honour to be awarded the Tang Prize in Sinology. When I was a student, Sinology was part of Oriental Studies and associated with classical studies, guoxue (国学) in China, Hanxue (汉学) in Japan and Europe. It was centred on ancient philology as the foundation for the study of literature, philosophy and history. The four previous awardees, Yu Ying-shih at Princeton, Ted de Bary at Columbia, Shiba Yoshinobu at Tokyo and Stephen Owen at Harvard, started with the study of classical Chinese. Yu and de Bary went on to enrich our knowledge of intellectual history while Shiba did the same for social and economic history. Although Owen is best known for his contributions to literature, his work on literary theory has illuminated key features of the historical imagination.”

“I am a historian who believes that China’s present cannot be separated from her total past. Living all my life outside China, I am fascinated by the way China had fallen and risen several times. Each time that happened had made a difference to the course of world history. For us to understand why that could happen requires us to go beyond the humanities to the social sciences. I am gratified that modern Sinology now recognises the centrality of shi (史) in Chinese civilisation,” he added.

One of Asia’s most important intellectuals

Prof Wang Gungwu has been University Professor at NUS Arts and Social Sciences since 2007, and Emeritus Professor of the Australian National University since 1988. He is Foreign Honorary Member of the History Division of the American Academy of Arts and Science and former President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Prof Wang received his BA and MA from University of Malaya (UM) in Singapore, and PhD at SOAS, London.

Spending much of his life immersed in different cultures gives Prof Wang diverse personae as a scholar. He is an “insider” in the academic tradition of Chinese Confucianism and British elite education, and an “outsider” in the interpretation of China’s perception of the world. His original approach to understanding China from the southern perspective is in part a natural choice given his personal experience. This same experience provided him with abundant inspiration in his formative years as he matured into an authoritative voice in the analysis of China’s worldview.

Besides being an outstanding scholar, Prof Wang has been an inspiring educator since he embarked on an academic career first at UM and subsequently at the Australian National University, before making his mark as Vice Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong from 1986 to 1995, Chairman of the Institute of East Asian Political Economy from 1996 to 1997, and Director of the NUS East Asian Institute from 1997 to 2007.

At 89 years old, Prof Wang is still very prolific as a scholar. “I am writing on Chinese hopes and fears following China’s opening and reforms, focusing on the period after the People’s Republic of China’s entry into the United Nations in October 1971,” he shared.

And when asked how COVID-19 has impacted him, Prof Wang said, “COVID-19 has moved me away from my routines and made me parcel my life more carefully and take into account how much time I might have to get my work completed.”

The biannual Tang Prize consists of four categories, namely Sustainable Development, Biopharmaceutical Science, Sinology and Rule of Law. It aims to promote the interaction and cooperation between cultural and technological research so as to find a 21st century path to the sustainable development of the world.

See citation for the prize.

This article was first published on 22 June 2020 in NUS News at