C. J. Wee Wan-ling


C. J. W.-L. Wee is Professor of English at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has held Visiting Fellowships at (among other institutions): the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, India; the Society for the Humanities, Cornell University; and the National Humanities Center in the USA. Wee is the author of Culture, Empire, and the Question of Being Modern (2003) and The Asian Modern: Culture, Capitalist Development, Singapore (2007), and is a co-editor of Contesting Performance: Global Genealogies of Research (2010).


Wee’s present research concerns are in the formation of contemporary art practices in the visual arts and curatorial practices, and links with the formation of popular culture, in relation to rapid economic growth in East and Southeast Asia, and is tentatively titled “Imagining Cultural Asia: Art Exhibitions, Popular Culture, and a Regional Contemporary.” He is also working on the formation of contemporary art and culture in Singapore in the 1990s and 2000s, focusing on the visual arts arts, theatre and cinema.


1. “East Asian Pop Music and an Incomplete Regional Contemporary”, in Michael Bourdaghs, Paola Iovene and Kaley Mason, eds., Sound Alignments: Popular Music in Asia’s Cold Wars (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, in press).
2. “Imagining the Fractured East Asian Modern: Commonality and Difference in Mass Cultural Production”, Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts 54, no. 2 (Spring 2012): 197–225.
3. “The Singapore Contemporary and Contemporary Art in Singapore”, in Low Sze Wee and Patrick D. Flores, eds., Charting Thoughts: Essays on Art in Southeast Asia (Singapore: National Gallery Singapore, 2017).
4. “The Suppressed in the Modern Urbanscape: Cultural Difference and Film in Singapore”, positions: asia critique 20, no. 4 (2012): 983-1,007.