Cogut Institute for the Humanities

Chong Jing Gan

2022–23 Undergraduate Fellow, Concentrator in Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies
Project “Islands in Migration: Singaporean (Trans)national Identity in Diasporic Literature”
Last updated June 20, 2023, based on June 2022 biographical sketch


Chong Jing Gan ’23 graduated from Brown with honors in Comparative Literature.

His work in Comparative Literature primarily focuses on the languages of English and Mandarin Chinese. His thesis is “Islands in Migration: Singaporean (Trans)national Identity in Diasporic Literature.” His interest stems from the pervasive anxiety of circumscribing “Singaporeanness” in the state’s regulation and overdetermination of national identity, particularly in cultural and literary production, that has and continues to enact the violent erasure of peoples who are deemed unbelonging in the boundaries of the nation-state. He seeks to explore postcolonial, diasporic, performance, and queer studies to locate and trace the figure of the emigrant as they move through Singaporean literary/artistic history and archives, deconstructing and destabilizing essential and nationalist performances of statehood and identity. Focusing on multilingual, transnational, and queer cultural production, what he hopes to find is a means of articulating “Singaporeanness” defined by instability, mobility, and fluidity — an island, afloat, that drifts apart and together, whose edges are constantly unsettled and rewritten by global tides of movement and migration.

He received the Rosalie Colie Prize in Comparative Literature, presented for best thesis.

Meet the Fellows talk: “Singaporean (Trans)national Identity”