Cogut Institute for the Humanities

Chong Jing Gan

Undergraduate Fellow, Concentrator in Comparative Literature
Project "Islands in Migration: Singaporean (Trans)national Identity in Diasporic Literature"
Last updated June 30, 2022

Biography

Chong Jing Gan ’23 is an undergraduate concentrating in comparative literature, primarily focusing on the languages of English and Mandarin Chinese. Outside of the written word he also really enjoys studying (and creating in) the mediums of visual art and film. The working title of his thesis is “How an Island Stays Afloat: The Written Body/Land of Singapore 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.