Department of History (National University of Singapore)

Department of History
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
National University of Singapore
11 Arts Link, AS1-05 - 27
Singapore 117570

Dr. Masuda Hajimu


The Department of History is one of the oldest and yet most vibrant departments at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Since the school's genesis as Raffles College in 1929, and after a series of transformations through various subsequent university mergers, the department has continued to grow in strength. Its teaching and research expertise lies primarily in the history of Southeast and East Asia, but it also offers a strong selection of modules in European, American, and international history, as well as histories of art, business, religion, and science and technology.

Cold War Interests: 

A number of historians in our department have been working on various subjects related to the Cold War. Our geographical strength lies particularly in East and Southeast Asia, as well as North America. Topics in which we specialize include: Ordinary people's roles and everyday politics of the Cold War (Masuda); Histories of science and technology, in particular those of medicine and agriculture in relation to the development of the Cold War (DiMoia, S. Lee); Arts and archeology (Peleggi); Decolonization, the Global South, and the Cold War (Lau, Joey, Masuda); and US foreign relations (Quek, Masuda). Reflecting faculty members' interests, we offer a number of Cold War related modules at both undergraduate and graduate levels: "Cold War in Europe, 1945-1991"; "Cold War in East Asia"; "Cold War in the Global South"; "Reconsidering the Cold War"; "Decolonization in the 20th Century"; and "Student Movements in Asia Since 1950."

In addition, a number of faculty members have organized and are currently organizing international conferences and workshops on the Cold War, including: "The Cold War in Asia: The Cultural Dimensions" (2008); "Engineering Asia: Colonial and Postcolonial Networks of Technology in Cold-War Asia" (2013); and "Unlearning Cold War Narratives: Toward Alternative Understandings of the Cold War World" (2016). Also, our members have edited or will edit special issues for academic journals on issues related to the Cold War: "The Origins of Cold War in Southeast Asia" for the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies (2009), and "Many Cold Wars: Re-conceptualizing the Post-WWII World" for the Esbo├žos (2016).

Beyond our History Department, there are quite a few scholars who have been working on Cold War related topics in the Department of Political Science and Department of Chinese Studies at NUS, as well as at Yale-NUS College and Nanyang Technological University, forming a loosely connected group of Cold War scholars in Singapore.