Welcome to the Department of English

The Department of English at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has a distinguished history. It is the oldest Department of English in the country, and can trace its beginnings to the establishment of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Malaya in Singapore in 1949.  The Department of English subsequently became one of the first departments of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences set up on the present campus in Lembah Pantai, Kuala Lumpur in 1959.  

The department’s identity, which proudly sets it apart from every other Department of English in Malaysia, lies in our continued commitment to coverage of traditional British literature, from Chaucer and Middle English, through Shakespeare and the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, to the Victorians and the Modernists.  

Today, this coverage of the canonical tradition, unique in the country to the department, is complemented by an equally strong emphasis on the teaching of postcolonial literature and postcolonial theory. The teaching of postcolonial texts, which was then called “Commonwealth literature” and later known as the “new literatures in English”, was introduced into the curriculum during the tenure of Lloyd Fernando as the first Malaysian Professor of English (1967–1979). This extraordinary curricular range is reflected in the course offerings of both the department’s BA and MA programmes, which, in addition to the entire span of literature in English from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present as well as postcolonial literature, also cover dynamic areas and approaches including Stylistics, American literature, critical theory, travel literature, women’s writing, creative writing as well as literary and other cultural productions from contexts as historically rich and diverse as Africa, the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia. 

The Department of English has striven to be at the forefront of the latest developments in literary and cultural studies, with our members of staff engaging actively in research and offering exciting new courses of an interdisciplinary nature. These include Literature and Popular Culture, Literature on Screen, English in Advertising, English in Journalism, and Literature and the Environment. This singular curricular breadth and depth is mirrored in the research interests and expertise of our academic staff, and is a national hallmark of the department.


In addition to our undergraduate enrolment, the department has a lively postgraduate (Master’s and Doctoral) student body. Our teaching, research and professional activities are also regularly energized by visiting faculty and through the convening of talks, seminars and conferences at both national and international levels.  We have hosted distinguished scholars such as Michael Pearson, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Scott Slovic, Ien Ang, Yasmine Gooneratne, Benedict Anderson, Harish Trivedi, Sukanta Chaudhuri and Pheng Cheah.

Notable alumni who have contributed significantly to the development of the nation include Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Razali Ismail, K.S. Maniam, Chin San Sooi, Rebecca Santa Maria and Leow Puay Tin.

We warmly welcome prospective students, both from Malaysia and from abroad, who wish to pursue undergraduate or advanced studies in literature in English.   

Please feel free to use the links provided to learn more about our programmes of study and admissions process. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need further information.

With my very best wishes,

Head of Department
Tel: +6(03) 79675505
Fax: +6(03) 79675456
Email: marys@um.edu.my


To Pursue and develop academic excellence through research, learning and teaching
Department Chart
Programmes of Study
International Advisors

Makarand Paranjape
Makarand Paranjape

Makarand Paranjape is Professor of English at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has been teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students for almost thirty years, with his teaching career spanning the better part of the globe. A large part of this has been spent in the United States and India, where he has lived and worked. He has published over 150 academic papers in various refereed journals and edited books within the country and internationally. He is also the author of several poems and short story collections, over 200 essays, book reviews, and occasional pieces in academic and popular periodicals in India and abroad. He has twice been the chairperson of the Centre for English Studies at JNU and is a member of the Board of Studies, the Academic Council of JNU, and the Vision Committee of JNU, and the Coordinator for UGC Special Assistance Programme in JNU’s Centre for English Studies from 2003 to 2008. He was the General Editor of a series of reprints of rare and out of print Indian English titles published by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. He is the founding Trustee of Samvad India Foundation, a Delhi-based non-profit, public charitable trust, and also the founding editor of Evam: Forum on Indian Representations, an international bi-annual, multi-disciplinary journal on India. He was the chairperson for the Europe and South Asia region of the panel of judges for the 2007 and 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize; he also served as the Indian host judge for the 2010 Commonwealth Prize awarded in New Delhi.

Makarand is our current External Examiner.

Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

Shirley Geok-Lin Lim is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In a writing and academic career spanning forty-five years, she has crisscrossed the Pacific and other oceans, teaching and undertaking research at a number of universities and institutions, including MIT, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, City University of Hong Kong, and National Sun-Yet Sen University in Taiwan. She also served as Women’s Studies Chair at UCSB and as Chair Professor of English at the University of Hong Kong. Her Crossing the Peninsula & Other Poems won the 1980 Commonwealth Poetry Prize, the first for a woman and Asian. With 10 poetry and 3 short story collections, 3 novels (Joss and Gold, Sister Swing, and Princess Shawl), The Shirley Lim Collection, and a memoir, Among the White Moon Faces (1997 American Book Award winner), she has also published 2 critical studies (South/East Asia in English: Against the Grain and Nationalism and Literature: Literature in English from the Philippines and Singapore), and edited/co-edited numerous anthologies (Tilting the Continent, Asian American Literature, One World of Literature), special issues of journals and scholarly collections, including The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian American Women's Anthology, which won the 1990 American Book Award. She is the recipient of the MELUS Lifetime Achievement Award and numerous other distinguished awards and fellowships. 

Shirley was our External Examiner from 2010-2014. 

Scott Slovic

Scott Slovic is Professor of Literature and Environment and Chair of the Department of English
at the University of Idaho, USA.  He joined Idaho in 2012 after teaching for 17 years at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he helped to create the prominent graduate programme in literature and environment and develop the Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities, the Academy for the Environment, and the undergraduate environmental studies programme. He has published more than 250 articles, interviews, op-eds, and reviews and is the author and editor/co-editor of 25 books, including Going Away to Think: Engagement, Retreat, and Ecocritical Responsibility (2008), the textbook Literature and the Environment (1999/second edition 2013), and Ecoambiguity, Community, and Development: Toward a Politicized Ecocriticism (2014). His latest books include Ecocriticism of the Global South (2015), Currents of the Universal Being: Explorations in the Literature of Energy (2015), Numbers and Nerves: Information, Emotion, and Meaning in a World of Data (2015), and Ecocriticism in Taiwan: Identity, Environmental, and the Arts (2016). Scott served as the founding president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) from 1992 to 1995, and since 1995 he has edited the journal ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. He currently serves on the editorial boards of fourteen scholarly journals and two book series and on the board of directors of the Idaho Humanities Council. In recent years, he has been a Fulbright National Screening Committee member for the Institute of International Education (IIE) and a panelist in American studies and American literature for the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Germany (University of Bonn, 1986-87), Japan (University of Tokyo, Sophia University, and Rikkyo University, 1993-94), and China (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, 2006) and has been a visiting professor at many universities around the world. 

Scott served as our External Examiner from 2007-2010.

Lloyd Fernando Seminar Series

The Department of English, FASS plays host to regular seminars and talks by guests, comprising visiting academics and writers, and staff from the department. The topics are wide ranging covering literature and other art forms, philosophy, history and other disciplines, but are always engaging. Author readings are also featured. As well as being attended by staff and students of the department, these seminars are open to the wider university community and the public. Seminars are for one hour and are generally held on Fridays.

The seminar series, inaugurated in March 2016, is named after Lloyd Fernando, the department’s first Malaysian Professor of English who served as Head of Department from 1967 until his retirement in 1980. The LFSS is a means of disseminating our own research and to be informed by the work of others.

Details of upcoming seminars as well as past seminars can be found in the Department website as well as Facebook page.

For further information and to suggest speakers, please contact our department staff:

Dr Shalini Nadaswaran
E-mail: shalininadaswaran@um.edu.my

Talk by Shirley Lim

Lloyd Fernando Dec

“Playing the Post-Colonial Double Bind? Distracted Theory, Translation, and Identity’s Last Secret”

Speaker: Professor Makarand R. Paranjape
Date:  29 September 2017 
Time: 3:00 - 5:00 PM 
Venue: Dean’s Meeting Room 2, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Speaker’s Profile: 


Makarand R. Paranjape is Professor of English at the Centre for English Studies, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He read English for his B.A. (Hons.) at St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi and continued in the same subject for his Masters and Doctorate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA). Among his recent book publications are: Cultural Politics in Modern India: Postcolonial Prospects (Routledge, 2016), Colourful Cosmopolitanism, Global Proximities (Routledge, 2016), The Death and Afterlife of Mahatma Gandhi (Penguin Random House, 2015), and Making India: Colonialism, National Culture, and the Afterlife of Indian English Authority (Springer, 2013).  Makarand was the Inaugural DAAD Global South Visiting Fellow and Erich Auerbach Visiting Professor in World Literature, University of Tuebingen (May-July 2015 and July-December 2014), Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (January-April 2015), Inaugural ICCR Chair in Indian Studies, South Asian Studies Programme, National University of Singapore (2010-2011), CAPES Visiting Professor, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (August-December 2011), and Shivdasani Visiting Fellow, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, University of Oxford (October-December 2009). Makarand is also a columnist for Swarajya, DNA, and Mail Today.

About the Talk: Theory at first, poetry at last, this presentation teases out two pieces of the post-colonial puzzle, with translation serving as link. It engages the extraordinary, but little-known story of Gayatri Chakravarty Spivak’s textual contretemps with the “mad” Bangla poet, Binoy Majumdar, who long ago wrote a collection of love poems to her.  In recounting this episode, I play two extracts of my own work, one from Cultural Politics in Modern India (Routledge, 2016), and the other from an unpublished trans-genre composition, “Identity’s Last Secret.” In the first part, I ask if Spivak’s notion of the “double bind” is not actually a double blind, as excruciating as it is dazzling? In the second, I grapple with “identity’s last secret,” wondering how from “distracted theory,” we are led to translation as the sublime object of comparative aesthetics. Yet such is the double bind of theory that like the poet’s unrequited love it can never be translated—or following Spivak, de-transcendentalized—into reality. In the end, does the poet’s adored object (ishwari) remain merely a “dream girl?” and “the dream of postcoloniality in the face of globalization” just a false hope? 


 “The Endless Possibilities of Ordinary Life”: The Post-colonial Irish Novel

Speaker: Dr. Derek Hand
Date:  16 June 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
Venue: Dataran Sastera (Arts Concourse), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Speaker’s Profile:

 Derek Hand

Dr Derek Hand is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the School of English in Dublin City University. The Liffey Press published his book John Banville: Exploring Fictions in 2002. He edited a special edition of the Irish University Review on John Banville in 2006. He was awarded an IRCHSS Government of Ireland Research Fellowship for 2008-2009. His A History of the Irish Novel: 1665 to the present was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011 and is now available in paperback. He is interested in Irish writing in general and has published articles on W.B. Yeats, Elizabeth Bowen, Colum McCann, Molly Keane, Benedict Kiely, Mary Lavin, and William Trevor and on contemporary Irish fiction. He has lectured on Irish writing in the USA, Portugal, Sweden, Singapore, Brazil, Italy, Sweden and France. He is now working on a critical study of recent Irish fiction entitled The Celtic Tiger Irish Novel 1994-2010: modernity and mediocrity. He is also currently co-editing a collection of essays on John McGahern entitled, Essays on John McGahern: Assessing a Literary Legacy to be published by Cork University Press.

About the Talk:  The colonised space is always the place of analogy: it is always being compared with places and experiences and supposed realities elsewhere, with the centre of empire, of which the colony can only be but a pale reflection. In this talk I plan to offer an account of how the Irish novel as a form responds to this predicament, and how it sets up a dialogue with and against metropolitan voices of domination.  This is not simply a case of the Empire Writing Back, but rather is a rendering of the colonised world in conversation with itself. The novel form’s link to modernity means it is a site where the emergence of the individual into modernity can be witnessed. For the Irish person, burdened with the often-debilitating effect of the imposed stereotype, meaning that she/he is already always known, the space afforded by the novel might allow for the complexities of the Irish individual to be played out. Of course, many novels present this as a struggle between the rights of the person in conflict with the pressures of traditional modes of community and shared experience. In Ireland this conflict is compounded by the fact that the individual person has been habitually overwhelmed in the depiction of individuals as representations of a community and of the nation. The tension in much of the best of Irish novel writing is between this wish to configure and acknowledge specifically Irish traits and characteristics, as well as the demand to recognise Ireland as a space where it also possible to be simply human. The consequence for the Irish novel, as it is for Irish culture generally, is that it has been and continues to be caught between the desire to be exceptional and the endless possibilities of ordinary life.

"Click here for previous speakers"

SARE Banner-3

SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English is an international peer-reviewed journal founded in 1980. It publishes scholarly articles, interviews, reviews, and other valuable and lively interventions. 

A biannual open access journal from 2017, SARE serves as a critical forum for research and conversations from all over the world on the literatures, languages, and cultures of Southeast, South, and East Asia. It particularly welcomes theoretically-informed articles on the literary and other cultural productions of these regions. 

SARE is also committed to featuring new or unpublished poems and short stories.

SARE is indexed in the Malaysian Citation Index (MyCite), Google Scholar, the MLA Directory of Periodicals, the MLA International Bibliography, EBSCOhost, the Bibliography of Asian Studies, and the Journal of Commonwealth Literature's Annual Bibliography (forthcoming).


Department of English
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Universiti Malaya
Lembah Pantai
Kuala Lumpur 50603

E-Mail: sarejournal@gmail.com
Web: sare.um.edu.my 

Bloomsday 2017
Please click here (https://umconference.um.edu.my/seatradmod) for more information)
2017 Theatre Performance : Atomic Jaya

The English Department runs a popular theatre elective (Theatre Performance in English), in which students put up a full-length production at the end of the semester. They handle all aspects of the production, including acting, directing, and designing sound, lights, sets, costumes and so on. This very practical, hands-on course allows them to let their creativity flow, while encouraging them to work efficiently as a team. The course usually runs in the second semester of each academic year, with the production being staged after the middle of May.

This student-produced trailer is for the 2016/2017 production, Atomic Jaya by Malaysian playwright Huzir Sulaiman. Curious and wondering what the production is about? Mark your calendar for the 18th of May 2017, 7.30 pm, Learning Space, FBL, UM. Seats are limited so grab your tickets for RM 3 as soon as possible! Online reservations can be made at: https://goo.gl/forms/1wLwMGvqaf4pAz9X2 or contact Miao at 0127865339.

Trailer Link :- Atomic Jaya Trailer
"East/West : Ruptures & Convergences" an International Conference
Shakespeare Refreshed Festival.Workshops.Readings.Performances
SR2016 Poster Page 1 Final
SR2016 Poster Page 2 Final
Past Activities

1-2 December 2016: "East/West : Ruptures & Convergences" an International Conference

30 July 2016: Shakespeare Refreshed Festival.Workshops.Readings.Performances

5 April 2016 :The Cheeseman Prize English Essay Writing Competition 2015/2016

15 January 2016: A delegation of 28 people from University Warmadewa- Denpasar Bali.

19 October 2015: “Promoting Peace, Building Cultural Bridges and Combating Anti-Muslim Hatred in the West through Literature”, by Qaisra Shahraz, University of Manchester.

30 October 2015: A talk by Nur Farhana Low Abdullah from University Sains Malaysia.

15 October 2015: Annual English Department Colloquium, “Journeys Of/Toward Identity”, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya. 

11 December 2014: Annual English Department Colloquium, “Themes and Variations of Jane”, Asia Europe Institute Auditorium, University of Malaya.

8 – 12 December 2014: Jane Austen Festival 2014, University Of Malaya.

11 November 2014: “Reforming Malaysia: Gods, the Writer and Society”, by Amir Muhammad.

17 November 2014: "Last Man Standing: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse in Millennial Hollywood", by Dr. Elizabeth Abele, Fulbright Scholar 2014-15, Department of English, University of Malaya; Associate Professor,  SUNY Nassau Community College, New York, USA.

29 May 2014: Public Talk by our Alumni Tan Sri Razali Ismail.

13 March 2014: Public Talk by our Alumni Shirley Lim.

11 December 2013: Annual English Department Colloquium, “Literary and Cultural Intersections”, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya.  

Industrial Training

Our department’s undergraduate students have internships in exciting, reputable places that help prepare them for the workforce such as:

  • Sasbadi Malaysia
  • Malaysian primary and secondary schools
  • Scholastic Malaysia
  • UCSI University
  • Pricewaterhousecoopers 
  • Hot Potato Publishing Sdn Bhd
  • AMG International Holdings Sdn Bhd
  • PEMANDU, Prime Minister’s Department, Putrajaya

We warmly welcome you to join our undergraduate programme and experience a world-class education. 

List of Academic Publications

Members of our department engage actively in research and publish widely in leading international peer-reviewed journals. The following is a selection of recent staff publications:

Here are selected book publications by members of our department:

Gabriel, Sharmani Patricia and Fernando Rosa (eds), Cosmopolitan Asia: Littoral Epistemologies of the Global South, Routledge: London & New York, 2016. 

Pagan, Nicholas, Theory of Mind and Science Fiction. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 

Kenedy, Robert, Margaret Greenfields, Jonathan Rollins, and Sharmani Patricia Gabriel (eds), Diasporic Identities and Spaces Between, Inter- Disciplinary Press: Oxford, United Kingdom, 2012. 

Leon, Carol E., Movement and Belonging: Lines, Places, and Spaces of Travel. Peter Lang, 2009. 

Yeow, Agnes S. K., Conrad's Eastern Vision: A Vain and Floating Appearance. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Yeow, Agnes, et al. eds. Critical Voices from Malaysia: Perspectives on English Literature. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press, 2006. 

Su, Soon Peng, Lexical Ambiguity in Poetry. London: Longman, 1994. 

Chapters in Books

Gabriel, Sharmani Patricia & Fernando Rosa, "Asian Cosmopolitanisms: Towards Littoral Conjunctions", in Cosmopolitan Asia: Littoral Epistemologies of the Global South (Eds. Gabriel, S.P. and Rosa, F), Routledge: London & New York, 2016, pp. 1-19

Philip, Susan. “Cultural cosmopolitanism in the Malaysian theatre”. In Gabriel, S. P and Rosa, F (eds). Cosmopolitan Asia: Littoral Epistemologies of the Global South. 156-169. Oxford and New York: Routledge, 2016.

Gabriel, Sharmani Patricia. "'After the Break': Re- Conceptualizing Ethnicity, National Identity and 'Malaysian-Chinese' Identities". In Belonging to the Nation: Generational Change, Identity and the Chinese Diaspora (eds. Edmund Terence Gomez and Gregor Benton) Routledge: London & New York, 2015, p. 54-67.

Nadaswaran, Shalini. "Drug Mules" Not "Queen Pins". Ed. Collins, Walter. Writing Contemporary Nigeria: How Sefi Atta Illuminates African Culture and Tradition. London: Cambria Press, 2015, p. 154-167.

Philip, Susan. “The Politics of Language Choice in the English-Language Theater of Malaysia”. Simona Bertacco (ed). Language and Translation in Postcolonial Literatures: Multilingual Contexts, Translational Texts, New York and London: Routledge, 2014, pp. 126-141.

Philip, Susan. “Challenging Racial Categorisation through Theatre: English Language Theatre in Malaysia”. In Blandford, Steve (ed). Theatre and Performance in Small Nations, Bristol, UK: Intellect; Chicago: Chicago UP, 2013, pp. 167-183.

Philip, S. “Confronting issues of belonging and non-belonging in the works of four female Malaysian theatre practitioners”. In Koh, A. and Balasingamchow, Y (eds). Women and the Politics of Representation in Southeast Asia: Engendering Discourse in Singapore and Malaysia. Routledge, 2015.

Articles in Academic Journals

Book Review. "How Chinese are you?: Adopted Chinese Youth and their Families Negotiate Identity and Culture" by Andrea Louie. Ethnic and Racial Studies ,2017. Author : Sharmani Patricia D/o Thomas Gabriel

"Bharati Mukherjee, 1940-2017".  The Journal of Commonwealth Literature.2017.Author : Sharmani Patricia D/o Thomas Gabriel

Editorial:"Transformations".  SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English. 2017.
Author : Sharmani Patricia D/o Thomas Gabriel

"History, Memory and Cultural Identity in the Novel of Malaysia and Singapore".2017
Author(s) : Sharmani Patricia D/o Thomas Gabriel

Thomas Middleton's Entertainments for William Cockayne (1619-20).Notes and Queries. 2017.
Author(s) : Kok Su Mei

What’s Past is Prologue': Postcolonialism, Globalisation, and the Demystification of Shakespeare in Malaysia. SARE (Southeast Asian Review of English). 2017.
Author(s) : Kok Su Mei

Gabriel, Sharmani Patricia. "'Local and 'National' Transformations: Cultural Globalization, Heterogeneity and Malaysian Literature in English", THE JOURNAL OF COMMONWEALTH LITERATURE,  Vol. 51, No. 1, 2016, pp. 145-164. DOI: 10.1177/0021989414566517. (ISI-Cited Publication)

Gabriel, Sharmani Patricia. Review of Abu Talib Ahmad, "Museums, History and Culture in Malaysia". Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2014, viii + 328 pp. ASIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE, Volume 44, No. 1-2, 2016, pp.286-88. 2016. (ISI-Cited Publication)

Gabriel, Sharmani Patricia. "Malaysia: A Perverse Palimpsest [of National Identity]", WORLD POLICY JOURNAL, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2016. (forthcoming) (ISI-Cited Publication)

Gabriel, Sharmani Patricia. "The Meaning of Race in Malaysia: Colonial, Post-colonial and Possible New Conjunctures", ETHNICITIES, Vol. 15, No. 6 (2015), pp. 782-809. (ISI-Cited Publication)

Gabriel, Sharmani Patricia. "After the Break": Re- Conceptualizing Ethnicity, National Identity and "Malaysian-Chinese" Identities, ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES, DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2014.859286, Vol. 37, No. 7, 2014, pp.1211-1224. (ISI-Cited Publication)

Gabriel, Sharmani Patricia. Review of The Gaze of the West and Framings of the East by Shanta Nair-Venugopal (ed.), ASIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE, Vol 41, Issue 5, 2013, pp. 534-35. (ISI-Cited Publication)

Gabriel, Sharmani Patricia and Fernando Rosa, "Introduction to Lived Cosmopolitanisms in Littoral Asia", in CULTURAL DYNAMICS: Insurgent Scholarship on Culture, Politics and Power, Vol. 24, No. 2-3, November 2012, pp. 115-126 (ISI/SCOPUS Cited Publication)

Kok, Su Mei. 'Macbeth': Damansara Performing Arts Centre. Shakespeare Bulletin, 33.4 (2015): 683-86. (ISI-Cited Publication)

Kok, Su Mei. "Middleton's 'No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's' at Whitehall." Notes and Queries 61.2 (2014): 274- 75. (ISI-Cited Publication)

Kok, Su Mei. "'How many arts from such a labour flow': Thomas Middleton and London's New River." Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 43.1 (2013): 173-90. (ISI-Cited Publication)

Kok, Su Mei. "Shakespeare Demystified: The Merchant of Venice (review)" Theatre Journal 65.1 (2013):123-25. (ISI-Cited Publication)

Leon, Carol E., Review of "A House called Askival: A Novel" and "Home to Lanka: A Novella in Five Movements", Wasafiri, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2015. (ISI-Cited Publication

Leon, Carol. “A Small Place: Re-looking Universals and Distinctions”. Pertanika, Vol. 22, pp. 121-29,  2014. (SCOPUS-Cited Publication

Nadaswaran, Shalini. Review of “Pede Hollist's So The Path Does not Die”. Wasafiri, Vol. 30, No. 4: 80-81, 2015. (ISI-Cited Publication)

Nadaswaran, Shalini. “Motif/ves of Justice in Writings by Third-Generation Women” Matatu, 45, 2014,  p. 381-397 (SCOPUS-Cited Publication).  

Pagan, Nicholas, Book Review: “Thomas Pavel’s The Lives of the Novel: A History.” Philological Quarterly 94.4 (2016), (forthcoming). (ISI Cited Publication)

Pagan Nicholas, “Gene-Protective Narratives: The Arabian Nights Reconsidered.” Asiatic, (forthcoming).

Pagan, Nicholas, “The Flow of Garbage: From Laurence to Phong.” SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English 52. 2016 (forthcoming).

Pagan, Nicholas, “A Literary Gene?” Revista Atenae: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (forthcoming).

Pagan, Nicholas, “Thing Theory and the Appeal of Literature.” Dacoromania Litteraria 2 (2015): 28-42. Available online at http://www.dacoromanialitteraria.inst-puscariu.ro/en/nr2.php (SCOPUS Cited Publication)

Pagan, Nicholas, “Dada and performance: A symbolic interactionist perspective.” Studies in Theatre and Performance 35:1 (2015): 22-35. (ISI Cited Publication)

Pagan, Nicholas, “The Evolution of Literary Theory and the Literary Mind.”  Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory. 15:2 (2013): 15-79.

Philip, Susan. “Building a Malaysian Community Online: An Analysis of That Effing Show and Online Responses to It”. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature 9(2): 41-59, 2015. (SCOPUS-Cited Publication)

Philip, Susan. Review of Keith Tan, Mission Pioneers of Malaya: Origins, Architecture and Legacy of Our Pioneering Schools. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature 9(2), 2015: 250- 251 (SCOPUS-Cited Publication)

Philip, Susan. Review of The Best of Robert Yeo. Asiatic 7.2, 2013: 173-175.

Philip, Susan. Review of 'Inspector Mislan and the UTube Serial Rapist'. Asiatic 7.1, June 2013; 196-198.

Yeow, Agnes S. K. “Place, Race and Environment in the Poetry of Muhammad Haji Salleh”. Textual Practice (2014): 1-27. (ISI-Cited Publication


Our alumni can be found in just about every profession. We are proud that many among them are notable figures – writers, directors, screenwriters, journalists, academics, civil servants –  who have contributed significantly to the development of the nation. Here are some of them with names you’ll recognize:

  • Shirley Geok-lin Lim
  • Tan Sri Razali Ismail
  • K.S. Maniam
  • Chin San Sooi
  • Rebecca Santa Maria
  • Leow Puay Tin
List of Expertise and Research Interests


Dr. Agnes Yeow

Email: agnesyw@um.edu.my

Areas of Expertise

Supervision Interests

  • Environmental literary criticism
  • Modernist literature
  • Creative nonfiction
  • Environmental literary criticism
  • Modernist literature
  • Creative nonfiction


Dr. Carol Leon

Email: caroleon@um.edu.my

Areas of Expertise

Supervision Interests

  • postcolonial literature (especially Malaysia, South Asia, the Caribbean)
  • travel literature
  • diasporicand migrant literature.
  • postcolonial literature (especially Malaysia, South Asia, the Caribbean)
  • travel literature
  • diasporicand migrant literature
  • Malaysian children's literature.


Dr. Leonard Jeyam

Email: Leonardr@um.edu.my

Areas of Expertise

Supervision Interests

  • 20th century poetry with a special interest in modernist associations of any kind
  • Southeast Asian literatures in English
  • postcolonial literature
  • contemporary Australian poetry
  • creative writing
  • modernist and/or postmodern notions of fiction
  • all kinds of 20th century and contemporary poetry in English.

Mr. Looi Siew Teip

Email: looist@um.edu.my 

Areas of Expertise

Supervision Interests

  • English phonetics and phonology
  • Poetic Language and Versification
  • Quantitative Approaches to Literary Analysis
  • Poetic language, including figurative language, imagery and structure
  • Malaysian English
  • quantitative analyses of literary language and literary production
  • comparative literature (Chinese, Malay, French, German, Spanish)

Dr. Shalini Nadaswaran

Email: shalininadaswaran@um.edu.my 

Areas of Expertise

Supervision Interests

  • African Literature
  • African Women's Literature
  • Nigerian/ Igbo Literature
  • Post-Colonial Women's Literature


  • African Literature
  • African Women's Literature
  • Nigerian/ Igbo Literature
  • Postcolonial Women's Literature.
  • Women’s Literature
  • Modern Day Slavery (Slavery and Human Trafficking)
  • Literature and Injustice
  • The figure of the ‘child’ in postcolonial literature

Dr. Sharifah Aishah Osman

Email: saosman@um.edu.my

Areas of Expertise

Supervision Interests

  • Nineteenth-century British Literature
  • Women authors of the Romantic Period
  • Romantic Orientalism
  • Children'sliterature in Malaysia
  • Nineteenth-century British Literature
  • Women authors of the Romantic Period
  • Romantic Orientalism
  • Children'sliterature in Malaysia

Dr. Sharmani Gabriel

Email: spgabriel@um.edu.my

Areas of Expertise

Supervision Interests

  • postcolonial literary and cultural studies
  • diaspora literature
  • transnational writings
  • Malaysian literature
  • British Asian literature
  • Asian American literature



  • theories of postcolonialism
  • representations of nationalism and national identity
  • migration and diaspora
  • race, nation and ethnicity
  • multiculturalism
  • state-society relations
  • contemporary Malaysian society and cultural politics
  • cultural globalization and cosmopolitanism

Dr. Susan Philip

Email: marys@um.edu.my

Areas of Expertise

Supervision Interests

  • Malaysian and Singaporean drama in English
  • post-war British drama.


  • Malaysian drama and prose
  • issues of cultural, ethnic and gender identity in Malaysian literature
  • cultural, ethnic and gender issues in modern drama.
  • Online Media
  • Crime Fiction
  • Fantasy Literature

Dr. Su Soon Peng

Email: susp@um.edu.my

Areas of Expertise

Supervision Interests


Feminism or Gender studies



Feminism or Gender studies


Dr. Kok Su Mei

Email: smkok@um.edu.my

Areas of Expertise

Supervision Interests



Non-Shakespearean Renaissance drama (Middleton, Jonson, etc)

Renaissance literature

Early modern theatre history

Cultural geography

Material culture

Malaysian adaptations of Shakespeare




Non-Shakespearean Renaissance drama (Middleton, Jonson, etc)

Renaissance literature

Early modern theatre history

Cultural geography

Material culture

Malaysian adaptations of Shakespeare


Dr Nicholas Pagan

Email: nicholas.pagan@um.edu.my

Areas of Expertise

Supervision Interests


Literary theory and criticism

Twentieth Century and Contemporary American literature

Literature,science, and religion



Literary theory and criticism

American and comparative literature

Modern drama and film



Tinggi Foundation Bursary Awards

The Department of English is very fortunate to have the support of the Tinggi Foundation, which offers bursary awards to deserving students (prior to 2017,  financial assistance was given in the form of scholarships). The awards are open to second-year Malaysian students of the department. Applicants must demonstrate excellent academic ability and financial need.



 I would like to thank the Tinggi Foundation for  this valuable award. This helps me immeasurably  -- I am able to pay my tuition, college fees, and many more other expenses in university.   I don't come from  a well-to-do background, so this is really a big help for me. It drives me to get onto the right track, to focus more on my studies and to stay motivated. Thank you Tinggi Foundation. I am really grateful for this bursary award!   -- Nur Ina binti Ujang



It is a great honour to be a recipient of the Tinggi Foundation Award. I owe the highest gratitude to the Foundation as well as to the Department of English for alerting me to this wonderful opportunity. It is a great blessing to receive this award as I do not come from a particularly wealthy family. With this award I am able to alleviate some of the financial burden that falls on my parents’ shoulders and for that I could not be more grateful. I will utilize this financial aid to improve the quality of my academic life here at the University of Malaya. – Virtuoes Romana Maruning



Thank you, Tinggi Foundation, and thank you, English Department, for this opportunity! I am truly honoured and grateful to receive a Tinggi Foundation Award. I used to work as a part-time makeup artist and bake cakes to sell on holidays to lessen my parents' burden since I have another two younger sisters who will be furthering their studies in universities. This award has definitely lightened my financial worries. Thank you so much! -- Ana Najia binti Sharin



"I am truly honoured to be a Tinggi Foundation Award recipient and I would like to thank both the Foundation and my Department for giving me this opportunity. I am extremely thankful to be chosen among other worthy recipients. This award really helps to alleviate my study loans burden. Also, the award serves as a reminder for me to keep working harder and not fall short of others’ hopes in me." – Jessy Wong 


"With three siblings accessing secondary and tertiary education, my parents are constantly burdened with the responsibility of making sure we study in the most conducive environment. After moving to Kuala Lumpur and starting my degree in Universiti Malaya, I experienced hardships with my finances as my parents couldn’t afford to give me an allowance, even on a monthly basis. I was not able to purchase books for my classes, and in the worst case scenario, even basic needs like food and toiletries.
However, after receiving financial assistance from the Tinggi Foundation, I no longer need to juggle class and work in order to survive university. I can now fully focus on my academic life as the bursary has greatly improved my quality of life in Universiti Malaya. I really appreciate the opportunities that have been offered to me by the English Department and the Tinggi Foundation." – Allison Jong 


I am truly pleased and honored to be one of the recipients of the Tinggi Foundation Scholarship. For me, this is a blessing because out of many students who also worked really hard for the scholarship, I was chosen. I deeply appreciate the generosity of the foundation as the scholarship definitely helped ease my financial burden in completing my studies. A special thanks to the English Department of University of Malaya for making this happen for me!!! – Judith Marielee


First of all, I would like to say that I really appreciate the opportunity given to me by the English Department, University of Malaya. This is because the department itself chose my name for the scholarship interview by Tinggi Foundation. I would also like to thank Tinggi Foundation for choosing me as one of the scholarship recipients. This scholarship has not only helped me with my tuition fees but also with my living allowance so that I don’t need to burden my parents for financial help. Once again, thank you so much to the department and Tinggi Foundation for this opportunity.– Nur Faizah Bt Zainal Azam


I would like to take this opportunity to convey my appreciation to Tinggi Foundation. I feel so grateful and blessed that Tinggi Foundation has given me a chance. I never expected myself to be selected to receive this scholarship. Tinggi Foundation has provided me the financial support that allows me to pursue my studies without any worries. Furthermore, it has lessened the burden of my parents and it also motivates me to study harder. Thank you so much, Tinggi Foundation and the English Department! – Hah Shi Yun 

Department of English
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
University of Malaya 
50603 Kuala Lumpur 

T: (603)-7967 5505
F: (603)-7967 5456
E: spgabriel@um.edu.my , fass_english@um.edu.my
Last Update: February 21, 2019