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Liberal Arts for Asians


This critical commentary discusses Yale-NUS College, a recently established liberal arts college in Singapore enabled by a controversial partnership between Yale University and the National University of Singapore. The Yale-NUS collaboration marks a shift in the role of educational institutions in Singapore's neoliberal economy and one that contends with the legacy of Singapore's earlier discourse of Asian values. The essay analyses the curricular design process of the college's literature and humanities common curriculum course, as well as one faculty member's experience of teaching a course on modern Chinese literature and film, to highlight both the potential and the challenges of liberal arts education in the context of Singapore's postcoloniality and neoliberal economy.

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