Public talk at Silverfish BooksSecond Floor Bangsar Village 2,
Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-228 448 37
on Saturday, April 30, 2016,  5.00 to 7.00pm

by Alicia Izharuddin

aliciaAlicia Izharuddin will talk about gender and sexuality of Malay women in literature. “Malaysia was a different country during my grandmother's generation in the late 50s and 60s,” she says. “People watch P. Ramlee movies and get nostalgic about gender relations, how women dressed and comported themselves back then.”

She will illustrate the newness of urban Malaya and the 'new' women who were empowered back then (in the 1960s) and how much we have changed since through the writings of Malay women writers of the 1960s.

 Her talk will be based on a book chapter from a forthcoming book, ‘Women in Postcolonial Southeast Asian Literature’, edited by Grace Chin and Kathrina Daud.

Synopsis of a book chapter:
The new Malay woman in modern Malay literature emerged during a period of unflattering and sexualised representations of female characters in the Malay literary canon and low brow fiction by male writers of the 1960s. By contrast, the emancipated new Malay woman, a creation of women writers, is a departure from her literary predecessors and contemporaries of passive, self-sacrificing domestic women. She is a product of early postcolonial modernisation and other institutional policies to elevate the Malay community in Malaya. The new Malay woman in Malay literature was created by women at a specific time in Malaysian history and was instrumental in promoting the advancement of Malay society in the 1960s.

The book has not been published yet, but she will make available a sample book chapter to listeners.

About the speaker
Alicia Izharuddin is Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. After receiving her PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London in 2014, she returned to Malaysia to take up a teaching post in University of Malaya. She is also has a column in the MalayMailOnline in which she writes about gender in Malaysian culture and higher education. She has been published in Indonesia and the Malay World, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies and Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific and has a forthcoming book, 'Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema' (Palgrave Macmillan).