Keynote Prof Brenda Yeoh

Brenda S.A. Yeoh is Professor (Provost’s Chair), Department of Geography, as well as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore. She is also the Research Leader of the Asian Migration Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, NUS. Her research interests include the politics of space in colonial and postcolonial cities, and she also has considerable experience working on a wide range of migration research in Asia, including key themes such as cosmopolitanism and highly skilled talent migration; gender, social reproduction and care migration; migration, national identity and citizenship issues;  globalising universities and international student mobilities; and cultural politics, family dynamics and international marriage migrants.

Her latest book titles include The Cultural Politics of Talent Migration in East Asia (Routledge, 2012, with Shirlena Huang); Migration and Diversity in Asian Contexts (ISEAS press, 2012, with Ah Eng Lai and Francis Collins); Return: Nationalizing Transnational Mobility in Asia (Duke University Press, 2013, with Biao Xiang and Mika Toyota); Transnational Labour Migration, Remittances and the Changing Family in Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, with Lan Ahn Hoang); as well as a paperback reprint of her book, Contesting Space in Colonial Singapore: Power Relations and the Urban Built Environment (originally published in 1996 by Oxford University Press).STY_5053-1MB size

Title: Transnational families, communication technologies  and the negotiation of temporal orderings: Simultaneities, rhythm and rupture

 Abstract: In a world where human bonds and intimate relations are made “liquid” by globalisation (Bauman, 2003), scholars working on transnational Asian families have argued that distance and dispersal in response to global work opportunities do not necessarily lead to dissolution but instead allow for different ways of “doing” family. Transnational families often strive to maintain and foster an imagined narrative of collective experiences that would reconstitute a semblance of familyhood across space and time. As migrant trajectories become increasingly non-linear and fluid, scholars have argued for a moving away from the idea of a migration as a single ‘event’ towards thinking about migration through the negotiation of temporal orderings.  Both migrants and those who stay behind continue to navigate the interstices between permanence and temporariness, repetitions and punctuations, synchronicity and asynchronicity. Crucial to this process has been the rise of cheaper and more advanced communication technologies. This points to the need for a dialectical and parallel examination of the changing experience of migration and family life in relation to the development of communication technologies