The Fall of Singapore as a World Historical Event

Wednesday 9 March 2022

14:00 and 19:00

Josh De Cruz

   The fall of Singapore is seen as a seminal event for writers, historians and politicians, from which many place the end of empire, an inevitable decline, a loss of prestige and humiliating defeat. It is a moment in multiple histories – in the history of the British Empire, the Second World War, the history of Japan, Asian Nationalism, Indian independence, the histories of Singapore and Malaysia, and the collective and individual histories of millions of people whose lives were directly affected by Japan’s victory.

   To consider the fall of Singapore as a world historical event, I will examine it as event, experience and myth. ‘Event’ meaning what actually happened; ‘Experience’ meaning how it was viewed and understood at the time; and ‘Myth’ meaning how it has been subsequently interpreted, mythologized and used to represent something wider: reflecting the mythmaker as much as the event itself.

Keywords –British Empire, Imperialism, Nationalism, Singapore, World War.