Trim: 6¼ x 9½
978-1-4985-2411-7 • Hardback • June 2016 • $102.00 • (£78.00)
978-1-4985-2412-4 • eBook • June 2016 • $96.50 • (£71.00)
Sandra Hudd is university associate in the School of Humanities at the University of Tasmania.
Introduction: From Trading Post to Nation, From Convent to Commerce
Chapter 1: Destination Singapore
Chapter 2: The Colonial Convent 1854–1942
Chapter 3: Tapioca Days: Under Japanese Occupation
Chapter 4: The City Renewed, The Nation Made Concrete
Chapter 5: Departures: Re-Imagining the Convent Site
Chapter 6: Remembering the Past: Choices Made, Places Lost
Chapter 7: Remembering the Convent
Conclusion: No more silent nights
Sandra Hudd tells the absorbing story of colonial and post-colonial Singapore from a distinctive perspective: that of a particular site and the purposes of its occupants. The site was for nearly 130 years in the hands of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus. Now, updated and commercialized, it is Chijmes, designed to attract tourists, shoppers, and fine diners. Dr. Hudd argues that heritage conservation, a problem in many cities, is in an especially ambiguous position in restlessly changing Singapore. Her thoughtful book and its many insights will be welcomed not only by historians of Southeast Asia, but also by those, there and elsewhere, concerned with repurposing built heritage.
— Nicholas Tarling, University of Auckland
CHIJ Victoria Street holds a very special place in the hearts and minds of many generations of Singaporean women who take pride in being ‘Convent girls.’ Sandra Hudd, however, shows us that CHIJ was not only a school but a place that reflected the fast-paced history of Singapore, from its beginnings as a colonial nation to its traumatic experiences during the Japanese occupation, and then to its current dramatic changes as a young nation aspiring for cosmopolitanism. A riveting read of a humble convent which inadvertently became a metaphor and a symbol for a nation’s history and its urban re-imaginings.
— Catherine Gomes, Associate Professor, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University
Sandra Hudd ably analyzes empire and Christian missionaries by highlighting the impact of a Catholic convent in British Singapore. She demonstrates that the instruments of colonization and decolonization of Singapore continue to influence the nation’s aspirations and development. This book draws on history, social geography, religion, urban studies, and heritage conservation and is complemented with personal narratives, contemporary media reports, and visual images from historical and contemporary photographs.
— Cecilia Leong-Salobir, University of Wollongong
A timely and important addition to the historiography, this book brings together the colonial and post-colonial worlds in a vivid and innovative analysis. Hudd presents a skillful yet sensitive examination of the complex interrelationship between empire, gender, memory, place, and space.
— Ernest Koh, Monash University
Through a rich account of the site of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, this book provides fascinating insights into the management of urban space in Singapore as a colony, an occupied territory, and a nation. Based on extensive research and innovative in approach, it will be of interest to any reader seeking a better understanding of Singapore’s history and contemporary culture.
— Joanna Cruickshank, Deakin University