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After spending time setting up the South East Asian branch of the Memory Network earlier this year, the Principal Investigator of the Memory Network, Dr Sebastian Groes, has received a research grant from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) of RM 37,000 (roughly £10,000) to organise a conference that explores memory in a contemporary Malaysian context.

Groes will be working in partnership with Professor Ruzy Hashim, Head of Department of Language Studies and Linguistics of UKM. The grant has been made available as part of the ‘Understanding the Contemporary Malay Culture’ research project.

The conference will explore Malaysia’s rapid economic growth since the 1980s, which has triggered enormous economic and cultural changes, and has led to urgent questions about the changing nature of the country and the lives of its citizens, as well as the condition of local and national history, identity and cultural memory and heritage. Not only has there been a radical renegotiation of the nature-city balance, but, just as in the West, one of the main health issues in Malaysia today is obesity. The conference will explore memory both at the level of the individual, subjective self as well as our sense of collective and cultural memory. Keynote speaker include Professor of Psycholinguistics Asifa Majid (Radboud University, the Netherlands), writers and broadcaster Sharaad Kuttan, and the novelist Tash Aw.  Paul Antick from the University of Roehampton will deliver a paper on his experience of the ever-changing Kuala Lumpur, and deliver visual work to a joint exhibition.

The conference will lead to the second book published by the Memory Network, edited by Groes and Hashim. For more information, please see the Conference Poster or email Nick Lavery on