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Research Fellow (Theatre and Performance)

National University of Singapore

Department of English, Linguistics & Theatre Studies

Job Description:

The Department of English, Linguistics and Theatre Studies at Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore (NUS) is recruiting ONE Research Fellow to work on a Social Science and Humanities Research (SSHR) Fellowship project, Archipelagic Mappings and Performance Routes, Routers, and Networks (1840 1940), directed by the Principal Investigator (PI), Assistant Professor Alvin Eng Hui Lim.  The position will be based in Singapore with an intended start date of August 2024 for a period of two years.

The SSHR Fellowship-funded project seeks to study early waves of interculturalism and performance-making during the colonial period and identify obvious gaps in research on the theatrical networks and performance routes of the nineteenth century to early twentieth century. The project will theorise and document the circulation and travels of theatre, dance, and performance against the backdrop of colonial expansion, territorialisation, cultural diplomacy, trade, and technological development between 1840 to 1940. By situating Singapore as a significant node, the study will trace the networks that existed between urban centres, port cities, and the sea routes (namely, along the Malacca and Singapore Straits and diverging across Australia, Hong Kong and the Southern provinces of China, to name a few) that performance practices and performers travelled on as they embarked and disembarked, evolved, or took root across places in the region. These networks will be visualised and narrated through storymaps and digital scholarship, ensuring that the histories of individual traditions are not told in isolation but interwoven into a connected history of performance-making in the region.

The successful applicant will be offered a contract of 24 months from the date of hire. S/he will receive an attractive monthly remuneration depending on experience and qualifications. S/he will be considered a full-time staff member of the National University of Singapore, applicable for staff benefits such as medical coverage, a fixed amount in a flexible spending account for health-related expenses, vacation leave, corporate discounts, and staff concession rates for part-time government subsidized graduate programmes offered by NUS. The position will be based in Singapore, although some research travel may be permitted. Singapore citizens and permanent residents are eligible for Central Provident Fund benefits.

Scope and Responsibilities:

The Research Fellow (Theatre and Performance) will work with the Principal Investigator (PI) to:

  • Collect, process, manage, and analyse data from archives and historical collections. Such data may include information from archival documents, books, travelogues, photography, maps, old newspapers, and journals.

  • Support PI in designing and maintaining a performance database, a searchable resource accessible to the public.

  • Use digital research methods to produce story maps and narrate performance histories.

  • Support in editing and proofreading documents and manuscripts.

  • Design and prepare presentation materials for meetings, conferences, etc.

  • Contribute to papers, book chapters, research reports, etc.

  • Provide logistical and administrative support for an international workshop.

  • Ad hoc logistical, administrative, and research tasks.


Applicants should:

  • Have at least a PhD in Theatre Studies, History, Performance Studies, Asian Studies or equivalent. Fresh graduates are welcome to apply.

  • Experience in conducting historical research.

  • Multilingual ability to read and write in any of the following languages will also be highly advantageous: Traditional Mandarin Chinese, Bahasa Melayu, or Tamil.


  • Excellent writing and strong communication skills in English, including an ability to present research in both academic and non-academic venues

  • Meticulous and has good project management skills

  • Curiosity and passion to explore new concepts, methodologies and technologies

  • Capable of identifying and learning quickly the most suitable tools for the research

  • Research experience in historical research, digital archiving, and/or Asian performance research

  • Good team player and ability to multitask effectively

More Information:

Applications are to be submitted at  Please include a cover letter, full CV and contact information of 3 referees (of which one has to be your thesis supervisor) in your application. .Informal enquiries may be made to Dr. Alvin Eng Hui Lim ( Referees will be contacted for shortlisted applicants only.

Deadline for applications to be received is 15 May 2024 (Singapore time).  Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

At NUS, the health and safety of our staff and students are one of our utmost priorities, and COVID-vaccination supports our commitment to ensure the safety of our community and to make NUS as safe and welcoming as possible. Many of our roles require a significant amount of physical interactions with students/staff/public members. Even for job roles that may be performed remotely, there will be instances where on-campus presence is required.

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