Whose Worst Disaster? The Long Shadow of the Fall of Singapore, 80 Years On

One of the arguments historians make about why their subject matters is that with the passage of time, deeper and more profound causes and consequences of events stand out more clearly, and can be more critically engaged. Imagine standing nose right against a large painting, then step back five steps and look at it again – or so the claim goes. This is not hindsight. It is suggesting that some things just cannot be seen or understood at the time, for many reasons, but over time they emerge. Well, how much time? 80 years? A lifetime. Is that enough? From our vantage point 80 years on, what can we now see was the impact of the Japanese conquest of Singapore in February 1942? Is it still 'the worst disaster'? Or something else? This talk will consider those questions.



Dr Brian P. Farrell

Dr Brian P. Farrell

Professor, Department of History


Brian P. Farrell is Professor of Military History at NUS, where he has been teaching since 1993. His research interests include the military history of the British Empire, the Western military experience in Asia, and the interplay between hard power and order. Major publications include The Defence and Fall of Singapore 1940-1942. He has published more extensively about the Fall of Singapore in 1942 than any other scholar.

This event is open to all, including NUS staff/students and the public. Booking availability on a first-come-first-served basis. 

For general enquiries, contact askalib@nus.edu.sg.

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