Researcher . Writer . Teacher

Fiona Lee is a Lecturer in English at the University of Sydney. She researches and teaches in the fields of postcolonial studies, 20th- and 21st-century literature, and cultural studies. Her research explores the history of decolonisation and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, with a particular interest in Malaysia and Singapore, through the prisms of literature and the arts.

About me

Latest Publications

Neutralizing English: Han Suyin and the language politics of Third World literature

The writings of Han Suyin during her sojourn in British Malaya from the 1950s to 1960s are a rich archive for understanding how the Cold War’s impact on postcolonial nation-building contributed to the remaking of English as a supposedly neutral language. Han styled herself as a spokesperson for China to the English-speaking world during the early decades of communist rule. Her writings arguably helped to fashion English as a transparent medium for representing Asia, a conception of language that informs global literary publishing today. Yet her work, which was influenced by her participation in the Afro-Asian Writers Conferences organized in the wake of the 1955 Bandung Conference, as well as her experience of living in Malaya during the colonial counter-insurgency against communists, also offers insights on how English’s neutrality ought to be understood in relation to forestalled Third World movements and racialized antagonisms in postcolonial nations.

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The Subject and the Partner in Malaysia: A Discussion with Fiona Le‪e‬

Dr Thushara Dibley speaks with Dr Fiona Lee about a unique research project she’s been managing on cultural archives in Malaysia, where her research partner is also the subject of her research.