Cultural Transplantation: The Writing of Classical Chinese Poetry in Colonial Singapore (1887‒1945)


Classical-style poetry in modern China and other Sinitic-speaking localities is attracting greater attention with the recent upsurge in academic revision of modern Chinese literary history. Using the concept of cultural transplantation, this monograph attempts to illustrate the uniqueness, compatibility, and adaptability of classical Chinese poetry in colonial Singapore as well as its sustained connections with literary tradition and homeland. It demonstrates how the reading of classical Chinese poetry can better our understanding of Singapore’s political, social, and cultural history, deepen knowledge of the transregional relationship between China and Nanyang, and fine-tune, redress, and enrich our perception of Singapore Chinese literature, Sinophone literature, the Chinese diaspora, and global Chinese identity.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Lap Lam obtained his Ph.D. in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia and is now associate professor in the Department of Chinese Studies at the National University of Singapore.
List of Illustrations
Note on Romanization


1 Founding Fathers: Qing Consul-Poets Zuo Binglong and Huang Zunxian
2 Naming and Local Colour: Qiu Shuyuan and His “Star Island” Poetry
3 Building Cultural Space: Qiu Shuyuan and Singapore’s Literary Community
4 Reinventing the Blue Tower Tradition: Poetry on Prostitution
5 Versifying Religious Belief: Sinitic Buddhism and Buddhist Poets
6 Lyrical Records of Social Mores: Bamboo Branch Verse and Singapore Society
7 The Uprooted Orchid: Lanhua ji Poets in the Occupation Period

Epilogue: What Then?

Selected Bibliography
Scholars, specialists, students, and general readers interested in Chinese studies, classical Chinese poetry, modern Chinese literature, Sinophone study, Singapore history, Singapore Chinese literature, Chinese diaspora, and overseas Chinese study.
  • Collapse
  • Expand