Professor Shirley Chew

Born:
  • Unknown

Biography

Shirley Chew is Professor of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Leeds.

She was educated in Singapore and at Oxford. She is a former co-editor of The Journal of Commonwealth Literature (1992-6) and guest editor of Kunapipi: Journal of Postcolonial Writing (1997-9), and is general editor of the journal Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings. She is co-editor of the book Unbecoming Daughters of the Empire (1993), which includes her own essay on the cross-cultural influences of an English education and a Chinese upbringing, and of Translating Life: Studies in Transpositional Aesthetics (1999). Her essay '(Post)colonial Translation in V. S. Naipaul's The Enigma of Arrival' was published in Re-constructing The Book: Literary Texts in Transmission (2001).

In 2006, she was Visiting Professor of English at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. In 2015-15 she was again Visiting Professor of English at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and is working on a monograph on Anita Desai and a Blackwell History of Postcolonial Literature.

Shirley Chew is co-editor of the book, A Concise Companion to Postcolonial Literature (2010).

Critical perspective

Professor Shirley Chew is an academic who has played a major role in the evolution of Commonwealth and Postcolonial studies in both Britain and beyond.

Although she has research interests in Victorian and contemporary British writing, Chew's main research and teaching interests are in the areas of South Asian, Australian and Canadian literature.Much of Chew's recent work has been concerned with issues of transmission, translation and the transcultural within a postcolonial context. In 1999 she co-edited Translating Life: Studies in Transpositional Aesthetics, a book which offers multiple perspectives on the concept of translation and which includes her own essay, '(Post) colonial Translations in V.S. Naipaul's The Enigma of Arrival'. She is also the co-editor of Borderblur: Essays on Poetry and Politics in Contemporary Canadian Literature and Unbecoming Daughters of the Empire (1993), which contains an important autobiographical piece by her. Shirley Chew's skills as an editor are underlined by the prominent role she played in relation to two foundational journals of postcolonial studies in the 1990s: The Journal of Commonwealth Literature (co-editor 1992-1996) and Kunapipi (guest editor 1997-1999). Her special issue of Kunapipi, 'India and Pakistan, 1947-1997' brings together fiction, poetry, interviews and criticism to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Independence. In 1994 she co-edited, with Anna Rutherford and Lars Jensen, Into the Nineties: Post-Colonial Women's Writing. More recently, Chew has become the general editor of a major new journal of creative and critical writing, entitled Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings. As well as being an energetic editor and a committed university teacher, Chew is also currently working on two monographs: a study of the Indian writer, Anita Desai and a A History of Postcolonial Commonwealth Literature 1947-2000.

Dr James Procter, 2001

Bibliography

A Concise Companion to Postcolonial Commonwealth Literature 1947-2000
Re-constructing the Book: Literary Texts in Transmission
Translating Life: Studies in Transpositional Aesthetics
India and Pakistan 1947-1997: A Celebration
African Writers
Borderblur: Essays on Poetry and Poetics in Contemporary Canadian Literature
Introducing Literary Studies
Into the Nineties: Post-Colonial Women's Writing
Unbecoming Daughters of the Empire
Arthur Hugh Clough: Selected Poems
Living with Science in Singapore