Keynote & Invited Speakers-ICL2018


Professor Bill Ashcroft

Professor, School of the Arts & Media
UNSW Arts & Social Sciences
Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia



Bill Ashcroft is a renowned critic and theorist, founding exponent of postcolonial theory, co-author of The Empire Writes Back, the first text to offer a systematic examination of the field of postcolonial studies. He is author and co-author of twenty-one books and over 200 articles and chapters, variously translated into six languages, and he is on the editorial boards of ten international journals. His latest work is Utopianism in Postcolonial Literatures. He teaches at the University of NSW and is a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.







 Professor Annie Gagiano

University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Professor Emerita


Annie Gagiano is a Professor Emerita in the English Department of the University of Stellenbosch. She is the author of two books: Achebe, Head, Marechera: On Power and Change in Africa (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2000) and Dealing with Evils: Essays on Writing from Africa (Stuttgart: ibidem-Verlag, 2008; 2nd ed. 2014 co-published Columbia UP) and of more than 60 articles and book chapters mainly on African fiction (in English or in English translation) by authors from across the continent and ranging from Chinua Achebe to Yvonne Vera. Experiential history; family and nation; African representations of power distribution in the past and in the postcolonial present; gender issues; depictions of at-risk children in African writing as well as comparative reading practices; recent fiction by Africa’s female authors and the forms and functions of realism in African writing are her major concerns. She is a member of the ALA and SAACLALS, and reviews articles for a number of journals as well as reviewing new writing from/on Africa for the Journal of Postcolonial Writing and on Litnet – her blog African texts ( ).



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Professor  Anjali Gera Roy

Department of Humanities of Social Sciences
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur



Anjali Gera Roy is a Professor in the Department of Humanities of Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, who works on fiction, film and performance traditions of India, diasporas, oral histories and Partition 1947. She is the author of Imperialism and Sikh Migration: the Komagata Maru Incident (Routledge 2017), Cinema of Enchantment: Perso-Arabic Genealogies of the Hindi Masala Film (Orient Blackswan 2015) and Bhangra Moves: From Ludhiana to London and Beyond (Aldershot: Ashgate 2010). She has edited Imagining Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat in the Transnational Era (London: Routledge 2015) and The Magic of Bollywood: At Home and Abroad (Delhi: Sage 2012). She has also co-edited (with Ajaya K Sahoo) Diaspora and Transnationalisms: the Journey of the Komagata Maru (Routledge 2017), (with Chua Beng Huat) The Travels of Indian Cinema: From Bombay to LA (Delhi: OUP 2012), (with Nandi Bhatia) Partitioned Lives: Narratives of Home, Displacement and Resettlement (Delhi: Pearson Longman 2008) and (with Nukhbah T Langah) a special feature on “Siriaki Across India and Pakistan” in Muse India: the Literary E-journal, July-August 2011. In addition, she has published more than 100 essays in literary, film and cultural studies. She has successfully completed a number of research projects on cinema, performance, digital media, migration, small towns and is currently engaged in a collaborative project on the afterlife of those displaced by the Partition of 1947.

She has lectured in Universities in Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Germany, Canada and US. She has been a Baden Wurttemberg Professorial Fellow in the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, a Western Fellow, Visiting University Scholar Program in the University of Western Ontario, London, Senior Visiting Research Fellow & Senior Research Fellow in the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Senior Research Fellow of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute and Visiting Fellow in the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University Canberra. She was awarded the Writer of the Year Award in 2011 by the IRCALC for her contributions to African literature and serves on the editorial boards of several journals.






Professor Dato' Seri Dr. Md. Salleh Yaapar

Professor, School of Humanities,
Ombudsman, USM
Universiti Sains Malaysia,
11800 USM, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Dato’ Seri Dr. Md. Salleh Yaapar is Professor of Comparative Literature as well as Ombudsman at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. He is also Chairman of the Board of Governors, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Malaysia as well as a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Malay World and Islamic Civilazation, International Islamic University Malaysia and an Adjunct Professor at Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan (ASWARA). He was formerly the European Chair of Malay Studies, Leiden University, Netherlands. Prior to that he was Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Development), Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students Affairs), and Dean of the School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Professor Md. Salleh obtained his Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from University of Malaya, Master of Arts from University of the Philippines, Quezon City, as well as from Temple University, Philadelphia, and Doctor of Philosophy (Distinction) also from Temple University. His areas of specialization are Comparative Literature, Literary Theory and Literature of the Malay World. He is the first recipient of the Malay Language Academic Personality Award, Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia. His significant books include Poetry and Mysticism: A Hermeneutical Reading of the Poems of Amir Hamzah (1995; 2015) and Pilgrimage to the Orient (2009). He has published in international journals such as Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, Asian Journal of Social Science, The Muslim World, Indonesia and the Malay World, Kunapipi: Journal of Postcolonial Writing & Culture, Journal of Asia Business Studies, and GEMA: Online Journal of Language Studies.
Aside from the above, Prof. Md. Salleh is also a member of the Board of Studies for New Programs, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Malaya, member of the Advisory Committee, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, member of the Board of Majlis Penerbitan Ilmiah Malaysia (MAPIM) and member of the Board of Trustee, Yayasan Karyawan Malaysia.




 Prof Ghulam Sarwar Yusuf iium


Professor Dato Dr Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof

Cultural Center
University of Malaya
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof obtained his B.A. in English from the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur and PhD in Asian Theatre from the University of Hawaii. He established Malaysia’s first Performing Arts programe at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang. Following USM Prof Ghulam joined the University of Malaya, where, in his second attachment, he is currently Adjunct Professor in the Cultural Centre, and the International Islamic University Malaysia. He has also served as visiting professor at the University of the Philippines in Manila and at the Mindanao State University in Marawi City. Apart from that he has spent most of his career researching and writing on a wide range of subjects related to Asian arts and culture.

Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof’s research interests include traditional Southeast Asian theatre, Asian literature, folklore and epics. He has published widely on these subjects as well a presented numerous papers in Malaysian, Asian, European and Australian universities. His best known works include his Dictionary of Traditional South-East Asian Theatre (Oxford 1994) and the Performing Arts volume of Encyclopaedia of Malaysia (Editions Didier Millet, 2004).  

As a creative writer Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof has published several volumes of original poetry, drama, short stories as well as essays. He has also been involved in translations of Urdu ghazal poetry into English.




Assoc. Prof. Dr Kirpal Singh

Associate Professor,
Director of the Wee Kim Centre
Singapore Management University (SMU)

Poet, literary and cultural critic, and university lecturer in English language and literature, has written and published three collections of poetry and edited many literary journals and books. He was a founding member of the Centre for Research in New Literatures, Flinders University, Australia in 1977, the first Asian director for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1993 and 1994, and chairman of the Singapore Writers’ Festival in the 1990s.

He is currently an Associate Professor with the Singapore Management University (SMU). He is also the Director of the Wee Kim Centre in SMU that promotes a deeper understanding of the impact of cultural diversity upon the business environment. Internationally recognised scholar whose core research areas include post-colonial literature, Singapore and Southeast Asian, literature and technology, and creativity thinking.

He has won research awards and grants from local and foreign universities. His research articles and critical writings have been published in international journals such as Ariel, Diogene, Commonwealth Novel In English, Literary Criterion, Quadrant, Southern Review and Westerly. He has written three books of poetry and edited over 15 publications, including the prestigious literary journal, World Literature Written in English. He has attended international writers’ festivals in Adelaide, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Toronto and Kent, to give readings of his works. He had the distinction of being the first Asian director of the prestigious Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1993 and 1994.

In addition, Dr Singh is a member of several international literary journals and associations. Currently, he is also involved in conceptualising and promoting creative thinking in Singapore’s undergraduate education system, at the Singapore Management University (SMU). In 2004, Dr Singh became the first Asian and non-American to be made a director on the American Creativity Association’s (ACA) board.




Dr Johan Awang Othman

Senior Lecturer, School of Arts,
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 USM, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Johan Othman pursued his undergraduate education at Oberlin Conservatory of Music graduating in 1997 with a major in music composition and in 1999 he graduated from Yale University with a Masters of Music in composition. In 2015 he obtained his PhD in Art History and Theory from Universiti Sains Malaysia. His past scholarly papers
which range from music and cultural studies, sound/image constitution in film, and gender/image signification, includes: Can Medea Speak? Tracing Euripides' Medea's Complex Performative Gendering in Her Speech from the Outside in the Outside (2016), Constituting genderlocating the body (2015) “The Body as Agency of Imaginary Gendering: Re-imagining Medea’s Gender Formation and Positioning” (ICHSC 2011), “Privileging the Absence in Claire Denis’s ‘Vers Nancy’” (2nd PACIA 2011), and “Cultural Decentralization Within A Post-Colonial Territory: Movements in Malaysia’s Musical Culture”(Wacana Seni 2002). He currently teaches music and art theory in the School of the Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia since 1999.