Nicole Yow Wei

Nicole Yow Wei
2020-2021 UNDERGRADUATE FELLOW

Biography

Nicole Yow Wei ’21 is an undergraduate in the Department of History. Her thesis is tentatively titled “Reading from the Margins of Print: Baba Malay Performance Text in Pre-war Singapore and Malaya.” By examining the ancillary features of printed texts written in the Baba Malay patois—works such as translations of Chinese literature, poetry collections, and songbooks—she attends to how the printed books of the Straits Chinese community were performed. She considers literary production as an embodied practice, and situates Straits Chinese written and performance traditions as material participants in the wider linguistic and media politics of colonial Singapore and Malaya. She is also developing the Digital Humanities project “Chinese Books of the Malay World,” a digital tool usable by researchers of Sinophone and Malay world studies. The project consists of a network visualization and a searchable database of the Malay-language books produced by Chinese settlers of the Malay world. On campus, she is a member of the Southeast Asian Studies Initiative (SEASI), a student-led organization which aims to increase the presence of Southeast Asian Studies at Brown.