The Symposium on Literature and Culture in the Asia-Pacific Region was founded by Emeritus Professor Edwin Thumboo of the National University of Singapore and the late Professor Bruce Bennett of the University of Western Australia. The symposium was developed with the help of various scholars who helped host as well as contributed to its proceedings. Without them, the symposium would not have developed the way it has. A symposium (at an affordable fee and not meant to make profit) is hosted by different countries every two years. The three-day symposium is an invitation-only event and is organised to provide scholars and writers a platform to speak and discuss issues which concern the Asia-Pacific region and present their current research. The symposium also serves as a platform for writers to showcase their work to an audience through literary readings which are scheduled at the end of each conference day.
In 2009, the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) through the English Language and Literature Department, represented Malaysia as the host of the 13th biennial symposium. The event was attended by many distinguished and reputable scholars. Among them was the late Prof. Emeritus Dr. Benedict Anderson, author of Imagined Communities (1983), who served as the keynote speaker. That symposium revisited the concept of ‘imagined communities’ as proposed by Prof. Anderson and the changing ideas of identity, nationalism and globalisation across the region. This event was a great success and this year, 2017, the department has been given the privilege to host another symposium with the theme “The Text and The City”, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur from 22 to 24 November 2017.
To see a short video of a past Asiapac Symposium held at IIUM, please click this youtube video:
For more information on this symposium, please go to Home.