Reading Groups

Reading Groups bring together students, faculty members, practitioners, and researchers from multi-disciplinary backgrounds to think together about topics specific to each reading Group’s theme. They aim to help students deepen their knowledge through in-class discussion, talks by invited speakers, and projects/interventions, guided by relevant readings from literature.

Reading Groups are not credit-bearing. Participation in a Reading Group will take approximately two to three hours per week during Semester.

CAPTains who are unable to take a college module to fulfil residency requirements can contact the Director of Studies to seek approval to participate in a Reading Group instead, on a case-by-case basis. This will usually involve writing an additional paper.

Here are the Reading Groups offered this semester (AY2018/2019 Semester 1). You can sign up for Reading Groups here.

Gender & Politics
This Reading Group surveys both the key concepts and contemporary debates on the participation and representation of women and men in politics. It asks why gender inequality continues to persist around the world, in both developed and developing countries, comparing cases in South and Southeast Asia, including Singapore. Some of the questions include: whether we need more women in politics; whether women represent women, intersectionality, the role of international norms and social activism.

We are privileged to have our academic visitor, Assoc Prof Netina Tan, from McMaster University, as a co-convener for the reading group this semester. Assoc Prof Netina Tan’s work focuses on authoritarian resilience and the political inclusion of women and ethnic minorities.


This group will meet on Thursdays, from 4-6pm in the Reading Room. The first session will be held in Week 3 (30 Aug).


Assoc Prof Reuben Wong (

Dr Linda Matar (

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Minorities & Languages
This reading group will explore the policies, challenges and research related to minorities and languages, with a special focus on Singapore and the region.

Why is Mandarin an official language in Singapore and Hokkien only a “dialect”? What is the difference between a “dialect” and a “language”? How and why has the number of Indian languages available as Mother Tongue in schools expanded since independence? Why have other Southeast Asian countries chosen some languages over others for official status? The group will discuss these questions and consider how language and education policies relate to concepts of identity, ethnicity and nation building.


This group will meet on Tuesdays, from 6-8pm in SR6. The first session will be held in Week 3 (students who signed up will be informed via email). The dates for the rest of the sessions will be announced at the first session.


Ms Wong Soon Fen (

Assoc Prof Bruce Lockhart (

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Healthy Communities - Global Health
Healthy Communities (HCRG) is an interdisciplinary Reading Group for people who are interested in bridging the gap between evidence and practice, and in examining the real-world issues that individuals, communities and health systems face in trying to improve the health of populations.

This semester, the HCRG will focus on Global Health programmes and what makes them effective, or otherwise. We will be using a case study approach to understand principles for meeting health needs in different countries, and how these needs are being addressed through health programmes that function in many different ways – from rolling out new technologies and medicines … to improving access to health services… to changing behaviour, population-wide.

We are again privileged to have Dr Liow Chee Hsiang from the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health as a co-convener for the reading group this semester. Dr Liow worked as a public health physician in China for 15 years, during which he directed operations for an international NGO, and was involved ‘on the ground’ in developing and evaluating programmes related to HIV and other diseases.

Each member of the Reading Group will need to have access to a copy of ‘Millions Saved – New Cases of Proven Success in Global Health’. The College will provide a subsidy towards the cost of the book (Kindle Edition USD9.99).


Wednesdays from 5-6:30pm (8 sessions spread over the semester, from Week 3 till Week 11) in SR6.

The first session is on 29 August. Please sign up as soon as possible to facilitate planning. The minimum number for the group to go ahead this semester is 8 CAPTains.

Is this the right Reading Group for me?

If you are (a) interested in finding out more about population health programmes and what factors contribute to the success, or otherwise, and (b) committed the reading/preparation involved, you are welcomed to join the group. You can also attend the first session before you decide.


Assoc Prof Adeline Seow (

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