Global pasts and 'Straits medievalism' at the Asian Civilisations Museum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) is driven by an avowed pan-Asian focus, with permanent collections encompassing southern mainland Asia, maritime Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent across the last 1500 years. This article examines how the ACM calls on oceanic and interconnected histories in its representation of ‘medieval’ Southeast Asia, and how this allows the museum to craft a ‘longue durée’ narrative that naturalizes Singapore’s self-image as a global polity and economic actor. It argues for the ACM as a revealing instance of ‘Straits medievalism’, where the Singaporean heritage industry has evolved alongside scholarly reconsiderations of the medieval world beyond Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-148
Number of pages20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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