From S'pore LGBT encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Philip Holden teaches literature in English, mostly from Singapore and the region, at the National University of Singapore.

He was born in Britain, spent most of his childhood moving from provincial town to provincial city, and went to London to university.

In his 20s, he travelled, working in theatre as a stage manager, and as a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, teaching in China and Taiwan, and studying further in the United States.

Holden is something of an accidental academic: he did not really decide on this career until he was in my late20s, and he has also always kept an interest in activism outside the university, working on issues such as nuclear disarmament, HIV/AIDS, and heritage.

He came to Singapore in 1994 and has been here, with some time abroad, ever since. Singapore is his home, yet he is also very attached to two other cities that he has lived in for a few years, and to which he returns from time to time: Vancouver, Canada, and London, England (not Ontario).

Many of Holden's scholarly publications are in journal and books that can be accessed through NUS library: see his NUS Staff Profile. Two open access ones can be found here:

  • Histories of the Present: Reading Contemporary Singapore Novels between the Local and the Global
  • Global Malaysian Novels: Prospects and Possibilities

He is interested in other forms of writing and other ways of knowing, and one of the ways in which he expresses this is through short stories. His writing of fiction is very much a work in progress, but here are links to some of his published work:

  • Host
  • Two Among Many
  • Heaven Has Eyes

On Saturday, 30 August 2014, Holden attended "A minor ContraDiction", the closing event of IndigNation 2014 and wrote a review of it the following day:[1].

See also[edit]


  • Philip Holden's personal profile on his Wordpress blog, "Pulau Ujong: Singapore, Literature, Contexts":[2].
  • Wasafiri article on Philip Holden:[3].