Edgar’s research and teaching interests sit at the intersection between the global history of childhood and youth and the study of imperialism, colonialism and nationalism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia. His current dissertation traces the history of the making of “youth” in post-1942 Singapore. He has previously published on student activism in Malaya and Singapore. He is also a member of the UBC Centre for Southeast Asian Research and the UBC Inter-disciplinary Histories Research Cluster.
At UBC, he taught courses on Southeast Asian history as a sessional lecturer. Between 2011 and 2014, Edgar was an Instructor in History in the National University of Singapore’s Department of History, where he taught Singapore history, Southeast Asian history, U.S. history, and historical methodology to classes ranging from 30 to 450 undergraduates from a variety of disciplines.
Edgar also possesses more than fourteen years of experience in leadership and youth development, project and event management, and community development and leadership, as a volunteer for non-profit organizations, welfare organizations, and national youth leadership development programs in Singapore. His most significant positions were as an elected Management Committee member of the National University of Singapore Society and as Co-chair of the Young Changemakers Grant Panels, a national grant and mentoring program for youth-led community projects.
Edgar brings a dramatist’s sensitivity and intuition to his teaching and community work. He won prizes in a couple of playwriting competitions in Singapore and had his first play produced to mixed reviews (Ma Goes Home by Action Theatre) in October 2010. Since then, he mainly writes scripts pro bono for charity shows and programs in Singapore.
- Southeast Asian history and historiography
- Singapore history and historiography
- Student and youth movements, activism and politics
- History of childhood and youth
- History of colonialism and imperialism
- History of education
- History of the Cold War
L.Kah Seng; E. Liao; L.Cheng Tju; S. Guoquan. Tangled Strands of Modernity: The University Socialist Club and the Contest for Malaya. Amsterdam, Netherlands; Singapore: Amsterdam University Press; National University of Singapore Press, 2012.
E. Liao, “Other Kinds of Amnesia – Young Singaporeans and the Internet”, in Singapore Shifting Boundaries: Social Change in the Early 21st Century, W. Lim, Siddique, S., and Feng, T. Dan Singapore: Asia Urban Lab , 2011.
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Canada)
Tan Ean Kiam Postgraduate Scholarship in the Humanities (Singapore)
University of British Columbia:
President’s Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award
St. John’s College Sir Quo-Wei Lee Fellowship
St. John’s College Reginald and Annie van Fellowship
St. John’s College George Shen Fellowship
St. John’s College Charles C.C. Wong & Sophia Wong Memorial Fellowship
Faculty of Arts Graduate Award
St. John’s College George Shen Travel Fellowship
Department of History Summer Research Fellowship
UBC International Tuition Award
Faculty of Arts Graduate Award
Graduate Student Travel Award
Department of History Fellowship
Faculty of Arts Graduate Student Research Grant
UBC Four Year Fellowship
National University of Singapore:
National University of Singapore Research Scholarship
Journal of Southeast Asian Studies Book Prize
Tan Lark Sye Scholarship