SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English is an international peer-reviewed journal founded in 1980. It publishes scholarly articles, interviews, reviews, and other valuable and lively interventions.

Serving solely as an open access electronic journal from 2016, SARE aims to be a key critical forum for original research and fresh conversations from all over the world on the literatures, languages, and cultures of Southeast, South, and East Asia. It particularly welcomes theoretically-informed articles on the literary and other cultural productions of these regions.

SARE has been committed from its inception to featuring new or unpublished poems and short fiction.  





Vol. 56, No. 2, December 2019
Guest Editor:  Wernmei Yong Ade

One can think of only a few works of literature that do not tell a “love story” or two.  Perhaps the most explored theme in literature, love has, however, only enjoyed a marginal status in critical literary scholarship.  The reluctance to take love seriously might be attributed to the fact that love is itself a subjective experience, one that at best offers, as Jean-Luc Marion informs us, “a non-interpretation”.  Thanks, however, in part to the philosophical writings of Levinas, Irigaray, Barthes, Kristeva, and Badiou, who have not only “praised” love (in reference to the title of Badiou’s book In Praise of Love) but insisted on its continued relevance towards ethics and politics, love is now seen as an important topic, one that is to be approached on its own terms in multiple fields of study, including the literary.  

Echoing Arthur Rimbaud, who in 1873 had insisted that love needed reinventing, the feminist poet and essayist Adrienne Rich wrote a hundred years later in 1972, that love remains in need of “re-vision”, referring to the act of looking back with renewed critical vision.   This special issue on love is inspired not only by the resurgence of love as a fertile field of study within the humanities, but is also driven by the conviction that love, in our age of advanced capitalism, globalisation, mobility and technology, is, more than ever, in need of re-vision.  

As one of the fastest growing regions in economic, political, and cultural terms, Southeast Asia, together with South and East Asia, are uniquely poised to contribute towards re-visioning love. What can the writings of these regions tell us about loving in an age such as ours  –  one of change, transience, and mobility? How is love experienced between individuals whose subjectivities are increasingly fragmented, non-unitary, multi-layered, and complex?  What can it mean to love, at a time when love is often experienced in between locations, or as Rosi Braidotti confesses “in translation”? What material and cultural factors condition our experiences, expressions, and representations of love? If love, as Barthes tells us, is nothing other than the discourse that constitutes it, then what does it mean to love between and across ideologies, cultures, traditions, and identities – gendered, sexual, racial, national, or otherwise?  What can the rhetorical tradition of love, as revealed in the regions’ literary and other cultural productions, tell us about the way we have loved and continue to love? How do the “love stories” embedded within the literatures and cultures of these regions open up spaces for ideological debate?

This issue welcomes proposals that explore the myriad experiences of love in Southeast, South, and East Asia, including diasporic sites of literary and cultural production,  which are related but not limited to the following:

- Love in/ of literature, film, television, art and other cultural productions
- Love and mobility
- Love and capitalism and/ or globalisation
- Love and ethics
- Love stories/ narratives of love  
- Love and textuality/ the lover’s discourse
- Love in popular culture/ media
- Love and gender
- Love and sexuality  
- Love and the environment
- Cross-species experiences of love
- Love and borders (textual and geographical/ geopolitical)

Abstracts (250 words) with a short bio (max 70 words) are to be sent to The Editor at (with a copy to the Guest Editor at by 15 April 2019.  

Decision notifications will be sent by 15 May 2019.

The deadline for the submission of full papers (5000-7000 words) is 31 August 2019. All papers should be in English and uploaded to the SARE website through the "Make a Submission" portal at  

Further submission guidelines can be found on our website.

If you have any questions related to the special issue, please direct your inquiries to 

About our Guest Editor:

Dr Wernmei Yong ADE is Assistant Professor and Deputy Head of the English programme at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where she lectures and researches in the areas of feminist studies, contemporary women's writing, critical theory, and love. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Edinburgh, UK. Her main research addresses the ideological and ethical dimensions of love, and their representations in literature, philosophy, and film. In recent years, this research has converged with her long-standing interest in women’s issues and feminism.  Most recently, she co-edited the volume Contemporary Arts as Political Practice in Singapore (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and has forthcoming a co-edited collection, Fluid Gender, Fluid Love (Brill, 2019).  She is a member of the steering committee for the International Society for the Study of Gender and Love, and has published several articles on love including “Mourning Diary: Love’s Work” (Textual Practice, 2015) and “The Sacred: Of Violence, Intimacy and Love” (Philosophy Today, 2012).  Her book chapter, “Becoming-Woman in Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve”, which examines intersections between love and nomadism, is currently under review by Brill.  In 2018, she was commissioned to write an essay for Oh Soon-Hwa’s Quiet Dream, a photoessay series on the subject of Vietnamese migrant brides, which will be sold through the Asian Art Museum in Nice.  




(Image Credit: Desenio) 




Editorial: Openness

Sharmani Patricia Gabriel, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




Introduction: The Silk Road of Ideas 

Chris Mooney-Singh and Scott Grant, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore and Monash University, Melbourne, Australia



Triadic Interplay: A Model of Transforming Literature into Wayang Theatre

I Nyoman Sedana,  Institut Seni Indonesia (Indonesian Institute of the Arts), Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Balagtasan Beyond Balagtas: Debate Poetry, a Filipino Tradition

Victor Emmanuel Carmelo D. Nadera Jr and Chris Mooney-Singh, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, the Philippines and LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore


Translation as Style and Technique in the Hybrid Englishes of Raja Rao's Kanthapura and Eileen Chang's Lust, Caution

Sreedhevi Iyer, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia


Harold Stewart’s Autumn Landscape Roll, the "Buddhist Divine Comedy" 

Chris Mooney-Singh, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore



Arts and Education in Virtual Worlds: In Conversation with Bernhard Drax, Scott Grant, Jay Jay Jegathesan and Chris Mooney-Singh

Savinder Kaur, The Writers Centre, Singapore


Stories, Poems, Plays

The Stained Window

Uma Jayaraman,  National University of Singapore, Singapore


The Boy With the Boar's Head Face

Chris Mooney-Singh, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore


First Date

Moving House

What My Net Dragged To The Surface

Chen Cuifen, Singapore


A Celebration


A Conversation

Priyanka Srivastava, Singapore


Sekala Niskala at the Tanjung Sari

Peter Morgan, Singapore 


Plastic Water Bottles

Trip Advisor

Darryl Whetter,  LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore


Pointing at the Moon 

Sonnet for Ah Gong

There are No Magpies

Valerie Ang, Singapore 


Water, City, Sky

Kirpal Singh, Singapore



Tay Kai Xin Ranice, Singapore


Chain Reaction 

Olivier Castaignède, Singapore 





Literature and Postcolonial Capitalism in Contemporary Vietnam: Indian Characters in Hồ Anh Thái’s Writings

Chi P. Pham, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Hà Nội, Vietnam & University of Hamburg, Germany



A Barber's Tale

John Thieme, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom


Home is a Three Syllable Word

Anitha Devi Pillai, National Institute of Education, Singapore


Siam: Four Poems

John Charles Ryan, University of New England, Armidale, Australia


Advice for a friend on his first visit to Macau

Prabhu Guptara, United Kingdom


Book Reviews

John Thieme, Paco's Atlas and Other Poems

Marta Dvořák, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France


K. Kesavapany with Anitha Devi Pillai, From Estate to Embassy: Memories of an Ambassador

Asad Latif, Singapore


Guido Mazzoni, Theory of the Novel 

Nicholas O. Pagan, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Tash Aw,  We, the Survivors

Andrew Hock Soon Ng, Monash University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 


Sharifah Aishah Osman and Tutu Dutta (eds), Principal Girl: Feminist Tales from Asia

Alicia Izharuddin, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University, USA 


Notes on Contributors 

Published: 2019-07-22

Editorial: “Openness”

Sharmani Patricia Gabriel


Introduction: The Silk Road of Ideas

Chris Mooney-Singh, Scott Grant


Balagtasan Beyond Balagtas: Debate Poetry, a Filipino Tradition

Victor Emmanuel Carmelo D. Nadera Jr, Chris Mooney-Singh


The Stained Window

Uma Jayaraman


Water, City, Sky

Kirpal Singh



Tay Kai Xin Ranice


Chain Reaction

Olivier Castaignède


A Barber’s Tale

John Thieme


Home is a Three Syllable Word

Anitha Devi Pillai


Siam: Four Poems

John Charles Ryan


Tash Aw, We, the Survivors

Andrew Hock Soon Ng



Southeast Asian Review Of English


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ISSN 0127-046X | Affiliated with the Council of Editors of Learned Journals

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