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SARE has been committed from its inception to featuring new or unpublished poems and short fiction.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


Design by Jessy Wong




Editorial:  "Old Myths and New Realities"

Sharmani Patricia Gabriel


Historicity and the Contemporary Theatre of Kuo Pao Kun and Krishen Jit

C. J. W.-L. Wee

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Adapting the Golden Age Crime Fiction Genre in the "Kain Songket Mysteries" Series

Susan Philip

Universiti Malaya, Malaysia


"Madness in its Place": Ecofeminism in Janet Frame’s Faces in the Water

Foong Soon Seng

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia


Narratives of Resistance: Mahasweta Devi’s "Draupadi"

Neluka Silva

University of Colombo, Sri Lanka



An Interview with Ng Kim Chew 

Andrew Ng Hock Soon

Monash University Malaysia, Malaysia


Poetry & Fiction

ဘာြဖ စ်လိ% ့


အနာခိ တ်ယ

Tolerating Pain

Stewart Manley

Universiti Malaya, Malaysia



Paul GnanaSelvam

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia


Ode to Luang’s Rice Paddy

John Charles Ryan

University of New England, Australia


The Tiniest House of Time 

Sreedhevi Iyer

RMIT University, Australia


Book Reviews

K. S. Maniam, A Stranger to Love 

Bernard Wilson

University of the Sacred Heart, Japan


Aamir R. Mufti,  Forget English!: Orientalisms and World Literatures

Nicholas O. Pagan

Universiti Malaya, Malaysia


Nine (ed.), Straits Eclectic

Agnes S.K. Yeow

Universiti Malaya, Malaysia


Malachi Edwin Vethamani, Coitus Interruptus and Other Stories

Luis Ortega

Nottingham University Malaysia


Simon Armitage, Pearl: A New Verse Translation

Looi Siew Teip

Universiti Malaya, Malaysia 


Notes on Contributors


Published: 2018-07-03
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ISSN 0127-046X | Affiliated with the Council of Editors of Learned Journals

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