Picture of Philip Holden

I teach literature in English, mostly from Singapore and the region, at the National University of Singapore. I was born in Britain, spent most of my childhood moving from provincial town to provincial city, and went to London to university. In my 20s I 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. I’m something of an accidental academic: I didn’t really decide on this career until I was in my late twenties, and I’ve also always kept an interest in activism outside the university, working on issues such as nuclear disarmament, HIV/AIDS, and heritage. I came to Singapore in 1994 and have been here, with some time abroad, ever since. Singapore’s my home, yet I’m also very attached to two other cities that I have lived in for a few years, and to which I return from time to time: Vancouver, Canada (hence some of the pictures on this site), and London (England, not Ontario!).

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

I’m interested in other forms of writing and other ways of knowing, and one of the ways in which I express this is through short stories. My writing of fiction is very much a work in progress, but here are links to some of my published work: