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From World City to the World in One City: Liverpool through Malay Lives



From World City to the World in One City: Liverpool through Malay Lives

Tim Bunnell

ISBN: 978-1-118-82773-4 March 2016 Wiley-Blackwell 304 Pages

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Tim Bunnell's book featured in the movie Pulang - the author has recently spoken in several interviews and programmes about how his fascination with the tales of Malay seamen in the UK led to writing this volume:

#Showbiz: Sailing into a sea of heartwarming tales | New ...

Coming home at last -

From World City to the World in One City
examines changing geographies of Liverpool through and across the lives of Malay seamen who arrived in the city during its final years as a major imperial port.

  • Draws upon life histories and memories of people who met at the Malay Club in Liverpool until its closure in 2007, to examine changing urban sites and landscapes as well as the city’s historically shifting constitutive connections
  • In considering the historical presence of Malay seamen in Liverpool, draws attention to a group which has previously received only passing mention in historical and geographical studies of both that city, and of multi-ethnic Britain more widely
  • Demonstrates that Liverpool-based Malay men sustained social connections with Southeast Asia long before scholars began to use terms such as ‘globalization’ or ‘transnationalism’
  • Based on a diverse range of empirical data, including interviews with members of the Malay Club in Liverpool and interviews in Southeast Asia, as well as archival and secondary sources
  • Accessibly-written for non-academic audiences interested in the history and urban social geography of Liverpool
Series Editors’ Preface vii

List of Figures viii

Abbreviations and Acronyms ix

Glossary of Non-English Terms xi

Acknowledgements xiv

Prologue 1

1 Introduction: Locating Malay Liverpool 5

Worlds of Connection, Worlds in Cities 10

Sites and Routes of Fieldwork 14

Organization of the Book 20

2 From the Malay World to the Malay Atlantic 27

World City Liverpool in the Alam Melayu 28

Malays in the ‘New York of Europe’ … and in New York 39

The Malay Atlantic 45

3 Home Port Liverpool and its Malay Places 56

Somewhere Worth Staying? 57

Remembering Cosmopolitanism and its Limits 62

Home and Away 68

Places to Be Malay 72

4 Merseyside Malaise and the Unmaking of British Malaya 83

Transnationalization and Malaysianization 84

Student Connections: From Kirkby to the Inner City 90

Urban Malaise 94

5 Diasporic (Re)connections 107

In Search of Lost Ancestors 108

Diaspora Envy and Worldly Malay]ness 114

Old Malays versus the Islamized New Malay 121

6 Relocating Expectations of Modernity 135

Kuala Lumpur: Journeys to the New Centre of the Malay World 136

Tandas]ization: Excremental Transition in Malacca 144

Returning to Singapore: From Third World to First 150

7 Community in the Capital of Culture 165

The Place of Community 166

Glasgowing and Beyond: Towards Multicultural Regeneration 172

Marking Malays(ia) on the Map of the World in One City 178

8 The Last Hurrah: From Independence Celebrations and Interculturalism to Club Closure 188

Merdeka on the Mersey 189

Performing Malay]ness on Jermyn Street 194

Community Conflict and Urban Interculturalism 198

Death in the Place of Community 202

9 Conclusion: Catching up with Kuala Lumpur? 211

Comparative, Conceptual and Methodological Returns 216

Key Lifepaths 227

Archival and Documentary Sources 231

References 233

Index 250

‘Here we have a distinctive approach to global and transnational urbanism, one that provides us with “sites and routes” that are markedly different from the normal science of urban studies. In this beautifully conceptualized and written book, Tim Bunnell draws us into life histories that are compelling world histories. In the process, cities are made and urban theory is remade.’ 
Ananya Roy, Professor of Urban Planning and Social Welfare and Director, The Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin, USA

'This is an engagingly written and sensitively researched portrait of the Malays – from seafarers to students –  who have lived in and through Liverpool, shaping this world city, which is now marketed as the 'world in one city'. Tracing the transnational lives of Liverpool Malays, it takes our understandings of diaspora cities and connected geographies in some exciting new directions.'
Richard Phillips, Professor of Geography, University of Sheffield, UK

‘Bunnell’s book demonstrates the range of ways in which Liverpool was transformed through the presence in the city of those who had left the alam Melayu (Malay world). It is a study of “the lives of people in places” (p. 14) which takes seriously Massey’s (1994) work on a global sense of place. It makes a clear contribution to advancing the field of global urban studies and is a must read for those of us with an intellectual stake in the future of the field.’
(Kevin Ward, University of Manchester) Urban Geography, 2016

‘Bunnell has created a text that will be useful for those interested in transnational phenomena that predate globalization as we know it today. His beautifully rendered moving ethnography will also be of interest to scholars concerned with the contemporary politics of ethnicity and multiculturalism, especially as they are marshaled in a capitalistic vein to create value for a city that once profoundly underestimated colored seamen’s worth.’
(Jacqueline Nassy Brown, The City University of New York (CUNY)) Cultural Geographies, 2017

‘This book is a well-written transnational urban geography through Malay lives. The author’s sincere and tireless attitude in always turning his eyes to every detailed reality is especially praiseworthy.'
Tomizawa Hisao, University of Shizuoka (Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 6, No. 2)