Dr Thaatchaayini Kananatu

Department Coordinator, Lecturer

Department of Business Law & Taxation

603 5514 4450
Room 6-5-05


Dr. Thaatchaayini Kananatu is a senior lecturer in Law under the Business Law & Taxation Discipline, School of Business, Monash University Malaysia. She holds a Bachelor of Law/LLB Law (Hons.) from Cardiff Law School, University of Wales, Cardiff, U.K. (1999), a Masters/LLM in International Law from Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, U.K. (2002), and a PhD in Arts and Social Sciences from Monash University (2014). She also holds a Certificate in Legal Practice (2000).

Thaatchaayini has been lecturing since 2006 and her teaching experience includes, teaching law subjects for both law and non-law undergraduates. Law subjects she has taught include Equity & Trust, International Law, Media Law, Malaysian Constitutional Law, Business Law, Introduction to Law, and Law & Society. She also has experience teaching non-law subjects which include Cultural and Communications Policy as well as Global Cities.

Thaatchaayini is an early career researcher, having completed her PhD at the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia in 2014. Her PhD thesis was entitled ‘The Mobilization of Indians in Malaysia: The Role of the Law in Ethno-Cultural Minority Mobilization’. The PhD research study spanned from the colonial period since the 1890s to the contemporary period 2013, and includes an empirical study of the identity, grievance and rights-based mobilization of the Indian minority in Malaysia.

Thaatchaayini’s research interests are generally in socio-legal studies or Law & Society scholarship, and specifically in the areas of law and social movements, as well as law and identity (race/gender). Her research focus is in investigating whether the law matters in racial or gender identity construction, and to what extent the law is useful as a mobilizing tool and political strategy by aggrieved collectives or groups. Thaatchaayini uses qualitative methodology and takes an empirical approach to analyse how the law operates in contentious politics and society.

Academic Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy
Institution Monash University
Year awarded 2014
Master of International Law (LLM)
Institution Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, U.K.
Year awarded 2001
Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP)
Institution Malaysian Legal Qualifying Board
Year awarded 2000
Bachelor of Laws (LLB Hons.)
Institution Cardiff Law School, University of Wales, U.K.
Year awarded 1999

Membership in Associations and International Bodies

Name of Association/International Body British High Commission Chevening Scholar
Role Member
Duration of membership - Month/Year September 1997 - current
Name of Association/International Body Socio-Legal Studies UK
Role Member
Duration of membership - Month/Year 2012 - 2015

Expert on Policy Formulation Panel and Professional Body

Panel Public Policy Research and Consultation on Malaysian Indians and the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (2016-2020), Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), National University of Malaysia.
Role Academic/Policy recommendations
Duration June 2014 – December 2015

Areas of Expertise

1 Socio-legal Studies
2 International Law
3 Equity & Trust


Subject CodeSubject
BTM5909 Ethics and Global Corporate Governance
BTW3201 International Trade Law

Book Chapters

*Kananatu, T. (2016) ‘A Sociolegal Study Of The Indian Minority In Malaysia’, in Jayasooria, D. and Nathan, K. (eds.) Contemporary Malaysian Indians: History, Issues, Challenges & Prospects. Bangi, Malaysia: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, pp. 173–188.

Scholarly Journals

* Goh, J. N., & Kananatu, T. (2019). Mak nyahs and the dismantling of dehumanisation: Framing empowerment strategies of Malaysian male-tofemale transsexuals in the 2000s. Sexualities, 22(1–2), 114-130. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363460717740256
* Kananatu, T. (2018). The Politico-Legal Mobilisation of Ethnic Indians before Malaysia’s 2018 Election. The Round Table, 107(6), 703-716. https://doi.org/10.1080/00358533.2018.1545938
* French, J., Koh, S. M., & Kananatu, T. (2018). The 14th General Elections and the Changing Business Environment in a “New” Malaysia. Journal of International Business Education, 13, . http://www.neilsonjournals.com/JIBE/abstractjibe13newmalaysia.html


* Kananatu, T. (2017). Law, Gender and Mobilisation: The Case of the Mak Nyahs in Malaysia. Praxis (Thomson Reuters).
*Kananatu, T. (2016). Young Indian Women in Malaysia & the Eleventh Malaysia Plan: Beneficiary or Blindspot? In Reviewing the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020): Tapping the Opportunities & Plugging Into the Provisions (pp.71-73). Kuala Lumpur: Institute of Ethnic Studies, National University of Malaysia.
*Kananatu, T. (2012, October 23). Gay Activism in Singapore: A Review of “How Does Law Matter to Social Movements? A Case Study of Gay Activism in Singapore” by Lynette Janice Chua. Dissertation Reviews. Retrieved from http://dissertationreviews.org/archives/1538.

Local Presentations

* 24–25 June 2014 Public Policy Research Consultation on Contemporary Malaysian Indians, Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), National University of Malaysia Invited to present social policy recommendations in a paper on ‘Law and Minorities: A Case-Study of Indians in Malaysia’ for the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (2016-2020).
* 13 November 2011 Monash University, Malaysia Presented a paper on ‘Law and Mobilization of Ethnic Minority Groups: the Case of the Indian Dalits and Malaysian Indians’ at the International Young Scholar’s Conference.
* 15 October 2008 University of Malaya, Malaysia Presented a paper on ‘Strategies and Legal Opportunities for Ethnic Movements in Malaysia’ at the Proceedings of the International Conference on Ethnic Relations.

International Presentations

* 21– 23 March 2013 KoGuan Law School, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China Presented a paper on ‘Law, Minority Group Identity and Rights: The Legal Mobilization of Indians in Colonial Malaya (1890-1957)’ at the Third East Asian Law and Society Conference.
* 10 March 2012 St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University, United Kingdom Presented a paper on ‘Legal Mobilization in Post-Colonial Malaysia: The Law as a Political Tool for Marginalized Groups’ at the Southeast Asian Studies Symposium: Contemporary Issues in Southeast Asia.

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