Associate Professor Emma Baulch
Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies
School of Arts and Social Sciences
Emma Baulch is Associate Professor of Media and Communications at Monash University Malaysia. She received her PhD from Monash University, Australia and has held academic positions at Leiden University, The Australian National University and Queensland University of Technology.
Emma researches media and popular culture using cultural studies approaches, focussing specifically on the co-constitution of media technologies and societies in Indonesia and, more recently, Malaysia. Her PhD studied the role electric guitars played in shaping communities of amateur musicians in Bali in the late-1990s, and was published by Duke University Press in 2007 as Making Scenes: Death Metal, Punk and Reggae in 1990s’ Bali. Her postdoctoral work looked at how television and digital technologies influence the formation of popular music genres, and is the subject of her second book, Genre Publics: Popular Music, Technologies and Class in Indonesia (Wesleyan University Press, 2020). Emma’s current research examines digital infrastructures and everyday life in Southeast Asia. She is co-editor of mHealth innovation in Asia: Grassroots Challenges and Practical Interventions (Springer 2017, with Jerry Watkins and Amina Tariq) and Digital Transactions in Asia (Routledge 2019, with Adrian Athique). She is also co-author of the forthcoming WhatsApp: From a one-to-one messaging service to a global social media platform (Polity, with Amelia Johns and Ariadna Matamoros Fernandez).
Emma has worked with a range of external organisations over the course of her career, including the Australia-Indonesia Centre, the Indonesian National Planning Board, the National Film and Sound Archive, TRUE Relationships Queensland and the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations. She is on the editorial board of the Vernacular Indonesia series at Monash University Press.
BA (Hons) degree in Indonesian Studies from Sydney University (1990)
PhD in Politics from Monash University (2004)
Asian Studies Association of Australia
International Association for the Study of Popular Music
Emma’s research is located in the fields of Asian cultural studies and media and communications studies. She is interested in how new media technologies alter and are altered by existing Southeast Asian social formations revolving around race, class and ethnicity. Most of her research work is ethnographic in nature, and attends to the interaction of material and social worlds through a focus on the everyday uses of new media technologies.
Emma's funded research projects include:
“Globalising Malaysia: Trans-Asia Traffics in the 21st Century”, Monash University Malaysia Focal Research Grant Scheme (2020). “Globalising Malaysia” studies developments in the transnational traffic of people, media technologies and media contents in 21st century Malaysia. It considers how they are transforming racialised modes of belonging in and to Malaysia, and their implications for Malaysia’s position in a shifting landscape of global cultural production. The project adopts a comparative case study approach by studying three realms of transnational cultural production and exchange: new Sinophone affinities forged by transnational cultural flows, reworked narratives of Malaysian-ness evident in audiovisual productions made for streaming and web platforms, and the techno-socially forged forms of collective life taking shape in WhatsApp groups.
“Celebrating Everyday Life in Australia-Indonesia Neighbourhood”, Australia-Indonesia Centre Tactical Research Projects grant (2017). “Celebrating Everyday Life in Australia-Indonesia Neighbourhood” imagined a possible scenario where an increasing number of people in Australia and Indonesia enjoy significantly intimate and productive engagements. A team of three investigators worked in three cities across the archipelago to interview Indonesians with experience of living in Australia. The project produced recommendations for specific steps to be taken for strengthening Australia-Indonesia friendship.
“Mobile Indonesians: social differentiation and digital literacies in the 21st century”, ARC Discovery 2013-18. ‘Mobile Indonesians’ was a multi-sited ethnographic study of the role of mobile telephony in cultural change. The research team created detailed qualitative maps of the changing social networks and communication behaviours of two user groups: pop fans and community health workers. This innovative research method allowed us to understand the complexity of mobile telephony’s impact on rapidly evolving digital literacies and patterns of social differentiation.
“Middle Classes, New Media and Indie Networks in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia”, Australian Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2009-2012). The project critically analysed the activities of a digitally-equipped generation of urban middle class Indonesians in shaping public culture. It focused on 'indie' (for independent) networks, sites of the production and consumption of films and music that make intensive use of new media technologies. The project was the first in depth study of the wider socio-political significance of the boom in self-produced media in Indonesia at a time when post-authoritarianism and the digital age coincided.
Emma is the coordinator for the Bachelor of Digital Media and Communication and of the Communications major. She co-ordinates three units: a first-year gateway unit (Media Studies, AMU1277), a third-year capstone unit (Digital Asia Research Project, AMU3029), and a unit within the Masters of Communications and Media Studies (Current issues in Asia, AMG 5013).
Genre publics: popular music, technologies, and class in Indonesia Middletown: Wesleyan University Press
Making scenes: reggae, death metal and punk in 1990s’ Bali Durham: Duke University Press
with Skuse, Andrew, Joann Fildes, Jo Ann Tacchi, Kirsty Martin, Poverty and Digital Inclusion. New Delhi: United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
With Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández and Amelia Johns. Ten years of WhatsApp: The role of chat apps in the formation and mobilization of online publics. First Monday, Volume 25, Number 1
With Adrian Athique. Digital Transactions in Asia London: Routledge
With Flew Terry and Luzhou Li. “Communication, Culture and Governance in East Asia” special themed issue of International Journal of Communication vol 13
With Jerry Watkins and Amina Tariq. mHealth in Asia: challenges and interventions with Jerry Watkins and Amina Tariq. Singapore: Springer
With Julian Millie. “Media/politics in Indonesia”. special issue of the International Journal of Cultural Studies 16(3)
Peer reviewed journal articles
With Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández and Amelia Johns. “Introduction: Ten years of WhatsApp: The role of chat apps in the formation and mobilization of online publics”. First Monday, Volume 25, Number 1 https://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/download/10412/8319 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v25i1.10412
With Flew Terry and Luzhou Li. The Shifting Institutional Bases of Digital Asia Studies: Communication, Culture, and Governance in Asia — Introduction”. International Journal of Communication, vol 13: 4579–4585
With Alila Pramiyanti. “Hijabers on Instagram: Using visual social media to construct the ideal Muslim woman” Social Media + Society October-December: 1-15 https://doi.org/10.1177/20563051188003ttps://doi.org/10.1177/2056305118800308
“The everyman and the dung beetle: new media infrastructures for lower class cultural politics”. Cultural Politics 13 (2): 202-226
“Genre publics: Aktuil magazine and its role in shaping critical middle class youth in 1970s Indonesia” Indonesia October: 85-113
with Julian Millie. “Studying Indonesian media worlds at the intersections of area and cultural studies”. International Journal of Cultural Studies 16(3): 227-40
“Longing Band play at Beautiful Hope’”. International Journal of Cultural Studies 16(3): 289-302
“God Bless Come Back: New experiments with nostalgia in Indonesian pop”. Perfect Beat 12(2): 129-46
“Music for the pria dewasa: Rolling Stone Indonesia and the evolution of pop and class” Journal of Indonesian Social Sciences and Humanities 3, 2010: 99-130
“Terbangunnya Sebuah Scene: Kemunculan Punk Bali” in Wacana 24 (VII): 13-37
“Reggae borderzones, reggae graveyards: Bob Marley fandom in Bali” in Perfect Beat, 6 (4), January: 3-27
“Gesturing elsewhere: the identity politics of the Balinese death/thrash metal scene”, Popular Music 22 (2): 195-215
“Alternative Music and Mediation in Late New Order Indonesia”, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 3 (2): 219-234
“Creating a Scene: Balinese Punk’s Beginnings”, International Journal of Cultural Studies Volume 5(2): 281–305
Scholarly book chapters
with Alila Pramiyanti. “Hijabers on Instagram: Visualising the Ideal Muslim Woman” in Adrian Athique and Emma Baulch (eds). Digital Transactions in Asia London: Routledge, pp260-84
with Jerry Watkins and Amina Tariq. “Social and cultural futures: the everyday use and shifting discourse of mHealth” in Emma Baulch, Jerry Watkins and Amina Tariq (eds) mHealth in Asia: challenges and interventions Singapore: Springer, pp.1-6
with Jerry Watkins. “Identifying Grassroots Opportunities
“Mobile phones: advertising, consumerism and class” in Ross Tapsell and Edwin Jurriens Digital Indonesia: Connectivity and Divergence Singapore and Canberra: ISEAS and ANU Press, pp. 38-55
“Pop Melayu vs. Pop Indonesia: Marketeers, producers and new interpretations of a genre into the 2000s” in Bart Barendregt (ed) Sonic Modernities in Southeast Asia Leiden: Brill, pp. 187-216
“Creating a Scene: Balinese Punk’s Beginnings” in Chris Rojek ed. Popular Music (Sage Benchmarks in Culture and Society) London, Sage: 184-204
with Jerry Watkins. “Creating content in Indonesia’” in Jerry Watkins and Jo Ann Tacchi (eds) Participatory Content Creation for Development: Principles and Practices New Delhi: United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO): 35-44
“Sustainability” in Jo Ann Tacchi (ed.) Finding a Voice: Final Report, New Delhi: United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
“Cosmopatriatism in Indonesian pop music imagings” in Jeroen de Kloet and Edwin Jurriens (eds) Cosmopatriots: Globalization, Patriotism, Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary Asian Culture/s Amsterdam, Rodopi: 177-204
“Book review: Networked Affect” (Ken Hillis, Susanna Paasonen, Michael Petit eds. Cambridge: MIT Press 2015) Mobile Media and Communications 4(2): 1-4
“Book Review: In Search of Middle Indonesia: Middle Classes in Provincial Towns” (Gerry van Klinken ed, Leiden: Brill).’ Pacific Affairs 89(2): 230-232
“Book review: Metal Rules the Globe: Heavy Metal Music Around the World” (Jeremy Wallach, Harris M Berger and Paul D Greene, eds 2011 Durham: Duke University Press) Journal of World Popular Music 1(2): 318-323
“Book review: Babylon East: Performing, Dancehall, Roots Reggae, and Rastafari in Japan.” (Marvin D Sterling, Durham: Duke University Press, 2010) New West Indian Guide 87-1&2
“Book review: Politics and the Media in Twenty-First Century Indonesia: Decade of Democracy’” (Krishna Sen and David T. Hill [eds], Oxford and New York: Routledge, 2010) Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies 47(1): 136-7
“Book review: Javanese Performances on an Indonesian Stage: Contesting Culture, Embracing Change’” (Barbara Hatley, Singapore: NUS Press, 2008) Inside Indonesia August 2010 edition www.insideindonesia.org/stories/a-rare-view-19091346
”Book review: Hip hop Japan: rap and the paths of cultural globalization’” (Ian Condry, Durham: Duke University Press, 2006) The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology vol 10 No 1: 54-56
“Book Review: State Terrorism and Political Identity in Indonesia: Fatally Belonging” in Inside Indonesia 92, April-July
Recent Non-refereed Scholarly Contributions and Media Appearances
(with Amelia Johns and Ariadna Matamoros Fernandez) “Becoming more like WhatsApp won’t save Facebook’s woes: here’s why” The Conversation March 13 2019 https://theconversation.com/becoming-more-like-whatsapp-wont-solve-facebooks-woes-heres-why-113368
(with Alila Pramiyanti) “Hijabers of Instagram: The Muslim women challenging stereotypes” The Conversation July 13 https://theconversation.com/hijabers-of-instagram-the-muslim-women-challenging-stereotypes-79416
“T-shirt cosmopolitanism”, Inside Indonesia
“Pop musicians, soft power and Indonesian democracy”, Asia Pacific Landing Pad
Southeast Asia Closeup: Indonesian Punk Rock. Interview with Waleed Aly on ABC Radio National Drive, 9 February
A/Prof Emma Baulch, Dr Ana Grgic, A/Prof Andrew Ng, and Dr Ting Fai Yu. 2020. “Globalising Malaysia: Trans-Asia Traffics in the 21st Century”, Monash University Malaysia Focal Research Grant Scheme, RM100,000.
Prof Ariel Heryanto, Dr Inaya Rakhmani, Dr Najib Azca, Dr Emma Baulch, 2017: Celebrating Everyday Life in Australia-Indonesia Neighbourhood, Australia-Indonesia Centre Tactical Research Project, AU$25000
Dr Emma Baulch, A/Prof Jerry Watkins, Prof Ariel Heryanto, 2013-18: Mobile Indonesians: social differentiation and digital literacies in the 21st century, ARC Discovery, DP130102990, AU$220,000
A/Prof Ariel Heryanto, Dr Emma Baulch, 2009-12: Middle Classes, New Media and Indie Networks in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia, ARC Post-doctoral Fellowship, DP0984681, AU$300,406
Areas of research and supervision include Asian popular culture, popular music and everyday uses of digital media.
Kaflina Kamalul (Monash University Malaysia)
Topic: Communication Model for the Malay Elderly Utilisation of Mobile Social Networking Sites
Principal, with associate supervisor Dr Susan Leong
Postgraduate (Other Universities)
Alila Pramiyanti (Queensland University of Technology)
Hijabers on Instagram: Islamic modernity and cultures of communication
With associate supervisor Associate Professor Evonne Miller
Ridho Panjaitan (Queensland University of Technology)
Media and Government: Participation Using New Media in Indonesia
With main supervisor Professor Terry Flew
Sonam Tobgye (Queensland University of Technology)
Digital Transformation in Bhutan: Culture, Workforce and Training
With main supervisor Professor Clive Bean
- Annual Publication Prize, International Association for the Study of Popular Music. Awarded for: 2014. “Pop Melayu vs. Pop Indonesia: Marketeers, producers and new interpretations of a genre into the 2000s” in Bart Barendregt (ed.) Sonic Modernities in Southeast Asia Leiden: Brill , pp 187-216
- Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow, Queensland University of Technology, 2014-2017
- Annual Publication Prize, International Association for the Study of Popular Music Awarded for: 2011. “God Bless Come Back: New experiments with nostalgia in Indonesian pop”. Perfect Beat 12(2): 129-46)
- Australian Research Council Post-doctoral Fellow, 2009-2012
- Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Leiden University, The Netherlands, 2003-2005
- Annual Publication Prize, School of Political and Social Enquiry, Monash University Awarded for: “Creating a Scene: Balinese Punk’s Beginnings”, International Journal of Cultural Studies 5 (2), 2002: 281 –305
- Annual John Legge Prize for Research Excellence, Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University, 2002