Associate Professor Emma Baulch

Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies

Telephone No: +603 5514 4933
Fax No: + 603 5514 6365
Room No: 2-6-33


BA (Hons) degree in Indonesian Studies from Sydney University (1990)

PhD in Politics from Monash University (2004)


I study Indonesian media and popular culture from the perspective of everyday life. I am especially interested in the role media technologies play in the way people communicate and form communities. My PhD was a study of the role electric guitars played in shaping communities of amateur musicians in Bali in the late-1990s. My postdoctoral work examined how television and digital technologies influence the formation of pop music genres. I joined Monash Malaysia in July 2018. Here, my teaching and research activities consider the socio-historical implications of the spread of mobile phones, by examining the multiple layers and variants of power and capital they mediate. I welcome PhD proposals on topics related to my research, including Asian popular culture, popular music and everyday uses of digital media.

Teaching Interests/ Areas


  • Reading social media: socio-technological literacies (AMU3449)
  • Contemporary issues in Asia (AMG 5382)
  • Media Studies (AMU1277)

PhD supervision

Completed 2017Sonam Tobgye
Digital Transformation in Bhutan: Culture, Workforce and Training
Under examinationAlila Pramiyanti
Hijabers on Instagram: Islamic modernity and cultures of communication
Under examinationRidho Panjaitan
Media and Government: Participation Using New Media in Indonesia
Jan-Dec 2017Delfi Chinnappan
An anthropological study of Digital Media: Its usage and impact among the hijras (third gender) of Mumbai, India
Jan-Dec 2017Akhmad Firmannamal
The Role of Social Media for Indonesia's Presidential Communication Strategy

Scholarly books

  • Baulch, Emma. Under review. Genre publics: technologies, pop and class in Indonesia 1965 2010s Wesleyan University Press, Music and Culture Series
  • Baulch, Emma. 2007a. Making scenes: reggae, death metal and punk in 1990s’ Bali Durham: Duke University Press
  • Skuse, Andrew, Joann Fildes, Jo Ann Tacchi, Kirsty Martin, Emma Baulch. 2007b. Poverty and Digital Inclusion. New Delhi: United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)

Edited collections

  • Athique, Adrian and Emma baulch. In press. Digital Transactions in Asia London: Routledge
  • Flew Terry, Emma baulch and Nina Li .Forthcoming. “Communication, Culture and Governance in East Asia” special themed issue of International Journal of Communication
  • Baulch, Emma, Jerry Watkins and Amina Tariq. 2017. mHealth in Asia: challenges and interventions with Jerry Watkins and Amina Tariq. Singapore: Springer
  • Baulch, Emma and Julian Millie. 2013. “Media/politics in Indonesia”.  special issue of the International Journal of Cultural Studies 16(3)

Peer reviewed journal articles

  • Baulch, Emma and Alila Pramiyanti. 2018. “Hijabers on Instagram: Using visual social media to construct the ideal Muslim woman” Social Media + Society October-December:1-15
  • Baulch, Emma. 2017. “The everyman and the dung beetle: new media infrastructures for lower class cultural politics”. Cultural Politics 13 (2): 202-226
  • Baulch, Emma. 2016. “Genre publics: Aktuil magazine and its role in shaping critical middle class youth in 1970s Indonesia” Indonesia October: 85-113
  • Baulch, Emma and Julian Millie. 2013a. “Studying Indonesian media worlds at the intersections of area and cultural studies” in Emma Baulch and Julian Millie (eds) ‘Media/politics in Indonesia’, special issue of International Journal of Cultural Studies 16(3): 227-40
  • Baulch, Emma. 2013b. “Longing Band play at Beautiful Hope’” in Emma Baulch and Julian Millie (eds) Media/politics in Indonesia, special issue of International Journal of Cultural Studies 16(3): 289-302
  • Baulch, Emma. 2011. “God Bless Come Back: New experiments with nostalgia in Indonesian po”. Perfect Beat 12(2): 129-46
  • Baulch, Emma. 2010. “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
  • Baulch, Emma. 2008. “Terbangunnya Sebuah Scene: Kemunculan Punk Bali” in Wacana 24 (VII): 13-37
  • Baulch, Emma. 2004. “Reggae borderzones, reggae graveyards: Bob Marley fandom in Bali” in Perfect Beat, 6 (4), January: 3-27
  • Baulch, Emma. 2003. “Gesturing elsewhere: the identity politics of the Balinese death/thrash metal scene”, Popular Music 22 (2): 195-215
  • Baulch, Emma. 2002a. “Alternative Music and Mediation in Late New Order Indonesia”, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 3 (2): 219-234
  • Baulch, Emma. 2002b. “Creating a Scene: Balinese Punk’s Beginnings”, International Journal of Cultural Studies Volume 5(2): 281–305

Scholarly book chapters

  • Baulch, Emma., Jerry Watkins and Amina Tariq. 2017a“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
  • Baulch, Emma and Jerry Watkins. 2017b. “I believe in the Internet": barriers to mHealth adoption by Indonesian community health workers” in Emma Baulch, Jerry Watkins and Amina Tariq (eds) mHealth in Asia: challenges and interventions Singapore: Springer
  • Baulch, Emma. 2017c“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
  • Baulch, Emma. 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
  • Baulch, Emma. 2011. “Creating a Scene: Balinese Punk’s Beginnings” in Chris Rojek ed. Popular Music (Sage Benchmarks in Culture and Society) London, Sage: 184-204
  • Watkins , Jerry and Emma Baulch. 2008a. “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
  • Baulch, Emma. 2008b  “Sustainability” in Jo Ann Tacchi (ed.)  Finding a Voice: Final Report, New Delhi: United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
  • Baulch, Emma. 2007“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 reviews

  • Baulch, Emma. 2016  “Book review: Networked Affect” (Ken Hillis, Susanna Paasonen, Michael Petit eds. Cambridge: MIT Press 2015) Mobile Media and Communications 4(2): 1-4
  • Baulch, Emma. 2016“Book Review: In Search of Middle Indonesia: Middle Classes in Provincial Towns” (Gerry van Klinken ed, Leiden: Brill).’ Pacific Affairs 89(2): 230-232
  • Baulch, Emma. 2014  “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
  • Baulch, Emma. 2013“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
  • Baulch, Emma. 2011“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
  • Baulch, Emma. 2010.“Book review: Javanese Performances on an Indonesian Stage: Contesting Culture, Embracing Change’”(Barbara Hatley, Singapore: NUS Press, 2008) Inside Indonesia August 2010 edition
  • 2009.”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
  • 2008  “Book Review: State Terrorism and Political Identity in Indonesia: Fatally Belonging” in Inside Indonesia 92, April-July


Collaborating Investigator, “Celebrating Everyday Life in Australia-Indonesia Neighbourhood”

  • Amount awarded: $25000
  • Project leaders: Prof Ariel Heryanto (Monash Asia Institute), Dr Inaya Rakhmani (Communications Studies Centre, Universitas Indonesia)
  • Funding scheme: Australia-Indonesia Centre, Tactical Research Projects

The project investigated and imagined a possible scenario where an increasing number of people of 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.


Lead Investigator, “Mobile Indonesians: social differentiation and digital literacies in the 21st century”

  • Team: A/Prof Jeremy Watkins CI 2, Prof Ariel Heryanto CI 3
  • Amount awarded: $220,000
  • Funding scheme: Australia Research Council Discovery Award DP130102990
  • FOR Coding: 200101 - Communication Studies/200202 - Asian Cultural Studies

‘Mobile Indonesians’ was a multi-sited ethnographic study of the role of mobile telephony in cultural change. Its execution has been enfolded into a broader research program of my VC Research Fellowship at QUT. 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.


Australian Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow, “Middle Classes, New Media and Indie Networks in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia”

  • Project leader: Prof Ariel Heryanto
  • Amount awarded: $300,406
  • Funding scheme: Australia Research Council Discovery Award (DP0984681)
  • Research fields, courses and disciplines coding: 420399 – Cultural Studies, 370302 – Social and Cultural Anthropology, 420114 – Indonesian language

“Middle Classes, New Media and Indie Networks in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia” documented and 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.

2017    Australia-Indonesia Centre ““Celebrating Everyday Life in Australia-Indonesia Neighbourhood””
2016  TRUE Relationships Queensland, Australia Federation of AIDS Organisations. mHealth in Asia: collaborating for sustainability. Roundtable, QUT 31 August
2011  National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra and Ford Foundation Media Policy Unit, Jakarta. Collaboration, in organizing the workshop ‘Voices in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia’
2006   Indonesian National Development Planning Board. ARC-Linkage project, Finding a Voice

Selected media outputs

2017  (with Alila Pramiyanti) Hijabers of Instagram: The Muslim women challenging stereotypes The Conversation
2015  T-shirt cosmopolitanism, Inside Indonesia special issue on contemporary Indonesian writing
2014  Pop musicians, soft power and Indonesian democracy, Asia Pacific Landing Pad
2012  ‘Southeast Asia Closeup: Indonesian Punk Rock’ Interview with Waleed Aly on Radio National Drive, 9 February
1998  ‘Bali Metal Boyz’, a half-hour radio documentary for Radio Eye (ABC Radio National), July
1997  ‘Underground: Ketika Perdebatan Terputus’  (Underground music: when debate halted), Bali Post, 23 November, p12
1997  ‘Head Banging Balinese’, Asian Wall Street Journal, March 14-15
1996  ‘Deep Cover’, HM Magazine (Pacific Publications, Sydney) December, pp11-12
1996  ‘Punks, rastas and headbangers: Bali’s generation X’, Inside Indonesia, No 48, October, pp23-5

2015      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 Sonic Modernities in Southeast Asia Leiden: Brill , pp 187-216
2014-17  Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow, Queensland University of Technology
2012       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)
2009-12  Australian Research Council Post-doctoral Fellow
2003-5   Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Leiden University, The Netherlands
2002      Annual Publication Prize, School of Political and Social Enquiry, Monash University (prize for the best publication in 2002, awarded for: ‘Balinese Punk’s Beginnings’, International Journal of Cultural Studies 5 (2), 2002: 281 –305)
2002      Annual John Legge Prize for Research Excellence , Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University