Staff research expertise

Academic staff draws on their disciplinary backgrounds to explore various aspects of social transformation in Southeast Asia, working collaboratively within the School and externally with scholars based in Malaysia and internationally. While this work often crosses disciplinary boundaries and addresses cross-cutting themes, there is usually a primary focal point located within the School’s four research clusters.

Communication, Media and Policy

This cluster explores shifts in technology and media and their impact on everyday communication and consumption, education delivery, learning, and teaching, as well as the political and social possibilities and limitations of these changes.

Associate Professor Emma Baulch, Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies
Research areas: Digital media, popular music, popular culture, Southeast Asia, Indonesia.

Dr. Dyah Pitaloka,  Senior Lecturer in Communications and Media Studies
Research areas: Issues related to marginalisation in contemporary healthcare, narrative in digital health, development & global health policy, and ICT for social change.

Dr Mark Balnaves, Senior Lecturer of Creative Industries 
Research areas: Covers media audiences (all kinds), internet hypergiants, media measurement, the creative industries, and digital identity.

Dr Tan Meng Yoe, Lecturer in Communication
Research areas: Online religion; digital cultures; Malaysian Christianity.

Dr Rizwanah Souket Ali, Lecturer in Public Relations
Research areas: PR History, Colonial history, PR Campaign, Crisis Management, Political Communication, Media Effects, Third Person Effect, and Communication Theories.

Dr Young Nam-Seo, Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies
Research areas: Digital media, HCI/HRI (Human-Computer/Robot Interaction), and UX studies.

Culture, Religion and Gender

This cluster focuses on how people and communities negotiate cultural, religious and gender diversity and examines the social and political implications of the interaction or collision of cultures that results from the shrinking of social space.

Associate Professor Sharon A Bong, Associate Professor of Gender Studies
Research areas: Feminist standpoint epistemologies; rights & sexualities in religions; qualitative researching & analyses using ATLAS.ti

Associate Professor Yeoh Seng Guan, Associate Professor in Social Anthropology
Research areas: Anthropologies of the city; media, religion, and gender; cosmopolitanisms; civil society & subaltern agencies; visual ethnography.

Dr Joseph N. Goh, Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies
Research areas: Gender and sexuality; queer and LGBTI studies; human rights and sexual health issues; theological and religious studies; qualitative research.

Literature, Cinema and Society

Scholars in this cluster explore the aesthetic, cultural, economic, narrative and political dimensions of literature, cinema and other screen media.

Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon, Associate Professor of Literature
Research areas: Gothic and horror literature and film; postmodern narratives; Asian literatures and critical theory.

Dr Jonathan Driskell, Senior Lecturer in Film, Television and Screen Studies
Research areas: Film history, authorship, star studies, the representation of gender in film, French cinema and Southeast Asian cinema (especially the Malay cinema of the 1950s-1960s).

Dr Agata Frymus, Lecturer in Film and Television Studies
Research areas: film history, representation of race in film, silent film, film audiences, star studies, women and film.

Dr Chrishandra Sebastiampillai, Lecturer in Film, Television and Screen Studies
Research areas:  Film stardom and celebrity, representations of race and identity in cinema, Philippine cinema and Southeast Asian cinema.

Politics, Development and Governance

Scholars in this cluster consider how the nexus between politics, development, and governance plays out in Southeast Asia, a region caught between a globalising world and local networks of power and privilege, exploring also the impact of these domestic and regional shifts on Southeast Asia’s international relations.

Professor Helen E S Nesadurai, Professor of International Political Economy
Research areas: Globalization and its governance; regional and transnational governance; ASEAN; Asia-Pacific regionalism.

Associate Professor Michael Connors, Associate Professor in Global Studies
Research areas: Global Intellectual History, Liberalism and Conservatism, International Relations of the Asia Pacific, Democracy, Development, Applied Political Theory and Thai Studies.

Dr. Marek Rutkowski, Lecturer in Global Studies
Research areas: History of international relations, Cold War and decolonization in Asia, multilateralism and peacekeeping, development and nation-building.