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: Popular culture and Indonesia, Chat apps, Music streaming in Southeast Asia, Popular music in Indonesia.
Methodological expertise:
Ethnography, Walk-through (for apps), Interviews, Text analysis.
Geographical focus: NA

Dr Dyah Pitaloka,  Senior Lecturer in Communications and Media Studies
Research areas: ICT & Social change, Digital technology, Society & health, Social, Cultural and political aspects of digital technologies, Development & global health policy, Human rights SEA.
Methodological expertise: Qualitative research, Innovative social research, Textual analysis, Constructivist Grounded-Theory Methodology, Culture-Centered Approach, PAR, Critical Discourse Analysis, Ethnography. 
Geographical focus: Indonesia, SEA (Singapore, Vietnam).

Dr Mark Balnaves, Senior Lecturer of Creative Industries 
Research areas: Media and new media audiences, Media and new media industries and policy, History of media, History and methodology of audience ratings, Psychology of media.
Methodological expertise:
Quantitative and qualitative methodology.
Geographical focus:

Dr Tan Meng Yoe, Lecturer in Communication
Research areas: Online/digital religion, Online communities, Inter/intra-religious communication in Malaysia, Malaysian Christianity, Medical and cultural communication.
Methodological expertise:
Qualitative research (online ethnography, textual analysis, interviews).
Geographical focus:
Geographical focus: NA

Dr Rizwanah Souket Ali, Lecturer in Public Relations
Research areas: Public Relations History/ Evolution of Information Services, Pioneers in Public Relations, Women and Leadership in Public Relations, Political Communication, Media effects [ TPE theory], Voter Behaviour, Activism PR / campaigns.
Methodological expertise:
Historical Method, Archival Research, Document Analysis.
Geographical focus: NA

Dr Young Nam-Seo, Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies
Research areas: Human-Computer Interaction, User Experience, Digital Media, Online Communication.
Methodological expertise:
Physiological Measurement.
Geographical focus:

Dr Tae-Sik Kim, Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies
Research areas: Visual semiotics/Discourse Studies, Urban, Migration and Mobilities, Korean Media Studies, Social Media Practices.
Methodological expertise:
Qualitative research; Semiotic analysis, Critical discourse analysis, Textual analysis.
Geographical focus: East Asia (Korea, Japan, and China), Central Europe, Southeast Asia.

Dr Abdul Aziz, Lecturer in Communication
Research areas: Media, Migration, and Diaspora, Digital Inclusion and Social Inequalities, Ethnic Media and Online/Virtual Communities, Digital Citizenship, Identity and Belonging, Digital Media and Religion.
Methodological expertise:
Qualitative methods, Digital methods, Ethnography, Visual methods.
Geographical focus: South and Southeast Asia, Rohingya.

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.

Professor Sharon A Bong, Professor of Gender Studies
Research areas: Queer ecofeminisms & theologies, Asian feminist theology, Sexual and reproductive health and rights, Queer theologies & sexual ethics, Postcolonial/Decolonial theologies.
Methodological expertise: Qualitative research (in-depth interviews) and use of CAQDAS (e.g. ATLAS.ti and NVivo) to analyse qualitative data.
Geographical focus: Malaysia, Singapore, Southeast Asia.

Associate Professor Yeoh Seng Guan, Associate Professor in Social Anthropology
Research areas: Urban anthropology in SEA, Migration and diasporic identities in SEA, Civil society initiatives in SEA, Religious entrepreneurship in SEA.
Methodological expertise: Ethnography.
Geographical focus: Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal.

Dr Joseph N. Goh, Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies
Research areas: Gender and sexuality; LGBTIQA+ Studies, Queer Theory; Theology, Religion & Spirituality; Sexual Health; Human Rights.
Methodological expertise: Qualitative Research, Legal Research Methodology.
Geographical focus: Malaysia, Southeast Asia, Indo-Pacific.

Dr Reyhaneh Bagheri, Research Fellow
Research areas: Gender & Health, Social determinants of health, Sexual and reproductive health and rights, Violence against women, Masculinities & men's health behaviours.
Methodological expertise: Qualitative research, quantitative research, mixed methods, in-depth interview, content analysis, SEM modelling, Nvivo, MAXQDA, SmartPLs, WarpPLS, SPSS.
Geographical focus: Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Middle East, Iran.

Literature, Cinema and Society

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

Professor Adeline Grace Johns Putra, Professor of Literature
Research areas: Climate change in literature, The cultural history of climate, World literature in the Anthropocene, Gender and British Romantic poetry, The Western canon of epic poetry.
Methodological expertise: Textual analysis, Archival research.
Geographical focus: Britain, Anglophone world, China.

Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon, Associate Professor of Literature
Research areas: Gothic and horror literature/film, Postcolonial (esp. Anglophone Malaysian) writing, Postmodern literature, Cultural studies, Literary aesthetics.
Methodological expertise: Textual Analysis, Archival Research.
Geographical focus: Southeast, East and South Asia, the Anglo-American region.

Dr Jonathan Driskell, Senior Lecturer in Film, Television and Screen Studies
Research areas: Stardom and celebrity, Film History, Malay cinema, Southeast Asian cinema, French cinema.
Methodological expertise: Archival research, textual analysis.
Geographical focus: Malaysia, Singapore, Southeast Asia, France.

Dr Agata Frymus, Lecturer in Film and Television Studies
Research areas: Film history, Screen studies, Race studies, Feminism and representation, Audiences.
Methodological expertise: Archival research, Oral History, Qualitative Research.
Geographical focus: United States, Malaysia.

Dr Chrishandra Sebastiampillai, Lecturer in Film, Television and Screen Studies
Research areas: Stardom and celebrity, Philippine cinema, Southeast Asian cinema, Representations of race and identity.
Methodological expertise: Archival research, textual analysis, qualitative research.
Geographical focus: Philippines, Malaysia, Southeast Asia.

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: Regional international institutions, International & transnational (non-state) governance, International political economy (IPE) of Southeast Asia & ASEAN, International relations of Southeast Asia & ASEAN, Economic statecraft.
Methodological expertise: Qualitative research, Elite & semi-structured interviews.
Geographical focus: NA

Associate Professor Michael Connors, Associate Professor in Global Studies
Research areas: Area Studies – Thailand, Political Theory - Democracy, Liberalism, Contemporary History/Global Studies, Populism, Corruption, Nationalism/Foreign Policy/Identity.
Methodological expertise: Ideological analysis, textual analysis, Gramscian hegemony studies, interpretative social science, critical realism and cultural political economy.
Geographical focus: Thailand, Southeast Asia, South Africa.

Dr Thaatchaayini Kananatu, Senior Lecturer in Global Studies
Research areas: Human rights, Social justice, Malaysian legal system, Politico-legal mobilisation, International law.
Methodological expertise: Qualitative Research, Legal Research Methodology.
Geographical focus: Malaysia, Southeast Asia, Indo-Pacific.

Dr Marek Rutkowski, Lecturer in Global Studies
Research areas: International history, Cold War studies, Decolonisation, Development, Soviet Bloc and Eastern Europe.
Methodological expertise: Qualitative Research, Historical method, Archival research, Document analysis.
Geographical focus: Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe.

Dr Azliyana Azhari, Research Fellow
Research areas: Climate-related atmospheric hazards, Climate change communication, Sustainability and livabilty, Emission management and policy.
Methodological expertise: Experimental, quantitative.
Geographical focus: Malaysia.

Dr Raksha Pandya-Wood, Research Fellow
Research areas: Health & Social Care, Community Development, Inequalities (race, gender, diability and age), Ethics and human rights, Implementation science.
Methodological expertise: Qualitative Research, Participatory Action Research, Delphi Technique, Focus Groups, Interviews, Evaluation, implementation science.
Geographical focus: UK, Iraq, Afghanistan, Albania, Malaysia, Sub Saharan Africa (Anglophone and Francophone speaking countries).

Dr Stefan Bächtold, Research Fellow
Research areas: Digital technologies in political conflict, International development & peacebuilding, (Post-colonial) science & technology studies, Armed conflict & state formation, Transdisciplinary approaches, knowledge production & impact evaluation practices.
Methodological expertise: Qualitative research; discourse analysis, governmentality studies, assemblage theories, ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, various evaluation approaches (contribution analysis, outcome mapping, etc).
Geographical focus: Myanmar, Southeast Asia.