Asian Media and Cultural Studies Network

The Asian Media and Cultural Studies Network is a transdisciplinary group drawing on scholars from across the arts, social science and humanities disciplines and who work in both national and transnational Asian contexts.

About us

The Asian Media and Cultural Studies Network undertakes comparative and cross-cultural work, particularly in the areas of digital media production, youth cultures, national and regional identities and cultures of fame. We explore Asian media and cultural studies from the ‘inside out’, reversing previous core-periphery binaries. 

The network is an initiative of Deakin University with partners from Tsinghua, Wuhans and Shanghai universities in China, Hong Kong Baptist University, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Osaka City University in Japan, and the University of Hyderabad in India, among others.

Higher degree by research interest areas

The network has extensive supervisory experience in Asian media and cultural studies with a focus on:

  • digital media production and ethnography
  • youth and children’s cultures
  • national and regional identities
  • migration and diaspora
  • and cultures of fame.

Internal members

Research students

External members

  • Dayu Thussu
    Professor of International Communication, Department of Journalism, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Professor Anbin Shi
    Ministry of Education (Changjiang) Endowment Professor of Global Communication, Associate Dean of Research, School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University
  • Dr Li Zhang
    Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University
  • Dr Shiwen Wu
    Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Wuhan University
  • Xiaoming Luo
    Associate Professor, Head of Program in Cultural Studies, Shanghai University, Visiting Scholar, Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London
  • Dr Dorothy W. S. Lau
    Assistant Professor, Academy of Film, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Gina Marchetti
    Professor of Comparative Literature, Director of the Center for the Study of Globalization and Cultures, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Dr Sabrina Qiong Yu
    Senior Lecturer in Chinese and Film Studies, Programme Director of MA Film: Theory and Practice, Principal Investigator of AHRC-funded project on Chinese independent cinema, Newcastle University, UK
  • Dr Gauri D. Chakraborty
    Associate Professor, Amity School of Communication, Amity University, Noida
  • Pramod K Nayer
    Professor of English, The University of Hyderabad, India
  • Dr Nandana Bose
    Associate Professor, FLAME University
  • Ambrish SaxenaProfessor and Dean, DME Media School, New Delhi
  • Saeko Ishita
    Professor of Sociology, Osaka City University
  • Stephen Epstein
    Director of Asian Languages & Cultures School of Languages and Cultures, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • Professor Andrew Knee
    Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, Media & Creative Industries, Lassalle College of the Arts, Singapore
  • Dr Bertha Chin
    Lecturer of Social Media and Communication, Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Dr Crystal Abidin
    Senior Research Fellow & ARC DECRA Fellow, Internet Studies, Curtin University, Affiliate Researcher, MMTC, Jönköping University
  • Michael Keane
    Professor of Chinese Media and Communications, Curtin University
  • Haiqing Yu
    Associate Professor and Vice-Chancellor’s Principle Research Fellow, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University
  • Dr Shenshen Cai
    Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies, Swinburne University
  • Terry Flew
    Professor of Communication and Creative Industries, Queensland University of Technology
  • Dr Hongwei Bao
    Associate Professor in Media Studies, University of Nottingham
  • Chris Berry
    Professor of Film Studies, Kings College London


We develop partnerships and research relationships with organisations interested in exploring Asian media and cultural studies. One of our current collaborations is an associate partnership with CathayPlay, an organisation that provides a platform for independent Chinese-language movies.

Research projects

Redefining the 'good' Chinese child in a globalising world

Dr Sue Chen

Guai is one of the most important concepts governing childhood in Chinese societies. This emphasis that children learn and enact accepted norms of behaviour sits at the centre of Chinese childhood learning and continues to resonate across the Chinese world. As recent high-profile suicide cases among young people in Taiwan, Hong Kong (SAR China), the PRC and Singapore demonstrate, societal expectations that children learn to be guai may have dire consequences.

This project examines transformations in understandings of the concept of guai in the Chinese world under globalisation. It focuses on understanding the ways this cultural concept is understood and deployed in Taiwan, Hong Kong, the PRC, Singapore and Chinese communities in Australia and New Zealand. It will be the first major study into the relevance of guai in a globalizing Chinese world. By systematically studying how the concept is deployed in textual representations and lived experiences, this project illuminates dominant ideologies about children underlying familial and national responses to globalization. This is a collaborative research project with Dr Sin Wen Lau (Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand).

#RomanceClass: mapping the genre world of English-language romance in the Philippines

Dr Jodi McAlister

Jodi is the chief investigator on this project, with collaborators Claire Parnell from the University of Melbourne and Andrea Anne Trinidad from Ateneo de Manila University:

The project aims to produce the first detailed analysis of the activities and outputs by a professionalised author community in a non-Western country. The hashtag #RomanceClass represents a community of more than 90 authors, as well as readers, actors and artists involved in the publishing and consumption of English-language romance novels in the Philippines. This research investigates the creation, production and consumption of romance novels in this community; the national and international contexts that shape the authorial, textual and readerly projects they undertake; and how they navigate tensions between the local and the global.

Indonesian women and online media; Digital citizenship

Dr Monika Winarnita

  • Indonesian women (Indonesia & diaspora), online media and digital activism
  • Digital citizenship and online engagement by Australia’s Indonesian diaspora

The second project 'Digital citizenship' builds upon findings from the first smaller ECR funded project 'Indonesian women and online media' of interviews and fieldwork among Indonesian female journalists and activist-artists in gender and minority rights movement. The larger project expands and applies concepts of digital citizenship of online engagement, activism, contention and creative expression (McCosker et al 2017) to look at the gendered and everyday lived experience of citizenship amongst Indonesian diasporic members in Australia.

The research is based on fieldwork, interviews and focus group with members of the Indonesian Diaspora Network (IDN) and the larger multi-generational Indonesian community of Melbourne who arrived from the late 1970s onwards (Winarnita and Tanu 2015). This is a collaborative research project with Dr Nasya Bahfen (Senior Lecturer in Journalism Studies, La Trobe University), which includes a digital podcast output

Cultural diversity and media in Australia

Dr Usha M. Rodrigues

Dr Rodrigues is currently engaged in a project that aims to investigate cultural diversity in Australian broadcast television news and current affairs media. This is an area that is under-investigated and in which existing research suggests Australia lags severely behind other similar nations.

While the focus is cultural and linguistic diversity, the project will also examine gender representation. This project’s goal is to situate the cultural diversity of Australian media in relation to the rest of the world. The under-representation of minority groups on Australian television has negative ramifications for social inclusion, cohesion, engagement and the development of social norms. Culturally diverse newsrooms comprise content makers, producers and news directors from varied cultural and linguistic backgrounds in order to identify and value different voices – voices that reflect the broader community and which flow through to increased audience share in a fractured media landscape.

The project outcomes will be widely publicised, and the team will work with key media partners to provide benchmarks for the media industry and for policy makers. The project is being undertaken by scholars based at three universities – Macquarie University, Deakin University and University of Sydney along with industry partner Media Diversity Australia, with cash and in-kind support from Google News, MEAA, Isentia and Telum.

Publications and media


Chen, Shih-Wen Sue. Children’s Literature and Transnational Knowledge in Modern China: Education, Religion, and Childhood, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Book chapters

  • Chen, Shih-Wen Sue and Sin Wen Lau 2019, ‘Children’s Agency and the Notion of Guai in Chinese Reality TV’, Representations of Children and Young People’s Agency in Popular Culture, Castro I and Clark J (eds), Lanham: Lexington Books, pp. 205–230.
  • Winarnita, M, Setiawan, K 2020, ‘Commemorating gender-based violence two decades on: voices of Chinese Indonesian women in the diaspora’, Gender, Violence and Power in Indonesia: Across Time and Space, eds. McGregor K, Dragojlovic A, and Loney H, Routledge Women in Asia Series.
  • Xu J, Zhao, X 2019, 'Changing platformativity of China’s female wanghong: from Anni Baobei to Zhang Dayi. In Shenshen Cai (Ed.) Female Celebrities in Contemporary Chinese Society. Singapore, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 127–158.


Journal special issues

  • Winarnita, M 2019, ‘Multimedia, mobility and the digital Southeast Asian family’s polymedia experience’, Migration, Mobility and Displacement Journal, vol. 4, issue 1, Spring Edition Special Issue Editor Introduction, pp.1–5.
  • Baker, A and Rodrigues, U M 2020 Guest Editors, Special theme issue on 'Journalism and Sexual Violence', Journalism Practice, vol. 14, no. 2.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Chen, Shih-Wen Sue 2019, ‘Translation and word-picture relationships in Chih-Yuan Chen’s picture books’, International Research in Children’s Literature, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 179–194.
  • McAlister, J, Parnell, C and Trinidad, AA 2020, '#RomanceClass: Genre world, intimate public, found family' Publishing Research Quarterly, published online first,
  • Winarnita, M, Dirgantoro, W and Wilding, R 2019, ‘Close, not close’: migrant artists negotiating transnational mother-daughter intimacies’, (Indonesian and Philippine artists), Intimacies at a Distance Special Issue in Emotion, Space and Society Journal,
  • Zhao, X 2019, 'Disconnective intimacies through social media: practices of transnational family among overseas Chinese students in Australia', Media International Australia, 173(1), pp. 36–52.
  • Rodrigues, Usha M and Niemann, M 2019, ‘Political communication in Modi’s style: a study of demonetisation campaign on Twitter’, International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, 15 (3): 361–379,
  • Baker, A, Williams, K and Rodrigues UM 2019, ‘#metoo 2.0 to #meNOmore: analysing Western reporting about sexual violence in the music industry’, Journalism Practice, first published online October 13, vol. 14–2,
  • Rodrigues, U M 2019, ‘Can Indian Journalism Survive the onslaught of social media?’, Global Media and Communication.
  • Rodrigues, UM, Niemann, M and Paradies, Y 2019, ‘Representation of news related to culturally diverse population in Australian media’, Journalism, first published online May 31,
  • Xu, J & Zhang, G 2020, ‘The rise and fall of the ‘King of Hanmai’—MC Tianyou’, Celebrity Studies (in print).
  • Zhang, G & Xu, J 2019, ‘A brief genealogy of Hanmai’, China Perspectives, (3): 43–48.

Media articles

Chen, S and Lau, S 2019, ‘Can Ne Zha, the Chinese superhero with $1b at the box office, teach us how to raise good kids?’ The Conversation 22 Oct 2019 – translated in Chinese.

Special features

‘Thinking Asia Aloud’ podcast series

This is a series of five-minute podcasts where network members discuss contemporary issues that they're researching or which has become of dominant concern.

Monika Winarnita will curate the first series of think pieces on the #MeToo movement in Asia. The series will include:

  • #MeToo India – Usha M Rodrigues
  • #MeToo Japan – Emerald King. Available on YouTube
  • #MeToo Philippines – Earvin Charles Cabalquinto
  • #MeToo China – Dr Qian Gong. Available on YouTube
  • #MeToo Indonesia – available on the Inside Indonesia website

Asia Pandemic Round Tables

In these international round tables, six invited scholars will discuss different aspects of how the pandemic has impacted cultural life. In the first of the series, chaired by Sean Redmond, the role and function of the ‘pandemic celebrity’ will be explored.

Contact us

Please contact Sean Redmond or Jian Xu for more information about the network, or to discuss partnering with us. You can also find us on Facebook and and YouTube.

Email Sean Redmond
Email Jian Xu

Visit the the Asian Media and Cultural Studies Network Facebook page
Go to the network's YouTube channel