Cultural Studies in Asia Symposium

Thursday, November 23, 2006
2.00pm - 5.00pm
Seminar Room 1, E356
3rd Floor Forgan Smith Building, East Wing, St Lucia Campus, University of Queensland - (Bldg 1) [See map]

Invited Speakers: Professors Ien Ang, Chua Beng Huat, Meaghan Morris, and Krishna Sen

The aim of this symposium was initially opportunistic—taking advantage of Chua Beng Huat’s being in Brisbane for the inaugural meeting of our Advisory Committee. This opportunity was further enhanced by Meaghan Morris’s presence here as well—also for the Advisory Committee meeting. Interest in the Asian formations of cultural studies has been growing for some years in Australia, partly in response to the engagement of a number of Australian based researchers such as Ien Ang, Stephi Donald, Michael Keane, Fran Martin, Audrey Yue, Mark McLelland, Chris Healy and Krishna Sen—all of them members of the CRN. Meaghan Morris’s reports of her experiences in Hong Kong have also helped highlight how different Asia’s use of cultural studies has become. The number of CRN members planning to attend the Inter-Asia conference in Shanghai in 2007 provides an indication of the rising interest in and engagement with Asian Cultural Studies.

For some of us, though, there is a bit of a knowledge deficit about how cultural studies is done in Asia, what the specificities of its foci might be and how differently it has developed there. Therefore the focus of the symposium is twofold: first, Chua Beng Huat will be asked to provide his personal view on ‘how cultural studies is done’ in Asia; second, a panel of Australian-based researchers with significant experience in Asia will talk about how Australian cultural studies might engage with ‘how cultural studies is done’ in Asia. Panellists will be asked to present their views in relatively short and informal presentations in order to leave plenty of time for questions and discussion.


2.00pm — 2.45pm Professor Chua Beng Huat – Doing Cultural Studies in Asia

2.45pm — 3.15pm Afternoon Tea

3.15pm — 5.00pm Panel: Engaging with Cultural Studies in Asia

Speakers: Professors Ien Ang, Meaghan Morris, and Krishna Sen

5.00pm Close

Following the symposium, you are invited to join the presenters at the University of Queensland Staff Club for informal drinks.

About the presenters

Professor Ien Ang is ARC Professorial Fellow and former Director of the Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney. She is one of the leaders in cultural studies worldwide, with interdisciplinary work spanning many areas of the humanities and social sciences. Her work focuses especially on media and cultural consumption, including the study of media audiences, identity politics, nationalism and globalisation, migration and ethnicity, and issues of representation in contemporary cultural institutions. Her publications include On Not Speaking Chinese: Living Between Asia and the West,  Routledge, 2001 and Living Room Wars: Rethinking Media Audiences for a Postmodern World, Routledge, 1996.

Professor Chua Beng Huat is Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore and editor of Singapore Studies II: Critical Surveys of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Singapore University Press, 1999 and Consumption In Asia: Lifestyles And Identities, Routledge, 2000.

Professor Meaghan Morris is Chair of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong and visiting professor at the Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney. She is internationally renowned for her work on the role of cinema and the media in forming national and transnational cultures, and she has published extensively in the fields of cultural studies, feminism, and migration. She is author of Identity Anecdotes: Translation and Media Culture, Sage Publications, 2006, Hong Kong Connections: Transnational Imagination in Action Cinema, (with Siu-Leung Liand Stephen Chan Ching-kiu) Hong Kong University Press, 2005, and New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society (with Tony Bennett and Lawrence Grossberg) Blackwell, 2005.

Professor Krishna Sen is Professor of Asian Media in the Department of Media and Information Studies at Curtin University of Technology. While her work is interdisciplinary, she is best known for her research into Asian, particularly Indonesian, media.

The symposium will be chaired by Prof Graeme Turner, Director of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, and Convenor of the ARC Cultural Research Network.

For further information, or to register interest in the event, please contact John Gunders.