Research publications

Academic staff make significant contributions to the understanding of Asian languages and societies. Publications are often in English but staff also make important contributions to literature in other languages, increasing our international profile.

Recent publications by Asia Institute staff

Publications are categorised by year


Bodies and Suffering: Emotions and Relations of CareAna Dragojlovic and Alex Broom.
Bodies and Suffering: Emotions and Relations of Care. Routledge, 2017.
This book is a critical response to a range of problems – some theoretical, others empirical – that shape questions surrounding the lived experience of suffering. It explores how moral and ethical questions of personal suffering are experienced, contested, negotiated and institutionalised. Bodies and Suffering investigates the moral labour and significance invested in actions to care for others, or in failing to do so. It also explores circumstances – personal, political and social – under which that which is perceived as non-moral becomes moral. Drawing on case studies and empirical research, Bodies and Suffering examines the idea of the suffering body across different cultures and contexts and the experience and treatment of these suffering bodies. The book draws on theories of affect, embodiment, the phenomenology of illness and moralities of care, to produce a nuanced understanding of suffering as being located across the assumed borders of time, space, bodies, persons and things.

Visual Media in Indonesia Video VanguardEdwin Jurriens.
Visual Media in Indonesia Video Vanguard. Routledge, 2017.
This book focuses on the visual media, one of the key factors in shaping the contemporary ecology of colliding environments. Case-studies include video artists, community media activists, television programme makers and literary authors in the fourth most populous country in the world, Indonesia. The author demonstrates that these actors are part of an international creative and social vanguard that reflect on, criticise and rework the multidimensional impact of the visual media in imaginative and innovative ways. Their work explores alternative and more sustainable presents and futures for Indonesia and the world. This research is urgent and timely, as Indonesia has emerged in recent years as one of the world's most vibrant hubs for contemporary art and media experimentation.

Digital Indonesia: Connectivity and DivergenceEdwin Jurriens and Ross Tapsell (eds.,).
Digital Indonesia: Connectivity and Divergence. ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute, 2017.
This book places Indonesia at the forefront of the global debate about the impact of "disruptive" digital technologies. Digital technology is fast becoming the core of life, work, culture and identity. Yet, while the number of Indonesians using the internet has followed the upward global trend, some groups - the poor, the elderly, women, the less well-educated, people living in remote communities - are disadvantaged. This interdisciplinary collection of essays by leading researchers and scholars, as well as e-governance and e-commerce insiders, examines the impact of digitalisation on the media industry, governance, commerce, informal sector employment, education, cybercrime, terrorism, religion, artistic and cultural expression, and much more. It presents groundbreaking analysis of the impact of digitalisation in one of the worlds most diverse, geographically vast nations. In weighing arguments about the opportunities and challenges presented by digitalisation, it puts the very idea of a technological revolution into critical perspective.


Vedi Hadiz. Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East.Vedi Hadiz.
Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East. Amsterdam University Press, 2016.
In a novel approach to the field of Islamic politics, this provocative new study compares the evolution of Islamic populism in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, to the Middle East. Utilising approaches from historical sociology and political economy, Vedi R. Hadiz argues that competing strands of Islamic politics can be understood as the product of contemporary struggles over power, material resources and the result of conflict across a variety of social and historical contexts.

Ana Dragojlovic. Beyond Bali subaltern citizens and post-colonial intimacy.Ana Dragojlovic.
Beyond Bali subaltern citizens and post-colonial intimacy. Amsterdam University Press, 2016.
Beyond Bali: Subaltern Citizens and Post-Colonial Intimacy explores Balinese subaltern citizens' production of post-colonial intimacy both during colonialism and as they continue to have effects in the present. Balinese subaltern citizens, whether former leftist political exiles, artist or everyday citizens, rather than criticizing, evoke colonial hierarchies of themselves as carriers of unique cultural traditions firstly promoted by the Dutch colonial policy (named 'Balinization'), to position themselves higher than the other foreigners in the Dutch post-colonial matrix of difference.

Jia Gao, Catherine Ingram, Pookong Kee (eds.,). Global Media and Public Diplomacy in Sino-Western Relations.Jia Gao, Catherine Ingram and Pookong Kee (eds.,).
Global Media and Public Diplomacy in Sino-Western Relations. Routledge, 2016.
This volume presents a broad social science audience with recent innovative scholarship and research findings on global media and public diplomacy concerning Sino-Western relations. It focuses on the implicit nexus between global media and public diplomacy, and their actual utilisation in and impact on the shifting relationships between China and the West. Special attention is given to the changing nature of globalised media in both China and Western nations, and how globalised media is influencing, shaping and changing international politics.


Thomas Reuter (ed.,). Averting a Global Environmental Collapse The Role of Anthropology and Local Knowledge.Thomas Reuter (ed.,).
Averting a Global Environmental Collapse The Role of Anthropology and Local Knowledge. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
The World Science Union (ICSU) has recognized that knowledge of the social sciences is indispensable for facilitating the major socio-cultural transformations now required, and, together with the International Social Science Council (ISSC), called for a mainstreaming of environmental research in the social sciences at the Rio+20 Earth Summit. The two major international organizations in anthropology, IUAES and WCAA, responded to this call by co-sponsoring a symposium on environmental change at the Manchester World Anthropology Congress, and by creating a scientific Commission for Anthropology and Environment, which then hosted a second symposium in Chiba City, Tokyo, in May 2014. This volume is a selection of the many papers presented by a truly international group of experts at the two symposia.

Akihiro Ogawa. Lifelong Learning in Neoliberal Japan Risk, Community, and Knowledge.Akihiro Ogawa.
Lifelong Learning in Neoliberal Japan Risk, Community, and Knowledge. Suny Press, 2015.
Akihiro Ogawa explores Japan's recent embrace of lifelong learning as a means by which a neoliberal state deals with risk. Lifelong learning has been heavily promoted by Japan's policymakers, and statistics find one-third of Japanese people engaged in some form of these activities. Activities that increase abilities and improve health help manage the insecurity that comes with Japan's new economic order and increased income disparity. Ogawa notes that the state attempts to integrate the divided and polarized Japanese population through a newly imagined collectivity, atarashii kōkyō or the New Public Commons, a concept that attempts to redefine the boundaries of moral responsibility between the state and the individual, with greater emphasis on the virtues of self-regulation.

Jia Gao. Chinese Migrant Entrepreneurship in Australia from the 1990s Case Studies of Success in Sino-Australian Relations.Jia Gao.
Chinese Migrant Entrepreneurship in Australia from the 1990s Case Studies of Success in Sino-Australian Relations. Chandos Publishing, 2015.
For more than two decades Australia has not only prospered without a recession but has achieved a higher growth rate than any Western country. This achievement has been credited to Australia's historic shift to Asia; the transformation of the relationship between these two countries is one of the most important changes in the Asia-Pacific region. However, the role of new Chinese migrants in transforming Sino-Australian relations through their entrepreneurial activities has not been deeply explored. Chinese Migrant Entrepreneurship in Australia from the 1990s adds new theoretical considerations and empirical evidence to a growing interest in entrepreneurship, and presents an account of a group of new Chinese migrant entrepreneurs who have succeeded in their business ventures significantly contributing to both Australia and China.


Teik, K., Hadiz, V., Nakanishi, Y. (eds.). Between Dissent and Power The Transformation of Islamic Politics in the Middle East and AsiaTeik, K., Hadiz, V., Nakanishi, Y. (eds.).
Between Dissent and Power The Transformation of Islamic Politics in the Middle East and Asia. Palgrave, 2014.
This study examines the collective progression of Islamic politics between points of dissent and positions of power. It brings about a more a serious understanding of Islamic politics by critically tracing the pathways by which Islamic politics has been transformed in the Middle East and Asia.

Shaoming Zhou (ed.,). Teaching Chinese: Challenges in a Globalized WorldShaoming Zhou (ed.).
Teaching Chinese: Challenges in a Globalized World. Fudan University Press, 2014.
Chinese language has been predicted to become one of the two most important world languages alongside English. While some argue that the difficulty of Chinese linguistic features will make this vision impossible, others insist that China's growing economic might will make it equal to English in terms of world influence. This volume focuses on the globalization of Chinese language, the teaching and learning of Chinese language in a global village and the challenges teachers and students will face.

Ikuko Nakane. Interpreter-mediated Police Interviews: A Discourse-Pragmatic ApproachIkuko Nakane.
Interpreter-mediated Police Interviews: A Discourse-Pragmatic Approach. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
This book shows how the participation of interpreters as mediators changes the dynamics of police interviews, particularly with regard to power struggles and competing versions of events. Employing a range of approaches including conversation analysis, interactional sociolinguistics and legal narrative theory, Interpreter-mediated Police Interviews provides a detailed study of the impact of interpreter mediation on this area of the justice system. It reveals how turn-by-turn decisions of communication by all three participants, including the interpreter, affect the trajectory of the institutional discourse. By providing a better understanding of police interview discourse and exploring the practical implications of interpreter participation, this book contributes to the improvement of interpreter-mediated investigative interviews and will be of great interest to legal professionals as well as interpreters and their trainers.

Li, Xia; Li, Jinfang and Luo, Yongxian A Grammar of Zoulei, Southwest ChinaLi, Xia; Li, Jinfang and Luo, Yongxian.
A Grammar of Zoulei, Southwest China. Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2014.
Zoulei is an endangered language spoken by several hundred speakers in China's Guizhou Province and adjacent areas. It is a variety of the Ahou dialect of the highly diverse Gelao group within the Tai-Kadai language family. Zoulei is a typical isolating and analytic language, basically monosyllabic, particularly with verbs, with a number of striking features that are generally not found in other members of the Tai-Kadai family. In the opening chapters, the volume describes the social, cultural, and linguistic organization of this group, outlines the main points of Zoulei phonology, and presents an overview of the grammar. In succeeding chapters, it examines a number of grammatical topics in greater detail, including phrase and clause structure, verbal syntax, discourse particles, among others. The volume also includes a vocabulary and several texts recorded from village elders.

Transforming Chinese Cities book coverMark Y. Wang, Pookong Kee and Jia Gao (eds.).
Transforming Chinese Cities. Routledge, 2014.
The urbanisation of China over the last three decades has been a hugely significant development, both for China's reform process and for the world more generally. This book presents recent research findings on China's continuing urban transformation. Subjects covered include the decline of the rural-urban divide, the spatial restructuring of Chinese urban centres and urban infrastructure, migrant workers, new housing and new communities, and "green" responses to urban environmental problems. The book is particularly valuable in that it includes much new work by scholars based inside China.


Environmental Preservation and Cultural Heritage in ChinaAnne McLaren, Alex English, Catherine Ingram and Xinhuan He (eds.).
Environmental Preservation and Cultural Heritage in China. Common Ground Publishing, 2013.
This book focuses on attempts at the local level to preserve both cultural and ecological heritage in a number of key regions such as Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, Guilin, and the lower Yangzi delta. Topics covered include conservation zones managed by ethnic minorities; concepts of the "sacred" as they relate to ecological management, tourism and ecological preservation, folk ecologies as reflected in oral culture, and the impact of state policies and globalized heritage norms. The authors are experts in environmental management, ethno-linguistics, ethnomusicology and orality studies, with extensive experience of fieldwork and developmental programs in regional China. This work will be appreciated by those with a specialist interest in heritage and environmental studies in Asia and of benefit to students of contemporary China, environmental issues in Asia, and cultural heritage in Asian contexts.

Chinese Activism of a Different kind: The Chinese Students' Campaign to Stay in AustraliaJia Gao.
Chinese Activism of a Different kind: The Chinese Students' Campaign to Stay in Australia. Brill Academic Publishers, 2013.
In Chinese Activism of a Different Kind, Jia Gao examines the social behavior and patterns of actions of 45,000 or so Chinese students as they fought to obtain the right to stay permanently in Australia after the June 4 'Tiananmen Square' incident of 1989. In a time of relative Internet infancy their response to the shifting stances of the Australian government saw them build networks, make use of media and develop a range of strategies. In achieving success this diverse group of students became the largest intake of onshore asylum seekers in the history of Australian immigration. Through their testimonies Jia Gao provides a fascinating addition to our knowledge of Chinese activism and to the history of Chinese migration.

Disaster Relief in the Asia Pacific: Agency and Resilience Minako Sakai, Edwin Jurriëns, Jian Zhang and Alec Thornton (eds.).
Disaster Relief in the Asia Pacific: Agency and Resilience. Routledge Contemporary Asia Series, 2013.
This book takes a regional, multidisciplinary and multi-actor approach to improve understandings of how various actors respond to natural and human-induced disasters in the Asia-Pacific region. It examines the ideas and activities of four different categories of agents: civil society; military and state institutions; local cultural knowledge and the media; and economic initiatives, and these themes are approached from various academic disciplines, ranging from anthropology and cultural studies to economics, human geography and political science. The contributors draw their findings from a variety of countries in the region, including China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar and Samoa, and importantly, focus on the interconnection between vulnerability and resilience. In turn, the book highlights how the nature and magnitude of disasters are influenced by social conditions, and aims to contribute to policies that prioritize development opportunities to enhance resilience. Further, it explores the complicated and multifaceted role of agency in building resilience, and presents a comparative framework for analysis and key findings from the Asia-Pacific region.

(On 'onē-kotoba [the language of queens]')Claire Maree.
(On 'onē-kotoba [the language of queens]'). Seidosha, 2013.
On 'onē-kotoba traces the representation and appropriation of a queer speech style (onê-kotoba) in mainstream Japanese lifestyle media. Onē-kotoba (language of queens) is a speech style traditionally associated with 'effeminate' gay men's speech in Japan. Through interviews and examination of queer community literature, Maree has shown that the style is less an imitation of stereotypically feminine Japanese and more a parody that contests heteronormative gendered speech. Due to the popularity of queer personalities in lifestyle media, onē-kotoba has received extensive exposure since the mid-2000s.'Onē-kotoba' Ron (On 'Onē-kotoba' [On 'The Language of Queens']) (Seidosha 2013) employs a critical discourse approach to analyze contemporary representations of the style as it is absorbed and transformed in contemporary popular culture. In particular Maree examines the visual representation of onē-kotoba in columns written by onē-kyara (queen/queer personalities) in fashion magazines and popular beauty books, and the use of text-on-screen in variety television programs.

Jun Ohashi. Thanking and Politeness in Japanese: Balancing Acts in Interaction. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)Jun Ohashi.
Thanking and Politeness in Japanese: Balancing Acts in Interaction. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Thanking and Politeness in Japanese: Balancing Acts in Interaction synthesizes previous work on thanking, politeness and Japanese pragmatics and crystallises the theoretical underpinnings of thanking, how it is realized linguistically and the social meaning and significance of this aspect of Japanese communication. The book employs three empirical studies to reveal conversational participants' collaborative work in thanking episodes, specifically, their acts of balancing obligations. It illuminates the mutually dependent nature of social interaction in Japanese and beyond, and suggests a new theoretical framework in understanding what is expected in social interaction across the languages. This is the definitive work on how Japanese people thank one another, and will provide ongoing value to second language Japanese teachers, textbook writers and academics seeking to make sense of, and define, this beautifully subtle, complex yet essential speech act in Japanese.

Abdullah Saeed. Reading the Qur'an in the Twenty-First Century: A Contextualist ApproachAbdullah Saeed.
Reading the Qur'an in the Twenty-First Century: A Contextualist Approach. Routledge, 2013.
Reading the Qur'an in the Twenty-First Centuryconsiders the development of Qur'anic interpretation and highlights modern debates around new approaches to interpretation. It explores how Muslims from various theological, legal, socio-political and philosophical backgrounds think about the meaning and relevance of the Qur'an, and how their ideas apply in the contemporary world… Abdullah Saeed provides a practical guide for interpretation and presents the principal ideas of a contextualist approach, which situates the original message of the Qur'an in its wider social, political, cultural, economic and intellectual context. He advocates a more flexible method of interpretation that gives due recognition to earlier interpretations of the Qur'an while also being aware of changing conditions and the need to approach the Qur'an afresh today.

Sow Keat Tok  Managing China's Sovereignty in Hong Kong and TaiwanSow Keat Tok.
Managing China's Sovereignty in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Is China always defensive about its sovereignty issues? Does China see sovereignty essentially as 'absolute,' 'Victorian,' or 'Westphalian?' Sow Keat Tok suggests that Beijing has a more nuanced and flexible policy towards 'sovereignty' than previously assumed. By comparing China's changing policy towards Taiwan and Hong Kong, the author relates the role of previous conceptions of the world order in China's conception of modern 'sovereignty', thereby uncovers Beijing's deepest concern when dealing with its sovereignty issues.