Asian Cultural Research Hub (ACRH)

About us


Founded in 2023, spring-boarding from the Asian Cultural Research Network (2015–2019) and drawing on the co-convenors’ long-term involvement in the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies project, the ACRH aims to foster a local, national and international intellectual community for PhD students and Early Career Researchers working on Asia-related cultural studies research.

As part of its Global Priorities, the University of Melbourne aspires to become a hub of knowledge and research for the Asia Pacific region. The University aims to advance collaborations with scholarly communities in Asia to enhance our contributions to the cultural and intellectual life of our region.

The field-defining success of the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies project since its launch in the late 1990s demonstrates that Cultural Studies approaches are proving appropriate, productive and exciting for scholars across Asia in tackling challenging questions of our time, including those around transforming identities, cultural creativity, digital life, social movements, and the intensifying mobilities of culture in globalisation.

Reflecting this, over the past decade, successive waves of PhD students and Early Career Researchers from countries across Asia have travelled to the School of Culture and Communication to pursue Cultural Studies-based research projects. As these numbers continue to swell, the ACRH serves as a strategic hub to activate these scholars’ collective commitment to Cultural Studies research on Asian topics.

Our focus areas

  • Cultural politics in Asia: Activism, creativity and resistance
  • Asian mobilities: Mobile media, mobile people
  • Transforming identities: Genders and sexualities in Asia
  • Digital Asia: Researching networked worlds

Our people


Professor Fran Martin

Professor Fran Martin

Fran Martin is currently working on a multi-phase longitudinal ethnographic research project about the unfolding life experiences of young women from China who have studied in Australia. Prior to that, her best known research focuses on television, film, literature and other forms of cultural production in the transnational Chinese world, with a specialization in cultures of gender and sexuality.

Dr Annisa R. Beta

Dr. Annisa R.Beta

Annisa R. Beta is an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) fellow (2023-2025) and Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the School of Culture and Communication, the University of Melbourne. Her research is broadly concerned with youth, new media, and political subjectivity in Southeast Asia.



Martin-Coutts Martyn Coutts is an award-winning artist, researcher and educator. Martyn holds a postgraduate diploma in Animateuring (Theatre Making) from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). His creative projects have been shown extensively throughout Australia and internationally in Taiwan, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Netherlands, UK, US and Canada. Martyn won the Dean's Award for Excellence for his Masters in Creative Industries from RMIT in 2021.

Martyn’s research engages with digital dramaturgies, cultural policy, digital protest art and social movement studies. He won the Dean’s Award for Excellence for his Masters in Arts Management from RMIT in 2021. His Master's research explored cultural policy in Hong Kong and how it intersects with national identity and soft power. Martyn is Tutor in Production at the VCA (University of Melbourne) in Digital Media and Projection. He teaches into the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Production).

In 2023, Martyn will have three papers published in edited volumes: Hong Kong Imaginary: Culture and Identity in the city-state, Framing Technologies in the Dramaturgies of Performance and The Unconformity: Culture-led regeneration in a regional setting.
ChloeHo Chloe Ho is a doctoral candidate in Art History at the University of Melbourne and Digital Archive Researcher with Art and Australia. Her PhD project looks performance and installation art and other artistic, , social and political events in, from, or about Singapore from the late 1980s to the present in relation to the writing of global art history.

Her broader research interests include performance art forms in the Asian context and artistic migration, particularly in relation to performance art and artists. She has been Graduate Fellow at the Centre of Visual Arts (CoVA), University of Melbourne (2018-present); Conference Administrator, AAANZ22; Advisory Committee for Currents (2020-2022); Committee member for the Asian Studies Association of Australia Conference 2020; Committee member of the UniMelb Art History Research Seminars (2020); Co-organiser of WIP Friday seminar series (2020), School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne. She has published in places such Southeast of Now and Live Art Development Agency.
Chenglin Chenglin Liang is a PhD candidate in Screen & Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on Chinese youth culture, cyber-nationalism, masculinities of low-status or lower-middle-class Chinese men, and the broader cultural production of Chinese online communities. His PhD project seeks to outline the pessimism and disenfranchised masculinities of lower-middle-class Chinese men over the past decade, and to explore their cultural and political influences. Prior to studying at Melbourne, he completed his BA and MA at Jinan University and Shanghai University respectively, and briefly served as literary editor in China.

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Inaugural meeting of the ACRH, September 6, 2023

News and Events

Keep up to date with activities of Asian Cultural Research Hub
  • regular in-person events including reading groups, writing groups, and work-in-progress seminars;
  • biannual online seminars enabling participants to engage with interstate and international scholars;
  • annual in-person events enabling RHDs and ECRs to engage more intensively with visiting scholars, such as public lectures and/ or masterclasses.


  • Annisa Beta:
    • ARC DECRA: Digital citizenship and girls’ gender empowerment: a youth participatory action research project examining how Indonesian young women deploy digital media and technologies to instigate social change for gender empowerment;
    • Indonesia Open Ethnography Network: a network of scholars and activists in Indonesia looking into ways ethnography can be used to generate more equitable and ethical knowledge production
  • Fran Martin:


Professor Fran Martin
T: +61383445486, E:

Dr Annisa R. Beta