Research Degree Students

PhD Arts

Shana binti Sanusi
Thesis title: The Domestic Space and Familial Trauma in East Asian Horror Cinema
Abstract: This research concentrates on the significance of the house in relations to familial trauma as depicted in East Asian horror films. This is to examine the (domestic) spatial role of the dwelling in relegating the conflict of trauma and memory of the inhabitants. The cultural imagery of both architectural and spatial forms will also be investigated to see how these two elements intersect and act as tangible expression of identity politics.
Supervisors
Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon (main supervisor) and Dr Jonathan Driskell

 

Satish Ranggayah
Thesis title: Implications of the rohingya human trafficking issue to Malaysia's national security
Abstract: Malaysian Muslim Malays are politically dominant and the majority; any status-quo change is viewed as national security threat. The Rohingya influx is a perceived threat to that status-quo. Hence, formulation of domestic and foreign policies on the Rohingya treatment must accommodate contradictory demands of the Malay stand and as a Muslim country.
Supervisors
Associate Professor Marco Buente (main supervisor) and Professor Helen E.S Nesadurai 

 

Stephanie Tan Li Hsia
Thesis title: Everyday Life in Practice: The Everyday as Identity, Resistance, and Tradition in Virginia Woolf
Abstract: This research examines the cultural theory surrounding the everyday through Virginia Woolf, exploring how Woolf's work both emerges out of, and informs, existing theoretical models in rethinking and reshaping the everyday as a basis for radical praxis, in ways crucial to the production of forms of identity, resistance, and tradition.
Supervisors
Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon (main supervisor) and Dr Jonathan Driskell

 

Adrian Yao Yong Tat
Thesis title: Heutagogical learning of Malay as a foreign language in a flipped learning approach
Abstract: This study intends to explore heutagogical learning in learning of Malay as a foreign language by international students through the design, development and evaluation of instructional vodcasts in learning and its effectiveness of learning in a flipped learning environment.
Supervisors
Dr Joel D.Moore and Associate Professor Joanne Lim (external)

 

Nadiah Ahmad
Thesis title: Assessing the efficacy of gender mainstreaming policies
Abstract:
This research hopes to explore the efficacy of gender mainstreaming policies in addressing imbalances in gender relations, by examining the Kecamatan Development Program, also known as KDP, as a case study. The program involves a decentralized process of planning, budgeting and implementation in rural villages across Indonesia, with a special emphasis on women’s development.
Supervisors
Dr Joel D.Moore and Professor Helen E.S Nesadurai

 

Laura Eva Wong
Thesis title: Making Masculinity: Being “Butch” in Singapore
Abstract:
This piece of research seeks to investigate the experiences unique to masculine lesbians in Singapore, such as how they negotiate their identities in a country that is predominantly heteronormative, especially since their identities come with a form of visibility that feminine lesbians’ do not.
Supervisors
A/Prof Sharon A Bong and Dr Joseph Goh 

 

Lee Chee Leong
Thesis title: China’s normative power in Southeast Asia and the role of multi-layered diplomacy
Abstract:
Set to examine the relationship between China's normative power and the role of Chinese multi-layered diplomacy in Southeast Asia, this project aims to construct an interactive model among the three variables — normative visions, sub-national engagements and cooperation outcomes — in construing Beijing's normative power projection towards its ASEAN neighbours. 
Supervisors
Prof Helen E.S Nesadurai and  Prof. Cheng-Chwee Kuik (external) 

 

Chrishandra Sebastiampillai
Thesis title:
Loveteams in Philippine Cinema
Abstract:
This study explores the nationally unique concept of loveteams (recurring screen couples) and its development in Philippine cinema through iconic tandems from the 1930’s to the present. This provides a historical account of loveteams as one of the basic ingredients for stardom and demonstrates its significance in Philippine cinema and popular culture.
Supervisors
Dr. Jonathan Driskell and  Prof. Roland B. Tolentino (external) 

 

Beh May Ting
Thesis title:
Space, Identity, and Foodscapes of Coffeehouses in Penang
Abstract:
This research aims to examine the longue durée of lifestyle change in traditional and contemporary spaces of food consumption and production. The research investigates discourses of space, identity, and food with a focus on the move from the first to the third wave of coffeehouses in Penang, Malaysia.
Supervisors:
Dr Yeoh Seng Guan and Associate Professor Khoo Gaik Cheng (external)

 

Choong Pui Yee
Thesis title:
The Anatomy of Christian Mobilisation in Malaysia: Factors, Implications and Possibilities
Abstract:
Choong Pui Yee’s research is primarily interested in bridging social movement studies and the role of religion to explain the Malaysian Christian community political activism and progressive engagement. The possible impact and implications of such activism to the state and society of Malaysia will be studied as well.
Supervisors:
Associate Professor Marco Buente and Dr Joel David Moore 

 

Alessio Fractticcioli
Thesis title:
Demonstrations and Communication: A Study of English-Language Newspaper Discourse Pertaining Political Protest in Malaysia and Thailand
Abstract:
This study investigates how sociopolitical demonstrations are reported by English-language newspapers in Malaysia and Thailand. The aim is to determine the sources of information, grammar devices, and rhetoric used to describe the protests and protesters, as well as to unpack the cultural and ideological frames buried in the text.
Supervisors:
Dr Joel David Moore and Dr Hah Foong Lian

 

Wong Zhi Hoong
Thesis title:
Social Networks, Identities of the Semai Orang Asli and its Relationship with the Redefinition of Nature in the context of Community Based Eco-Tourism
Abstract:
The contention between the Orang Asli of Malaysia and their involvement in tourism has always been about identity. With eco-tourism, there is an added dimension: the “environmentalist perspective” that is supposedly inherent in all Orang Asli. I argue that this can be just as limiting as it is empowering. My research attempts to deconstruct this by foregrounding agency and self-determination in the ontology shaping process of Orang Asli.
Supervisors:
Dr Yeoh Seng Guan and Prof Ong Puay Liu (external)



Timotheus Johannes Krahl
Thesis title:
Analyzing the achievements of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS): The impact of subregional development on security and peace
Abstract:
Timotheus J. Krahl’s PhD thesis is entitled ‘Analyzing the achievements of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS): The impact of regional development and economic transition on security and peace’. Considering both, the economic and political perspective, this study tries to evaluate the impact of a first and foremost economic development project on peace and security in mainland Southeast Asia. Thereby the focus is on one of the most dynamic set of countries in the region when it comes to political and economic change.
Supervisors:
Associate Professor Marco Buente and Prof. Joern Dosch (external)



Sharifah Faizah Syed Mohammed
Thesis title:
Lagu Seriosa : The History and Development in the Context of Musical Nationalism
Abstract:
Adapted from the western art song, the Lagu Seriosa is a music genre that has developed in the 1940’s in the Malay Archipelago. The study will investigate its growth and the evocation of nationalism elicited from elements of folk songs and heritage that are embedded in the music.
Supervisors:
Professor James Chin Ung Ho and Prof Margaret Kartomi

 

Poh Bei Yan
Thesis title:
Fashion Bloggers: Empowerment, Influence, and the Future of the Fashion Industry
Abstract:
Poh Bei Yan's PhD thesis entitled Fashion Bloggers: Empowerment, Influence, Roles, and the Future of the Fashion Industry not only explores fashion blogging as a cultural phenomenon but also the ways in which ordinary individuals, with the help of digital technology, have not only become influential personalities in the fashion industry, but also legitimate participants in fashion discourse. By employing a communications and cultural studies approach, her research is a virtual ethnographic study on personal style, industry commodity and street style photography blogs.
Supervisors:
Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon and Dr Yeoh Seng Guan 

 


Eugene Kee Hong
Thesis title:
Post-colonial contestation in Malaysian and Singaporean imaginations.
Abstract:
My research will focus on Malaysia and Singapore as young, independent, postcolonial nation-states, and how various literary and filmic texts seek to imagine, represent, negotiate, and contest ideas of the nation, just as the nation itself is conceived through the dominant political narrative of state policies and ideologies.
Supervisors:
Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon and Professor Helen E S Nesadurai

 

Caryn Lim
Thesis title:
Deathscapes and death practice in urban Klang Valley, Malaysia
Abstract:
The project examines the death-related practices and beliefs in urban Klang Valley with a focus on the private cemetery as a site at which the material conditions and various discourses of modernity and traditional ritual and religious cosmology intersect, and a space in which religious and cultural identities interact.
Supervisors:
Dr Yeoh Seng Guan and Dr. Julian C.H. Lee (external)

 

Uvais Ibrahim
Thesis title:
The Foreign Policy and Diplomacy of Microstates: A Study of the Maldives' Environmental Foreign Policy and Diplomacy
Abstract:
Examines small island states in climate change negotiations through a case study of the Maldives. My research investigates whether the twin, potentially contradictory, identities of small islands as ‘endangered victims’ of global climate catastrophe and as “resilient nations” fit for foreign investment undermine their capacity to develop and implement a coherent foreign policy agenda.
Supervisors:
Professor Helen E S Nesadurai and Professor James Chin Ung Ho

 


Jacqui Kong
Thesis title:
Serving up ethnicities: Chinese celebrity chefs and the search for identity
Abstract:
My research aims to analyse the ways in which Asian celebrity chefs conceptualise ethnicities in their activities of cooking and traveling, as well as the larger implications these hold for the representation and forming of Asian and Southeast Asian identities.
Supervisors:
Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon and Associate Professor Sharon A Bong
Publication:
Kong, J. (2011). Feasting with the 'Other': Transforming the Self in Food Adventuring Television Programs. Asian American Literature: Discourses and Pedagogies, 2, 45-56.

 

Abdullah Al Mahmud
Thesis title:
Decolonizing English Language Pedagogy: A postcolonial study of teaching-learning curriculum and praxis in Bangladesh and Malaysia.
Abstract:
The supremacy of English due to colonialism and globalization has had special impact on ELT in postcolonial countries. This study plans to examine extra-pedagogical aspects of English language teaching-learning of Bangladesh and Malaysia, and wants to propose multilingualism and a value-free, value-mixed or value-formed teaching-learning of English language and literature.
Supervisors:
Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon and Professor James Chin Ung Ho

 

Claire Joyce Grant
Thesis title:
Modernist Authors and the Aesthetics of Space
Abstract:
The works of Virginia Woolf in respect to the built environment is the inspiration of my research.
The trajectory of Woolf's work stretches across the Modern literary era. The physical structures that contribute to Woolf’s unique stream of consciousness technique is the foundation of this inquiry; Spatial Perceptions, the Cityscape and Liminal Landscapes.
The research includes a special session on a Woolf conference, Woolf's legacy to Modern space and form, in and out of the Academic spectrum. Beyond the focus on urban and ethical issues, this research addresses the new structures in Woolf's work, a move that suggests new insights into Woolf as a "real world" social critic.
Supervisors:
Associate Professor Andrew Ng Hock Soon and Dr Christopher Worth