MAI Events, Conferences, and Seminar series

In addition to regular seminar series organised by the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, the Japanese Studies Centre, the National Centre for South Asian Studies, and the Centre for Malaysian Studies, MAI provides international conferences and seminar series.



Date/Time Event
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

The 2018 Malaysian General elections: The People have spoken
Room E561, 5th Floor, East Wing, Menzies Building (Building 11), Monash University Victoria
5:15 pm - 7:00 pm

Book Launch
HB40, H Building, Monash University Caulfield campus, Caulfeild East VIc
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Multicultural Japan: Diversity and inclusion in a newly-emerging immigration country
Yasuko Hiraoka Myer Room, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, Parkville Vic
1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Promoting Diversity Through Museum Practice
Immigration Museum Theatrette, Melbourne Vic
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

ASEAN and slavery
Room E561, 5th Floor, East Wing, Menzies Building (Building 11), Monash University Victoria
12/11/2018 - 14/11/2018
All Day
Featured events
International Conference on Gender and Sexuality in Asia (CoGen 2018)
Monash University Malaysia,, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya,

Past events

Public Lecture:
H1.16, Level 1, Building H, Monash University Caulfield Campus
Event Date: 27/07/2018

Cak Imin

Islam and Nationalism in Indonesia

This distinguished public lecture 'Islam and Nationalism in Indonesia' addresses the task of nation-building, posing opportunities and challenges for Muslim leaders in Indonesia, within the demands for nation creation based on Islamic norms and the modern nation-state.

Current key issues facing Indonesia can be viewed from the role of Islam in the process of nation-building across the country. Abdul Muhaimin Iskandar (Cak Imin), the Deputy Speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly, will explore how Islam contributes to the development of culture, politics, and economy in Indonesia.

This free event is open to alumni, staff, students and the public.


Muhaimin Iskandar is also known as Cak Imin. He was born in Jombang, East Java, Indonesia. Muhaimin studied at Madrasah Tsanawiyah Negeri Jombang and Madrasah Aliyah Negeri (managed by Ministry of Religious Affairs) in Yogyakarta. Muhaimin attended Gadjah Mada University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. He pursued further studies with a master’s degree from the University of Indonesia. Muhaimin graduated in 2001, specialising in Communications.

Throughout his university education, Muhaimin was vocal in discussion forums and in student movement. He joined the Indonesian Islamic Student Movement (PMII) and was elected Chairman of the Yogyakarta PMII branch in 1994-1997. He was also active in the National Youth Committee of Indonesia (KNPI).

Muhaimin's political career coincided with the birth of the Reform Era. In 1998, he worked with leaders of the Nahdlatul Ulama movement, including Abdurrahman Wahid to establish the Partai Kebangkita Bangsa (PKB) or National Awakening Party. He was appointed as the Secretary General (Sekjend).

In the 1999 election, Muhaimin was elected as a member of Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Republik Indonesia (also known as the People’s Representative Council of the Republic of Indonesia). At 33 years old, Muhaimin became the Vice Chairman of the House of Representatives from 1999-2004, and was among the youngest leaders at the time.

His career continued to build as Chairman of the PKB. In the 2004 elections, Muhaimin was re-elected to the House of Representatives and again became Vice Chairman of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia from 2004-2009. In the following election, Muhaimin was successful for the third time, in becoming a member of the House of Representatives. He was asked by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyo to become Minister of Manpower and Transmigration between 2009-2014.

When his term ended in 2014, Muhaimin was unanimously re-elected as the Chairman of the PKB, and was considered key in raising the PKB’s election votes in 2014. His success continues in his delivery of PKB cadres to ministers in the Joko Widodo Working Cabinet from 2014-2019.


Friday 27th July, 2018

6:00pm for a 6:20pm start
(concludes at 7:30pm)

H116, Monash University - Caulfield Campus
(900 Dandenong Rd, Caulfield East, 3145)

By Thursday 26th July, 2018

Monash Arts Events Team



Following the lecture, a networking opportunity with finger food is provided. Registration is essential for catering purposes.



Piety, Politics and Popularity of Muslim Preachers in Indonesia and Malaysia
E561, Menzies Building, Monash Clayton Campus
Event Date: 12/07/2018




In both Malaysia and Indonesia, popular Muslim preachers are playing an increasingly important role in shaping Muslims’ religious attitudes, consumption patterns and political opinions. 

This talk highlights a few popular preaching figures, exploring their religious affiliations, business activities and political engagement.

In more specific, it focuses on the online and offline preaching activities of Felix Siauw, a popular yet conservative preacher in Indonesia and his team, YukNgaji.

It explores how their preaching entail a combination of popular culture and political Islam, gaul (down-to-earth) sensibilities and conservative attitudes, as well as visual persuasion and Islamist agenda. It examines a broader change in the trend of Islamic preaching —
one in which piety, politics, and popularity are interconnected, and in which the social media, visual images and market forces area increasingly shape and shaped by the faces of political Islam.


Hew Wai Weng
Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia
Hew Wai Weng is research fellow at Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (IKMAS,UKM). He has been writing on Chinese Muslim identities, Hui migration, and cultural politics of urban Muslim middle-classes in
Malaysia and Indonesia. He is the author of Chinese Ways of Being Muslim: Negotiating Ethnicity and Religiosity in Indonesia (NIAS Press 2017).

Making Asian Art Public Conversation
MADA, G104, Monash University Caulfield Campus
Event Date: 29/06/2018

"Korean Wave" Still Matters? Present and Future Directions
S901 Monash University, Caulfield Campus
Event Date: 07/06/2018 - 08/06/2018

International Conference

 “Korean Wave” Still Matters?  Present and Future Directions (PROGRAM UPLOADED)

7-8 June 2018

Monash University Caulfield Campus, Melbourne

Monash Asia Institute (MAI), Asian Cultural and Media Studies Research Cluster (ACMSRC) and Korean Studies Program of Monash University are pleased to welcome submissions of paper abstracts for the conference, “Korean Wave” Still Matters? Present and Future Directions", which will be held on 7 & 8 June 2018.

Since its initial appearance in Taiwanese and Chinese media in 1997, the term Hallyu has meant different things to different people. It proved to be an effective nationalistic marketing and soft power strategy for the South Korean government and entertainment industries while many fans and casual users alike consumed South Korean cultural contents without any conscious regard for the interests of the state. It also has been received in diverse ways by a wide range of followers in terms of regions, gender, sexuality, ethnicity. As such, Korean Wave has been attracting scholarly interests of many researchers of diverse disciplines across and beyond Asian regions.

Acknowledging the recent vicennial of the Korean Wave, we welcome papers that revisit studies of the Korean Wave and discuss its present and future directions both in and outside of South Korea and Asian regions. Topics of interest include but are not limited to whether or how the discourse of Korean Wave or Hallyu remains relevant today and to whom, new and old sociocultural issues to be explored, South Korean popular culture’s interaction with other national/regional popular cultures and cultural industries such as Indonesian pop or the hip hop culture in China, global implications for the critical study of popular culture in a digital age.

Any enquiries should be directed to

One China, Two Taiwans: The Geopolitics of Cross Strait Tourism
Room E561, 5th Floor, East Wing, Menzies Building (Building 11)
Event Date: 30/05/2018


The People’s Republic of China and Taiwan together compose one of the world’s most dangerous geopolitical hotspots.   When tourism began
officially in 2008, it was promoted by politicians, industry, and scholars in both China and Taiwan as a mode of reconciliation and peacemaking after decades of tension and travel bans. This trade began while China claimed Taiwan as its own territory under the so-called
“One China Principle”, Taiwan and China have drifted farther apart politically, and Taiwan itself has been split socially by the tourist trade.

Following a major social movement against economic integration with
China and the 2016 election of a more independence-leaning president
and legislature, China froze official communication with Taiwan and
reduced outbound tourism, throwing the future of cross-Strait relations
into question.

Based on participant-observation, interviews, and media analysis
conducted between 2012 and 2016, I demonstrate that despite the
wishful thinking of pundits and politicians, tourism has accelerated
alienation between the two polities and deepened divisions within
Taiwan. I show that tourism is no mere leisure activity, but rather
another mode of an ongoing geopolitical struggle. This case has
important implications for countries like Australia that are increasingly
reliant on inbound Chinese tourism.

Dr Ian Rowen
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Ian Rowen is Assistant Professor in the new program in Geography and
Urban Planning at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. A Fulbright
Scholar (2013-14), he has written about regional politics, social movements,
and tourism for publications including Annals of the American Association of
Geographers, The Journal of Asian Studies, Annals of Tourism Research,
International Journal of Transitional Justice, Asian Anthropology, Journal of
Archaeology and Anthropology, the BBC, and The Guardian. Prior to
earning a PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado Boulder, he
worked as a tour guide, translator, and journalist in China, Taiwan, and elsewhere.




Trans Asia Seminar on Diaspora
S801 and S801, Level 8, S Building, Monash University Caulfield
Event Date: 25/05/2018

Think globally, act locally: Sustaining Asian Australian Scholarly Activism Online

This paper examines the intersection between Asian Australian
scholars’ research and online cultural activist projects. It focuses
specifically on work by Asian Australian Studies Research
Network (AASRN) members and examines the ways that the
network’s loose institutional affiliations have enabled academic
activist initiatives. Digital platforms and resources have
transformed modes of community-building and mobilisation for
these critical race actors, but in what ways?


While acknowledging the many fronts on which the advent of social media has boosted potential reach for scholarly activist endeavours, over-identification on an everyday, microaggression level can ignore (or dismiss) the very real, material nuances and infrastructure of local contexts. The focus of everyday digital communications and project work concentrates on the domain of local community- and capacity-building. My paper will discuss the
series of tensions inherent in this area for scholars who identify as activists, between the old and new structures of academic community-building, and in sustaining digital identities as critical race activists.


Dr Tseen Khoo
LaTrobe University

Asian Australian politics and culture, and the higher education
sector. Tseen is a Lecturer in the Research Education and
Development (RED) team, Graduate Research School, La Trobe
University. Her previous role was as a Senior Advisor (Research
Grant Development) at RMIT University (2011-2014), and she
has been a Monash University Research Fellow (2004-2009) and
University of Queensland Postdoctoral Fellow (2001-2004).
Tseen's writing and publications focus on Asian Australian
literature, racial minority public history, early career researcher
experiences, and racial diversity issues in Australia. Tseen was
the founding convenor of the Asian Australian Studies Research
Network (AASRN; 2006-2017)

RSVP 22 May 2018

The Sense of Time in a Hyper-Mobile Digital Age Nostalgia, Presentism and Hope
Doshisha University
Event Date: 18/05/2018 - 20/05/2018

International Conference

The Sense of Time in a Hyper-Mobile Digital Age: Nostalgia, Presentism and Hope

 18-20 May 2018

Doshisha University, Kyoto

 Co-organized by Monash Asia Institute, Monash University &
Department of Media, Journalism and Communications, Doshisha University

 We are living in a globalized world where the scale and speed of social change has been ever-escalated, cross-border human mobilities have been intensifying, and digital communications have been drastically transforming the mode of mediation and connectivity. These evolutions engender the complication of our sense of "now and then" in conjunction with that of "here and there” in ways to substantially transform the mode and meaning of recollecting the past, perceiving the present and imagining the future. This conference aims to consider whether and how the perception of past, present and future has been transformed in a hyper-mobile digital age.

 While growing mobilities such as migration, tourism, expatriation, studying abroad and encourage people to experience plural forms of social life, transnational crisscrossing of visual images that represent diverse modes of "now and then" across the world further gives us much repertoire to long for what used to be and contemplate on the present and future. Sophisticated visualization and documentation of the (non-existing) past has also become a marketing trend of commercial media. Moreover, revolutionary development of digital communication technologies has a profound impact on how we recollect the past, perceive the present and imagine the future in more individualized ways. Does individualized action of recollecting the immediate past or embryonic present discount the potential of collective memory as a self-reflexive reference point? Does it make us ahistorical being, deterring us from appreciating how the present has been dynamically constructed through various historical accidents and intermingling actions by diverse social subjects and institutions and appreciating unrealized progressive possibilities of social advancements? Or an individualized mode of nostalgia has a great capability to make people more positive about life, more tolerant and caring for others and less wary of interpersonal relationship, as personality psychologists insist? Whether and how does the emerging perception of past, present and future relate to the time-space compression that market-driven globalization processes have been intensifying? How the digitalized sense of time flows works in tandem with shrinking time frame to recollect and foresee with accelerating speed of change and socio-economic insecurity and frustration that accompany? While the ever-escalating speed of change and scale of movement evokes the desire of slowing down, whether and how is it associated with nostalgic recollection and/or future prospects?

The Sense of Time in a Hyper-Mobile Digital Age aims to critically examine these issues and facilitate cross-regional and interdisciplinary exchange among researchers working on them in the disciplines and fields of cultural studies, anthropology, sociology, geography, intercultural communication, and so on. Selected papers will be published in an edited volume or a journal special issue.We will consider the inclusion of papers that discuss the shifting sense of time in relation to the development of digital and social media and the rise of data industry in conjunction with the intensification of mobilities and cross-border connections and far-reaching socio-economic fluctuation and predicament. We expect papers that consider these issues by attending to intersecting socio-cultural backgrounds such as generation, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, mobility experience and region of dwelling (including urban and rural). We will accept proposals of any national/regional context, but we especially encourage the submission of the proposals on Asian contexts.

Confirmed speakers include: Göran Bolin (Södertörn University), Marwan Kraidy (University of Pennsylvania), Shin Mizukoshi (University of Tokyo), Jack Qiu (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Please send your paper proposals (less than 200 words) with your affiliation details and e-mail address no later than 30 September 2017 to: Please clearly put “Proposal for DIGITAL TIME” in the subject line. Acceptance of proposal will be notified by the end of October.

Please kindly be advised that we will not be able to offer financial support for participants’ travel costs. You can find more details of the workshop and the venue at the webpage of Monash Asia Institute:

We look very much forward to receiving your proposals!

Best regards,

Koichi Iwabuchi & Hirofumi Katsuno

(Conveners, Monash University & Doshisha University)






Monash Asia Institute Graduate Research Network (MAIGRN) event
N2.02 meeting room
Event Date: 16/05/2018

Collecting and analysing data

Preparing for the fieldwork and making sense of collected data.

Useful tips from Dr Andrew Johnson

Collecting and Analysing data_May 2018

MAI Research Day
S901/S902 Building S, Monash University Caulfield campus
Event Date: 27/04/2018

Teaching and Learning about Asia in Australia


In 2019, a new major “Global Asia” will be commencing in the Bachelor of Arts at Monash University. This seminar will take this opportunity to discuss what and how we teach and learn about “Asia” in a globalised world. After informal talk over luncheon, the seminar will start with the introduction of the “Global Asia” major, followed by comments on the curriculum and wider issues regarding the study of Asia.

Key issues to be discussed will include:a)responding to student interests; b) content vs method vs skills; c) collaboration with Malaysian campus; d) postgraduate study of “Asia”; e) university and “Asia literacy/capability” cultivation in Australian schools and society.


Beatrice Trefalt

Gloria Davies

Hongzhi Zhang

Anubha Sarkar

Mridula Chakrabory


12.15 - 1.00 Informal talk over luncheon
1.00 - 2.20 Session 1: “Global Asia” major program
2.40 - 4.00 Session 2: Towards innovative learning about
“Asia” in a globalised world.

RSVP by 23 April 2018