Current research students

Research Degree Students

PhD Arts

Vizla Kumaresan
Thesis Title:Trans Men in Malaysia: Examining the psychological and decision making processes in becoming men
Abstract: In this research, I will examine the processes by which trans men (who are socialised as girls/women/to be feminine as they are assigned female at birth) make decisions about which aspects of masculinity they want to portray. It will examine trans men's narratives to understand the decision making processes they utilise in becoming men. The research will assess the factors that determine how they weigh the different aspects of masculine identity and how this influences their portrayal of masculinity.

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Tengku Zahaslan Bin Tuan Hashim
Thesis Title: Intersection of Diplomacy and the Intellectual Property Rights in Malaysia
Abstract: This research explores the significance of intellectual property rights in modern day diplomacy of developing countries by studying the Malaysian case. It attempts to identify the trends in using intellectual property as a diplomacy tool, and understand how developing countries like Malaysia engages in negotiations involving international intellectual property matters.

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Mehvar Khan
Thesis Title: Media and Political Attitudes in Malaysia: Fake news and its impact on the political opinions and attitudes of Malaysians
Abstract: This research will plot a version of the model developed by Miller et.al. (2016) that will be customised for the Malaysian context. The original model looked at the interaction of individual's political ideology, knowledge and trust about politics as a predictor of conspiracy endorsement. Therefore, for this research my goal will be to develop measures of these variables that are relevant to the Malaysian context, to inductively find other unconsidered factors that may potentially be relevant in this context and to conduct a pilot test of modified model in Malaysia.

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Matthew Yap Tuck Mun
Thesis Title:
The Reality of TV: Identity, Authenticity and Personal Power within Reality TV based Science-Fiction
Abstract:  
This research will centre on Science Fiction texts that feature Reality Television programs – The Hunger Games are a prime example. I will be investigating how Science Fiction uses the mechanics of Reality TV to explore notions of identity formation, power relations between media producers, participants and viewers, as well as whether one can ever recover any semblance of authenticity in a sea of televised hyper-reality that saturates our screens. I am using Science Fiction because the genre holds a dark mirror up to society, and can be both informative and prophetic in its vision of our Reality TV obsessed world.
Supervisors:
Assoc. Prof Andrew Ng Hock Soon (main supervisor) and Dr Jonathan Driskell

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Roy Chua Kwee Cheng
Thesis Title: 
The loss of capital in school consolidation
Abstract: 
My research will be a descriptive account of Singapore schools through sociological analysis. I will investigate the phenomenon of school mergers (or consolidation) through the narratives of Bourdieusian "players" in the "field" of education.  The thesis aims to be a prescriptive account to pause and reconsider the value of schools in urban policy planning.
Supervisors
Dr Yeoh Seng Guan (main supervisor) and Dr Tan Meng Yoe

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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

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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 

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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)

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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) 

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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)

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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

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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

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Caryn LimThesis 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)

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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

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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

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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

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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