Digital Transactions in Asia III

20-22nd November 2019, Monash University Malaysia 

As mobile internet emerges as the primary mediating technology within South East Asia, new modes of currency, commodity and exchange are transforming our everyday experience of markets across the region. The rise of online shopping is re-ordering space and socialities within neighbourhoods and cities and transforming intra-regional trade and power relations. New entertainment economies, their associated contents and user behaviours are engendering new modes of popular culture. Emerging platform economies initiate novel opportunities and contestations within the international division of labour.  The affordances of digital technologies lend new forms of visibility to struggles for human and citizen rights, as well as enabling transactional forms of politics and religion. This conference considers the instances and processes through which new sets of social, economic and political transactions are being established between markets and publics, citizens and states, cultures and commodities in a Digital Asia.


Associate Professor Joanne Lim, Nottingham University MalaysiaDr Joanne Lim is Associate Professor of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham Malaysia. She is also Associate Dean and Head of the School of Media, Languages & Cultures. Her research focuses on areas pertaining to digital/participatory media, particularly how these platforms impact social, cultural and political identities.


The entangled reality of our everyday lives inspired by a digital world we call “home” has given rise to an ecological truth: the triumph of network capital and its shift from prosumerism to prodigalism. Whether regarded as a dumping ground, a looting resource, a site of dystopian horrors or a highly complex and dynamically challenging environment, this contemporary technoculture has inadvertently dematerialised data and forged a new materialism for activists, academics, politicians, hackers, stalkers, scientists, citizens and nation-states. This keynote provides an overview of digital innovation and growth particularly within the Southeast Asian context (from geotagging, iOS jailbreaking, to the gig economy), and considers its implications on the “digital ethnographer” who is now faced with an imperative need to grapple with machine learning, AI and algorithms alongside chat scrollback, web-scraping and text-mining methods. By revisiting several key theoretical concepts in discussing the implications of a digital/techno culture, I contend that the digital and technological constitution of power and space provides a critical intervention to understanding the complexities of how we can (re)imagine, (re)evaluate and (re)negotiate this assemblage of disruption.

Professor Sun Sun Lim, Singapore University of Technology and DesignProfessor Sun Sun LIM is Professor of Communication and Technology and Head of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. She has researched extensively on the social impact of technology, authoring more than 70 articles, book chapters and books. Her latest book is Transcendent Parenting: Raising Children in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2019). She serves on the editorial boards of eleven journals and has contributed actively to public bodies including the Media Literacy Council and the National Youth Council. She frequently offers her expert commentary in international news outlets and is currently serving as a Nominated Member of Parliament in the 13th Parliament of Singapore. She holds a PhD and MSc (Distinction) in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics. See for more information.


In many urban societies today, it is not uncommon for homes to be littered with devices, enveloping the digitally-connected family within a constellation of always-on and always-on-hand mobile media. Indeed, in the ‘making’ of family, mobile media have come to play a central role. The advent of ubiquitous mobile media has enabled and engendered the practice of transcendent parenting throughout every stage of a child's development, from infancy through to adolescence and all the way to early adulthood. With heightened connectivity, the scope and scale of parenting obligations have broadened considerably, where each phase of the child’s life introduces fresh communication opportunities as well as new challenges. Transcendent parenting has thus emerged in light of significant transformations in the mobile media landscape that allow parents to transcend many realms. They transcend the physical distance between them and their children, their children’s offline and online social interaction spaces, as well as the “timeless time” that seems to make parenting duties ceaseless and relentless. I will explicate the key parenting priorities among Asia’s urban middle-class that influence the emergence and enactment of transcendent parenting. Some common threads can be discerned in terms of the principal duties that society deems critical for parents to fulfil: inculcation of values in children; oversight and supervision of children to protect them from harm and adverse influence; and support of children in their academic endeavours.

Professor Audrey Yue, National University of SingaporeProfessor Yue’s keynote will comprise an afterword to the presentations and discussions at the conference. She will draw out the themes that have emerged from discussion, and unveil pathways for developing a critical Digital Asia research agenda into the future.


Professor Audrey Yue is Professor of Media, Culture and Critical Theory in the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore. She conducts research in the fields of Sinophone media cultures, cultural policy and sexuality studies, and has published 7 scholarly books and more than 80 refereed journal articles and book chapters, including Promoting Sustainable Living (2015, with J.Karakiewicz & A.Paladino), Sinophone Cinemas (2014, with O.Khoo), Transnational Australian Cinema (2013, with O. Khoo and B. Smaill), Queer Singapore (2012, with J. Pow), Ann Hui’s Song of the Exile (2010), AsiaPacifiQueer (2008, with F. Martin, P. Jackson and M. McLelland) and Mobile Cultures: New Media in Queer Asia (2003, with C. Berry and F. Martin). My most recent essays appear in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (2017), Urban Studies (2017) and International Journal of Cultural Policy (2015).  I am an Editorial Board Member of Sexualities, Feminist Media Studies, International Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Cultural Studies Review and Hong Kong Studies.

Conference Program

DAY 1: 20 NOV

DAY 2: 21 NOV

DAY 3: 22 NOV

8.30am: Registration


9.00-9.15am: Welcome, Professor Helen Nesadurai, Head, School of Arts and Social Science

8:30-9:30am: KEYNOTE 2: Prof. Sun Sun Lim, Singapore University of Technology and Design


In conversation with Susan Leong:

  • Narishvin Sukumaran, GAMEKA:   Innovation, mobile game and software development)
  • Andrew Ooi, INSPIDEA (Animation   production house)

9.15-9:30am: Opening, Emma Baulch

9:30-11:00am: PANEL 4

Everyday reconfigurings

  • Cheryll Soriano and Jason Cabanes
  • Jozon Lorenzana
  • Neil Gains and Daniel McFarlane

Chair: Emma Baulch

9:30-10.30am: KEYNOTE 1: A/Prof. Joanne Lim, University of Nottingham, Malaysia

10:30-10:45am: Break

11:00-11:15am: Break

11am: Break


  • Adrian Athique
  • Jinna Tay
  • Gerard Goggin

Chair: Emma Baulch

11.15-12:45pm: PANEL 5


  • Jinna Tay
  • Gerard Goggin
  • Jason Cabanes and Ceclia Uy-Tioco

Chair: Koh Sin Yee

11:30-12pm: Book launch: Digital Transactions in Asia III

12:00-13:00pm: Lunch

12.45-13.30pm: Lunch

12pm: End of conference

13.00-14.30pm: PANEL 1

Digital Inter-Asia

  • Ting   Fai Yu and Susan Leong
  • Adriana   Rahajeng Mintarsih
  • Brian   Yecies

Chair: Cheryll Soriano

13.30-15:00pm: PANEL 6

Technocapitalism and the digital subject

  • Daniel   McFarlane
  • Irsanti   Widuri Asih, Heru Nugroho, Budiawan
  • Peter Thompson

Chair: Ting Fai Yu


14.30-14:45pm: Break

15:00-15:15pm: Break


14:45-16:15pm: PANEL 2

Online marketplaces

  • Tom McDonald
  • Wahyudi
  • Long Than Van Ngyuyen

Chair: Adrian Athique

15.15-16:45pm: PANEL 7

Managing elections, managing populations II

  • Howard Lee and Terence Lee
  • Finsensius Purnama
  • Emma Baulch

Chair: Susan Leong


16:15-17:45pm: PANEL 3

Managing elections, managing populations I

  • E Sathya Prakash Reddy
  • Shobha Avadhani
  • Akshaya   Kumar

Chair: Susan Leong

16:45- 17:45pm: KEYNOTE 3: Prof. Audrey Yue, National University of Singapore