Research projects

Local Agency and National Responses to Globalization: The South Korean Case in Comparative, Transnational and Diasporic Perspective

Investigator: Gil-Soo Han

Gil-Soo Han is leading an international team including researchers from Johns Hopkins, University of Michigan, California State, University of Mary Washington, Vassar College, along with an Australian partner at UTS. (AU$1.8 million over five years, 1998-2023). Among the outputs, the team will produce 7 books and 15 journal articles.


Listening across difference: learning and feminist deliberation in digital spaces

Investigators: Dr Akane Kanai (Monash) and Dr Julia Coffey (Newcastle)

Digital spaces are increasingly recognised as key sites through which feminist ideas are circulated, taken up, and debated. However, they are also spaces of conflict, in which disagreement can be difficult to respectfully voice and explain, especially given that the diversity of feminism is linked to differences of identity and history.

This research aims to explore how self-identifying feminists are experiencing and negotiating the challenges of online spaces that enable learning and solidarity, but also can be spaces of discomfort and risk. We explore how feminists understand and manage these disagreements.


A scoping study of cultural policies in Asian countries

Investigator: Dr Xin Gu (Communication and Media Studies)

A small-scale scoping study of cultural policies in Asian countries is a response to the changing dynamics of urban cultural production. Changes entail industry re-structuring (e.g. de-industrialisation), urban development (e.g. re-zoning), technological changes (e.g. smart urbanism) and policy dynamics (e.g. creative cities) affecting cultural production and cultural industries more broadly. This study will gather and review official government reports, academic papers and consultancy reports that address the above changes across the Asian region. The outcome will be a report on different policies aimed at re-configuring the relationships between cultural industries and urban manufacturing in Asia.


Automated content moderation of Chinese online video platforms

Investigators: Dr Luzhou (Nina) Li (Monash University), Kui Zhou (Communication, University of China)

This project proposes to investigate the automated content moderation techniques developed by Chinese online video platforms. The threats of digital platforms to democracy are manifesting themselves in the increasingly toxic nature of the online public sphere, characterized by the circulation of inappropriate and illegal content, including disinformation, misinformation, and deliberately polarising content. There have been increasing research looking into how platforms self-regulate their content (e.g., Gillespie, 2018; Roberts, 2018). Yet, the current research mainly concerns Western platforms such as Facebook, leaving out Chinese platforms that are expanding globally at a fast pace. This project investigates how Chinese platforms self-regulate their content, focusing on the automated content moderation techniques developed by online video platforms.

To conduct this project, I will visit the Communication University of China (CUC) in Beijing for 7 days (tentatively scheduled in early-to-mid July 2020) and conduct collaborative fieldwork with my collaborator A/Prof Kui Zhou at CUC.


Women and public relations in the Asia-Pacific

Investigator: Dr Kate Fitch

Despite a small, but growing, body of scholarship on the experiences of women in public relations and the impact of gender, the focus of much of this work has been on Australia, UK and North America (Daymon & Demetrious, 2014; Fitch, 2016). The role women have played in the industry or in highly feminised media and communication sectors is often marginalised in professional narratives and histories and this exclusion is evident across the Asia-Pacific region. Gender is rarely interrogated as a concept, even when public relations is negatively stereotyped as women’s work.

This proposed project will investigate women and public relations in different social, cultural, postcolonial and transnational contexts across the Asia-Pacific in order to understand gender inequality regimes and their impact on public relations. It aims to document and map women’s work in public relations in different countries in the region. Initially, this mapping will collate available information on women in public relations in certain countries in the region and identify gaps in data. The project will also complete a literature review of regional scholarship and result on a collaborative journal article.