On Teaching Asian Popular Culture

(with Dr Rebecca Suter) Asian Popular Culture has emerged as a new field of study in the last decade, and the experience of teaching the subject has provided insights into how the field can be defined. There are three key problems: what constitutes the “popular” as an industry and as acts of consumption; how the popular relates to the broader field of meaning that is “culture”, and how production and consumption as activities of meaning help to create a shared sense of “Asia.” Through examining the development of a body of literature that defines the field, and the rapidly changing nature of the object of study, we hope to map out some of the major areas of future academic enquiry. Our insights come particularly from teaching Asian Students, who have alerted us to significant shifts, such as the enthusiasm for Thai popular culture amongst young Chinese consumers.

Professor Adrian Vickers holds a personal chair in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Sydney, where he is director of Asian Studies. His publications include Bali: A Paradise Created (1989, latest edition 2013, previously translated into German, Dutch, Japanese and Indonesia); A History of Modern Indonesia (2004, new edition 2012, translated into Chinese, Indonesian and Turkish); Balinese Art: Paintings and Drawing of Bali (2012), and, with Julia Martìnez, The Pearl Frontier: Labor Mobility across the Australian-Indonesian Maritime Zone (2015). The Pearl Frontier was 2016 winner of the Northern Territory Chief Minister’s History Book Award, and was shortlisted for the 2016 Ernest Scott History Prize of the Australian Historical Association. He has held a series of Australian Research Council grants looking at the writing of Indonesian history, the Cold War, and labour and industry in Southeast Asia. Recent research on Southeast Asian art history has been funded by the ARC and the Getty Foundation. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge and the Cambridge University Joint Centre for History and Economics; Senior Visiting Fellow at the Asia Research Centre at the National University of Singapore; and a Visiting Fellow at the Royal Institute for Linguistics and Anthropology, Leiden. He has previously taught at the University of Wollongong and the University of New South Wales.

11.00am Friday 30 September 2016
Seminar Room, Level 4 Forgan Smith Tower,
University of Queensland, St Lucia
For further information, please contact iash@uq.edu.au or 07 334 69492


Seminar Room, Level 4, Forgan Smith Tower (St Lucia)