ISS-45 Southeast Asia, NASA [Public domain]

Digital Transactions in Asia III

Hosted by

Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash Malaysia

Conference Date: 20-22nd November 2019

Confirmed keynotes:

Prof. Sun Sun Lim, Singapore University of Design and Technology
A/Prof Joanne Lim, Nottingham University Malaysia


The reconfiguration of social, cultural, economic and political relationships in parallel with the pervasive application of digital technologies has been regarded as an epochal shift in the Western world. In contemporary Asia, the breathtaking rapidity and scale of digitisation provides us with an even greater remaking and reinvigorating of human relationships. This is an era where rapid commercial growth across the region proceeds in tandem with the spread of digital media devices. For ordinary people, social media platforms offer new economic opportunities along with the monetisation of the personal and the everyday. In the public domain, Asian state systems are having to contend with explosions of popular expression, public debate and political mobilisation, even as these activities are highly contested and contestable. Asian markets are increasingly determined by flows of virtual capital, information commodities, consumers and labour. In this context, it is increasingly evident that the rise of a Digital Asia is accompanied by new aspirations and understandings of modernisation, participation and development.

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.

Our 2019 conference will include two full days of presentations for a public audience 20-21st November 2019, followed by a research workshop on 22nd November.

Following the format of previous events, we will present a day of presentations from across Asia, followed by a day of presentations focused upon our host region of South East Asia. Paper presenters will join a third day of workshops on critical methodological, theoretical and logistical issues for Digital Asia researchers.
Given the inter-and trans-disciplinary nature of its theme, the conference is intended to be of interest to researchers from a diverse variety of backgrounds and disciplinary orientations in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Business, Economics and Law. We will also consider submissions of creative and technical works, along with professional contributions from industry and non-governmental organisations. We invite abstract submissions (500 words) addressing the following themes:

  • Digital Currencies and Commodities
  • Digital Development and (In)equalities
  • Populism, Popular Culture and Public Speech
  • E Commerce and Consumption
  • Influencers, Intimacies and Interpersonal Exchanges
  • Digital Governance, Citizenship and Rights
  • Design, Innovation and Disruption
  • Platformisation of Religion and Ethnicity
  • Mobile and Informal Economies

For the submission of abstracts, please send your abstract (500 words), institutional details and research bio to the organising committee via:

Researcher Support

A limited number of bursaries covering economy air travel and accommodation for the duration of the event are available on a competitive basis for paper presenters working at institutions within the ASEAN region. If you wish to be considered for a bursary, please indicate your interest and affiliation in your abstract submission along with a brief statement of why a bursary is essential to your participation in the event. We will subsequently contact you regarding the bursary selection process that will occur in June 2019.

For all funded participants, a final paper of 6,000 words will be requested by 31 July 2019 for inclusion in an edited volume with Routledge. We will also invite all participants to contribute to our proposal for a special issue of Media International Australia in 2020.

Submissions and Key Dates

  • April 26, 2018: Deadline for the Submission of Abstracts
  • May 17, 2019: Acceptance of Abstracts
  • June 30, 2019: Results of Travel Bursary Applications
  • July 31, 2019: Final Paper Submission
  • November 20-21, 2019: Conference at Sunway Campus
  • November 22, 2019: Workshops for Presenters

Download CFP

Organising Committee

  • Adrian Athique (University of Queensland)
  • Emma Baulch (Monash Malaysia)
  • Cheryll Soriano (De La Salle University)
  • Susan Leong (Monash Malaysia)

The conference will be held at Monash University Malaysia in Sunway City, Kuala Lumpur offering world class facilities and situated at the heart of Malaysia's pioneering multi-media corridor. KL is one of the world's most dynamic and culturally diverse cities, and we hope that delegates will take time to explore this highly significant setting for Digital Transactions in Asia 2019. Detailed information on travel, accommodation and facilities will be provided to successful applicants.
Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities University of Queensland
The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Queensland is dedicated to high level research with a focus on Critical and Cultural Studies, and Intellectual and Literary History. The Critical and Cultural Studies programme examines the role of culture within processes of social change, both as a means of expression and as a central motivation for human actions. We undertake critical enquiries that examine new forms of technology, the significance of cultural differences and the relationship between cultural identities and the experience of everyday life. Our research on media technologies and social change seeks to explore new areas of interaction between academic expertise and the public. Our focus on the experiences of ordinary people has inspired substantive studies of youth, gender and social inclusion in Australia. CCS has also made a long term commitment to collaborative Cultural Studies research in Asia, with innovative work in China, India Japan and the Philippines being prominent examples of our research partnerships in the region.
School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia
The School of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS) is a multi-disciplinary school with a research focus on social transformation in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia continues to witness economic growth, rising living standards, and the expansion of political and civic spaces for citizen engagement. Yet, there are also signs of deep conflict and fragmentation. The School consists of four research clusters: Communication, Media and Society Culture, Religion and Gender, Literature, Cinema and Society, and Politics, Development and Governance, enabling scholars to study the region’s complex and dynamic social transformations from a range of theoretical, disciplinary and methodological perspectives. Underpinning these scholarly enquiries is a critical and ethical attitude linking scholarship to praxis - making a difference to people and communities. Towards this goal, SASS academics are actively networked through national and international research collaborations as well as through engaging NGOs, international organisations, industry, governments and communities.



Monash University Malaysia