Emma Baulch

Assoc Professor

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Digital Asia


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Personal profile


Emma Baulch is Associate Professor of Media and Communications at Monash University Malaysia. She received her PhD from Monash University, Australia and has held academic positions at Leiden University, The Australian National University and Queensland University of Technology.

Emma researches media and popular culture using cultural studies approaches, focussing specifically on the co-constitution of media technologies and societies in Indonesia and, more recently, Malaysia. Her PhD studied the role electric guitars played in shaping communities of amateur musicians in Bali in the late-1990s, and was published by Duke University Press in 2007 as Making Scenes: Death Metal, Punk and Reggae in 1990s’ Bali. Her postdoctoral work looked at how television and digital technologies influence the formation of popular music genres, and is the subject of her second book, Genre Publics: Popular Music, Technologies and Class in Indonesia (Wesleyan University Press, 2020). Emma’s current research examines digital infrastructures and everyday life in Southeast Asia. She is co-editor of mHealth innovation in Asia: Grassroots Challenges and Practical Interventions (Springer 2017, with Jerry Watkins and Amina Tariq) and Digital Transactions in Asia (Routledge 2019, with Adrian Athique). She is also co-author of the forthcoming WhatsApp: From a one-to-one messaging service to a global social media platform (Polity, with Amelia Johns and Ariadna Matamoros Fernandez).

Emma has worked with a range of external organisations over the course of her career, including the Australia-Indonesia Centre, the Indonesian National Planning Board, the National Film and Sound Archive, TRUE Relationships Queensland and the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations. She is on the editorial board of the Vernacular Indonesia series at Monash University Press.

Research interests

Emma’s research is located in the fields of Asian cultural studies and media and communications studies. She is interested in how new media technologies alter and are altered by existing Southeast Asian social formations revolving around race, class and ethnicity. Most of her research work is ethnographic in nature, and attends to the interaction of material and social worlds through a focus on the everyday uses of new media technologies.

Monash teaching commitment

Emma is the coordinator for the Bachelor of Digital Media and Communication and of the Communications major. She co-ordinates three units: a first-year gateway unit (Media Studies, AMU1277), a third-year capstone unit (Digital Asia Research Project, AMU3029), and a unit within the Masters of Communications and Media Studies (Current issues in Asia, AMG 5013).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Politics and International Relations, PhD, Making Scenes

7 Mar 20029 Sept 2003

Award Date: 9 Sept 2003

Asian Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Hons), University of Sydney, University of Sydney

Award Date: 19 Mar 1990

Research area keywords

  • Digital Asia
  • popular music
  • popular culture
  • everyday life

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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