Speakers

The Asian Conference on Cultural Studies (ACCS) is an interdisciplinary conference held alongside The Asian Conference on Asian Studies (ACAS). Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. Registration for either conference will allow delegates to attend sessions in the other.

This page provides information about presenters. For details of presentations and other programming, please visit the Programme page.


Additional speakers will be announced here shortly.

  • Professor Helen Gilbert
    Professor Helen Gilbert
    Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
  • Professor Emerita Sue Ballyn
    Professor Emerita Sue Ballyn
    Barcelona University, Spain
  • Dr Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
    Dr Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
    Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
  • Professor Vinay Lal
    Professor Vinay Lal
    The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA
  • Professor Donald E. Hall
    Professor Donald E. Hall
    Lehigh University, USA
  • Professor Baden Offord
    Professor Baden Offord
    Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia & Cultural Studies Association of Australasia

Previous Speakers

View details of speakers at past ACCS conferences via the links below.

Professor Helen Gilbert
Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

Biography

Helen Gilbert is Professor of Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London, and current Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at the University of Tokyo. Educated in Australia and Canada, her primary academic interest lies in the theatre and performance of marginalised cultures. Over the last three decades, her research has spanned artistic works and practices drawn from diverse parts of the world, with special emphasis on contemporary theatre in Australasia, Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand. Thematically, she concentrates on issues relating to race and representation, indigeneity, cultural identity, nationalism, democracy, diplomacy and the politics and aesthetics of cross-cultural engagement. Theoretically, her work attempts to extend postcolonial analytical models to better account for performative praxis.

From 2009–14, she led a transnational European Research Council-funded project on indigenous performance across the Americas, the Pacific, Australia and South Africa. A major performance-based exhibition, EcoCentrix: Indigenous Arts, Sustainable Acts (2013), emerged from this interdisciplinary work, along with several edited books, including Recasting Commodity and Spectacle in the Indigenous Americas (2014) and In the Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization (2017). The exhibition brought images, objects, sounds, performances and live art installations by over 40 international artists to London and was shortlisted for a UK national engagement award. A monograph synthesising the project’s pioneering insights is also near completion; it focuses on transnational aspects of indigenous performance, paying special attention to environmental justice, belonging, commodity culture, heritage and reconciliation.

Professor Gilbert recently completed a fellowship at the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society in Munich, supported by a Humboldt Prize for career achievements in international theatre studies. Her early books in this field include Post-colonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics (co-authored with Joanne Tompkins, 1996) and two award-winning monographs: Performance and Cosmopolitics: Cross Cultural Transactions in Australasia (co-authored with Jacqueline Lo, 2007), and Sightlines: Race, Gender and Nation in Contemporary Australian Theatre (1998). She has also published in animal studies, among other eclectic topics. With Helen Tiffin and Robert Cribb, she wrote Wild Man from Borneo: A Cultural History of the Orangutan (2014), which studies the species boundary between humans and orangutans as imagined by scientists, philosophers, artists and the public at large over the past three centuries. Her research is now turning towards performance and activism in the age of the Anthropocene.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Presentation information will be added shortly
Professor Emerita Sue Ballyn
Barcelona University, Spain

Biography

Sue Ballyn is Professor Emerita at Barcelona University from where she graduated with a BA in 1982. Her MA thesis on the writings of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes won the Faculty prize in 1983. In 1986 she won the Faculty prize again, this time for her PhD thesis on Australian Poetry, the first PhD on Australian Literature in Spain.

She joined the English and German Philology Department on graduation 1982 and has remained at the university ever since. In 1990 she founded the Australian Studies Program which was recognised as an official Barcelona University Observatory - Studies Centre in 2000, known as CEA, Observatorio Centre d’Estudis Australians. It is the only Australian Studies Centre in Spain and one of the most active in Europe.

Over the last twenty-five years, Sue Ballyn’s research has been focused on foreign convicts transported to Australia, in particular Spanish, Portuguese, Hispanics and Sephardim, and she works closely with the Female Convicts Research Centre, Tasmania. She has published and lectured widely in the area, very often in collaboration with Prof. Lucy Frost. 2016 will see the publication of a book on Adelaide de la Thoreza, a Spanish convict, written by herself and Lucy Frost.

More recently she has become involved in a project on ageing in literature DEDAL-LIT at Lleida University which in turn is part of a European project on ageing: SIforAge. As part of this project she is working on Human Rights and the Elderly, an area she started to research in 1992. In 2016 a book of interviews with elderly women, with the working title Stories of Experience, will be published as part of this project. These oral stories are the result of field work she has carried out in Barcelona.

She is also involved in a ministry funded Project, run out of the Australian Studies Centre and headed by Dr Bill Phillips, on Postcolonial Crime Fiction (POCRIF) This last project has inevitably intertwined itself with her work on convicts and Australia. She currently holds the position of Profesor Emerita and Founder/Co-Director of the Australian Studies Centre, at Barcelona University.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | The Cities We Fled

Previous Presentations

Spotlight Presentation (2017) | “(…) For those in peril on the sea”: The Important Role of Surgeons on Convict Transports
Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
Dr Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

Biography

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a Hong Kong–born editor, translator, and poet. She is the founding co-editor of the first Hong Kong-based online literary publication, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (founded in 2007), and an editor of the academic journals Victorian Network and Hong Kong Studies (Chinese University Press). Her translations have appeared in World Literature Today, Chinese Literature Today, and Pathlight: New Chinese Writing, Drunken Boat, among other places. She holds an MPhil from the University of Hong Kong and a PhD from King’s College London, and she is currently Assistant Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, where she teaches poetics, fiction, and modern drama. She has scholarly books forthcoming from Springer and Palgrave. Her first poetry collection is Hula Hooping (Chameleon Press) and she is the recipient of the 2015 Young Artist Award in Literary Arts presented by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. She is a Vice President of PEN Hong Kong.

Keynote Presentation | Presentation information will be added here shortly
Professor Vinay Lal
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA

Biography

Vinay Lal is Professor of History and Asian American Studies at UCLA. He earned his Ph.D. with Distinction from the University of Chicago in 1992 after undergraduate and Master’s degrees in literature and philosophy from Johns Hopkins University. He writes widely on Indian history, historiography, public and popular culture in India, the Indian diaspora, colonialism, human rights, and the architecture of nonviolence, Gandhi, and the global politics of knowledge systems. His seventeen books include the two-volume Oxford Anthology of the Modern Indian City (Oxford, 2013); Political Hinduism: The Religious Imagination in Public Spheres (ed., Oxford, 2009); The Future of Knowledge and Culture: A Dictionary for the Twenty-first Century, co-edited with Ashis Nandy (Viking Penguin, 2005); Of Cricket, Guinness and Gandhi: Essays on Indian History and Culture (Penguin, 2005); The History of History: Politics and Scholarship in Modern India (Oxford, 2003); Empire of Knowledge: Culture and Plurality in the Global Economy (Pluto Press, 2002); and, most recently, India and the Unthinkable: Backwaters Collective on Metaphysics and Politics I, co-edited with Roby Rajan (Oxford, 2016) and A Passionate Life: Writings by and on Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay (Zubaan Books, 2017), co-edited with Ellen Carol DuBois. His work has been translated into Hindi, Urdu, Kannada, French, German, Spanish, Finnish, Korean, and Persian. Works in progress include two books on Gandhi, a political study of fasting, and a book on internet Hinduism. He also has the distinction of being listed among the “101 Most Dangerous Professors in America” in David Horowitz’s book, The Professors, quite likely the only fifteen minutes of fame he will ever have in his life. He blogs at vinaylal.wordpress.com and maintains a YouTube channel.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | The Challenge of the Global South
Professor Donald E. Hall
Lehigh University, USA

Biography

Donald E. Hall has published widely in the fields of British Studies, Gender Theory, Cultural Studies, and Professional Studies. Prior to arriving at Lehigh in 2011, he served as Jackson Distinguished Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English (and previously Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages) at West Virginia University (WVU). Before his tenure at WVU, he was Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where he taught for 13 years. He is a recipient of the University Distinguished Teaching Award at CSUN, was a visiting professor at the National University of Rwanda, was 2001 Lansdowne Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Victoria (Canada), was Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Cultural Studies at Karl Franzens University in Graz, Austria, for 2004-05, and was Fulbright Specialist at the University of Helsinki for 2006. He has also taught in Sweden, Romania, Hungary, and China. He has served on numerous panels and committees for the Modern Language Association (MLA), including the Task Force on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion and the Convention Program Committee. In 2012, he served as national President of the Association of Departments of English. In 2013, he was elected to and began serving on the Executive Council of the MLA.

His current and forthcoming work examines issues such as professional responsibility and academic community-building, the dialogics of social change and ethical intellectualism, and the Victorian (and our continuing) interest in the deployment of instrumental agency over our social, vocational, and sexual selves. His book, The Academic Community: A Manual For Change, was published by Ohio State University Press in the fall of 2007. His tenth book, Reading Sexualities: Hermeneutic Theory and the Future of Queer Studies, was published in the spring of 2009. In 2012, he and Annamarie Jagose, of the University of Auckland, collaborated on a volume titled The Routledge Queer Studies Reader, which was published in July of that year. He continues to lecture worldwide on the value of a liberal arts education and the need for nurturing global competencies in students and interdisciplinary dialogue in and beyond the classroom.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | The Cities We Fled

Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
Professor Baden Offord
Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia & Cultural Studies Association of Australasia

Biography

Baden Offord is an internationally recognized specialist in human rights, sexuality, education and culture. In 2012 he was a sponsored speaker to the 14th EU-NGO Human Rights Forum in Brussels where he spoke on ASEAN and sexual justice issues. In the same year he conducted a three-week lecture tour of Japan sponsored by the Australian Prime Minister’s Educational Assistance Funds post the Great Eastern Tohoku Earthquake in 2011.

Among his publications are the books Homosexual Rights as Human Rights: Activism in Indonesia, Singapore and Australia (2003), Activating Human Rights (co-edited with Elizabeth Porter, 2006), Activating Human Rights Education (co-edited with Christopher Newell, 2008), and Activating Human Rights and Peace: Theories, Practices, Contexts (co-edited with Bee Chen Goh and Rob Garbutt, 2012). His most recent co-authored publication in the field of Australian Cultural Studies is titled Inside Australian Culture: Legacies of Enlightenment Values (with Kerruish, Garbutt, Wessell and Pavlovic, 2014), which is a collaborative work with the Indian cultural theorist Ashis Nandy. His latest chapter, ‘Queer activist intersections in Southeast Asia: human rights and cultural studies,’ appears in Ways of Knowing About Human Rights in Asia (ed. Vera Mackie, London, Routledge, 2015).

He has held visiting positions at The University of Barcelona, La Trobe University, the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and Rajghat Education Centre, Varanasi. In 2010-2011 he held the Chair (Visiting Professor) in Australian Studies, Centre for Pacific Studies and American Studies, The University of Tokyo. In Japan he has given lectures and research seminars at Chuo, Otemon Gakuin, Sophia, Tohoku and Keio Universities.

Prior to his appointment at Curtin University, he was Professor of Cultural Studies and Human Rights at Southern Cross University, where he was a faculty member from 1999-2014.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | The Cities We Fled