Cultural Studies Future(s)

Cultural Studies Future(s) is a symposium organised by CARE and CNM, to discuss the future of cultural studies. This symposium bring together three leading practitioners in Cultural Studies, Prof Chua Beng Huat, Prof Meaghan Morris and Prof Tejaswini Niranjana, who will be speaking on different issues. The symposium will be held on 3 March 2017 at Seminar Room B, from 3 PM to 6:50PM. More details can be found in the poster below:


Chua Beng Huat is concurrently as Provost Chair Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Science.  He has served as Research Leader, Cultural Studies in Asia Research Cluster, Asia Research Institute (2000-2015); Convenor Cultural Studies Programmes (2008-2013) and Head, the Department of Sociology (2009-2015), National University of Singapore. Among his authored books are Life is Not Complete without ShoppingStructure, Audience and Soft Power in East Asian Pop Culture and, forthcoming, Political Liberalism Disavowed: communitarianism and state capitalism in Singapore. He is founding co-executive editor of the journal, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies.

Meaghan Morris is currently the William Lim Siew Wai Visiting Professor in Cultural Studies in Asia, NUS Department of Sociology, and Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney, and former Chair Professor of Cultural Studies in Lingnan University, Hong Kong (2000-2012).  Prof. Morris was Chair of the international Association for Cultural Studies (2004-08); Chair of the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society (2012-15); and she is a Fellow of both the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities and the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Her books include The Pirate’s Fiancée: feminism, reading, postmodernism (1988), Too Soon Too Late: History in Popular Culture (1998), Identity Anecdotes: Translation and Media Culture (2006), and Creativity and Academic Activism: Instituting Cultural Studies co-edited with Mette Hjort (2012).

Tejaswini Niranjana is currently Professor and Head, Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong. She is co-founder of the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore. She is the author of Siting Translation: History, Post-structuralism and the Colonial Context (Berkeley, 1992), Mobilizing India: Women, Music and Migration between India and Trinidad (Durham, 2006), and a forthcoming monograph on musicophilia in Mumbai. Her most recent co-edited volume is Genealogies of the Present: Situating Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (Delhi, 2015).

The programme for the symposium is as follows:

MediaCorp Speaker Series – Access To Information: Can there be too much of a good thing?

We are happy to partner with MediaCorp once again to bring you the next talk in the MediaCorp Speaker Series. This series aims to provide a platform where students can interact with and hear from industry experts about the media industry. The title of this year’s talk is “Access to Information. Can there be too much of a good thing?” and it will be held at AS7 01-19 on Friday, 24 Feb 2017 at 11 AM. Finger food and drinks will be provided. We hope to see you there!

TALK — Negotiating Community at the Margins: Culturally-Centred narratives of health among transgender sex workers

CNM Care is happy to host the next lecture in the CARE Social Justice series by Prof. Mohan and Raksha Mahtani. The talk is titled “Negotiating Community at the Margins: Culturally-centred narratives of health among transgender sex workers” and she will be speaking on 27 Feb 2017 (Monday). More details about the talk can be found in the poster below:

Speaker: Prof. Mohan and Raksha Mahtani

Date: 27 Feb 2017

Time: 1:00 – 2:00 PM

Venue: CNM Meeting Room

Farewell Note from Associate Professor Lim Sun Sun

Farewell Communications and New Media (CNM) at NUS, my academic home for the past 14 years. As I move on to join the Singapore University of Technology and Design as Professor and Head of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, I would like to give thanks and reflect on the many wonderful years I’ve spent here.

Assoc Prof Lim Sun Sun. Photo credit: Dr Tracy Loh

I joined the department in 2003, then the Information and Communications Management (ICM) Programme, fresh from my PhD at the London School of Economics. The programme was all of three years old and we, the faculty, were literally one step ahead of the students in terms of putting in place the curriculum as they ascended each year. Student demand grew unabated, and our little programme continued to gain traction among students as we broadened our slate of modules to better cater to student interests and industry needs. Over time we also grew our graduate programme and have since seen our graduate alumni flourish in meaningful careers in academia and beyond. Those early years of growth were exciting and exhausting, as we had to balance our own research and publishing with the push to grow the programme. Looking back though, it was an immensely rewarding period that I would not trade for anything.

Alumni Homecoming 2010, reunion with our earliest graduating classes


In 2005, under the fearless leadership of Professor Millie Rivera, we rebranded the programme as Communications and New Media to better represent our collective expertise and niche area, and sharpened the distinctions between the Media Studies, Communication Management and Interactive Media Design tracks. New faculty members from around the world joined us, each enriching our programme with unique strengths. Through it all, we were supported by fantastic administrators who were kind, caring and efficient – a powerful combination. And from the very beginning, our students have gone on to make their mark in diverse industries, building a strong and supportive alumni network that today continues to look out for new members of our expanding CNM family. With steady growth and overwhelming student, alumni, and faculty support, the university raised CNM from programme to department status in 2011, and the Department of Communications and New Media was born with a firm stamp of endorsement.

Memorable tenure celebration with wonderful colleagues and students

My journey in CNM has been marked by many significant milestones that I had the privilege to share with dear colleagues and students. Personally, my most memorable would be attaining tenure in 2010, and being surprised with celebration where I was made to don a pageant sash, a paper Burger King crown and a humongous bouquet. I still have that sash, lovingly handmade by Siti Nurharnani Nahar, Class of 2005! As our department grew and our alumni distinguished themselves in their careers, we could not be more thrilled than in 2013 when Lim May-Ann, Class of 2003, joined us as Adjunct Lecturer to teach Media Policy. She draws on her rich experience as Managing Director at TRPC, a telecomm and infotech research consultancy, as well as her strong foundations in Media Policy taught by Prof Rivera way back in 2002!

A goofy moment before the words of wisdom

Another milestone was crossed in 2014 when Julian Lim, Vice President of Group Corporate Communications at OCBC Bank, from our pioneer Class of 2003, was invited as Commencement speaker. He impressed the audience with wit and wisdom while we, his professors, looked on like proud parents. In 2014 too, the department marked another turning point when Dr Elmie Nekmat, Class of 2006, joined CNM as Assistant Professor after attaining his PhD at the University of Alabama where he survived a tornado in more ways than one. He is our first alumnus to join us as Assistant Professor, and will undoubtedly play a key role in steering CNM’s next phase of development, along with the many other promising Assistant Professors who have recently joined us.

A lovely gathering of CNM faculty and alumni at an IMDA event

As CNM charts new paths, I wish my friends and colleagues my very best and I thank you all for having been part of my rich and eventful journey at the National University of Singapore.



Associate Professor, 2010-2016

Assistant Professsor, 2003-2010


Hearty congratulations to Prof Elmie Nekmat & Mr Gui Kai Chong for winning the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (FTEA) for their work in AY2015-16. The FTEA is given in recognition of the high level of teaching commitment demonstrated by faculty members and are based on peer reviews, student feedback and exposition of their teaching philosophy.

Asst Prof Elmie Nekmat has been with CNM since 2014 and teaches strategic communication, social psychology of new media, theories in communications and new media, research methods in communications and new media and principles of communication management.


Asst Prof Elmie Nekmat

Speaking about his approach to teaching, he shares, “Teaching, to me, is an inexact science. I can never expect to ‘perfect’ my teaching. It is through constant reflection and experimentation that I learn how to refine my teaching and I have therefore realized that effective teaching is about constant improvement, innovation, and linking classroom knowledge to real-life experiences and impact on society. Ultimately, my quest for continuous improvement is motivated by my desire to ensure that my students make meaningful connections between theory, practice, and serving the community.

My philosophy in teaching is to stoke and nurture the natural desire in students to know and achieve. I believe that any student can learn anything given enough willpower and motivation. Teaching to me is, thus, a precious opportunity to instill this motivation and groom effective and reflective learners. I teach in the hopes that my students see the value in learning, pursue lifelong independent learning, and uses the knowledge to one day impact the societies they live in.”

Mr Gui Kai Chong has been with CNM since it started out as the Information & Communications Management Programme. He teaches Globalization and New Media, Culture Industries and Digital Economies. Apart from being awarded the FTEA, Mr Gui has also been nominated by the faculty for the Annual Teaching Excellence Award (ATEA).


Mr Gui Kai Chong

Mr Gui says, “It has been a wonderful experience teaching at NUS. The warm and supportive environment at the Department of Communications and New Media (CNM) and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) motivates one to teach to the best of one’s ability. The classes are always very lively due to the participation of vibrant, hardworking, intellectually curious and highly engaged students. Such an academic culture makes teaching enjoyable, meaningful, and intrinsically rewarding. Teaching here is a privilege. I am thus honoured and humbled to receive this award from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. I am also thankful to the Faculty for nominating me for the Annual Teaching Excellence Award (ATEA).”

Prof. Mohan Dutta to present at the National Communication Association’s Annual Convention

© NUS CNM | Photography by Lionel LinProf Mohan Dutta, Head of Department, CNM and Director of CARE, will be speaking at the opening session of the National Communication Association’s (NCA) 102nd Annual Convention on Thursday, 11 Nov 2016. The convention will be held from 10-13 Nov 2016 at Philadelphia. Prof Dutta, along with two other communication scholars Dr. Bryant Keith Alexander of Loyola Marymount University and Dr. Billie Murray of Villanova University will lead “Putting Bodies on the Line and Words into Action: Celebrating the Joys of, Challenges in, and Opportunities for Civic Engagement,” a discussion about using communication to address issues related to race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality at the opening session.

According to NCA’s press release more than 5000 communication researchers, teachers and students are expected at this year’s convention titled “Communication’s Civic Callings”. The convention will provide a platform to discuss domestic and international issues such as social activism, feminism and gender identity, race and religion, technology, media and entertainment, and so on.

The convention will also honour communication scholars for their research through specific awards. CNM’s Visiting Senior Fellow Dr Raka Shome will be awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award during this convention.


Distinguished Scholar Award for Dr Raka Shome

Each year the Critical and Cultural Studies Division of the National Communication Association presents awards for outstanding scholarship, teaching, and professional service in the field of communication. This year, Dr Raka Shome will be awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award for her work in Cultural Studies in Communication.  The award recognises scholarly achievements in the study of human communication and will be given to Dr Shome during this year’s NCA Annual Convention which will be held in Philadelphia from 10-13 Nov, 2016.

” I am delighted about this award not just because ‘I’ received it but more important because it honors the kinds of difficult and challenging work that many scholars working on decolonization of academic knowledge are engaged in”, says Dr Shome.


Dr Shome at a lecture in Germany. Photo credit: Universität Erfurt

Dr Shome’s research interests are in Asian Modernities, Transnational relations of India, Racism and Media in a global context, Transnational Media Cultures and Gender, and the Transnational politics of knowledge production as a communication issue. She has published numerous articles and book chapters in leading journals the field of Media and Communication Studies and is the author of Diana and Beyond: White Femininity, National Identity, and Contemporary Media Culture – a book that examines how new sets of postcolonial relations in contemporary western cultures are mediated through images of white femininity.

Congratulations, Dr Shome!


CNM doctoral student selected for Yale University’s Fox International Fellowship Program (FIFP)

Satveer KaurDoctoral student Satveer Kaur has recently been selected for the Fox International Fellowship Program (FIFP) at Yale University. The Fox International Fellowship is a graduate student exchange program between Yale and 19 world-renowned partner universities, including NUS. The Fellowship is awarded to graduate students who have the potential to become leaders in fields that are policy significant, historically informed, socially meaningful and interested in developing scholarly knowledge to respond to the world’s most pressing challenges. The Fellowship also seeks to enhance mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries by promoting international scholarly exchanges and collaborations among the fellows.

“I am deeply honoured to have been nominated by the department to put in my application for the Yale Fox Fellowship and to have received news of my successful application thereafter. The program brings together scholars from different fields working on issues that impact society globally, by creating interdisciplinary spaces for intellection and dialogue. The Fox fellows have already started touching base, and what has been evident is the many scholars undertaking meaningful research that significantly impacts society. I look forward most to meeting different stakeholders, auditing relevant classes at Yale, and presenting my research on migration to my colleagues”, says Satveer.

CNM wishes you the very best, Satveer!

CNM students write about the nation’s first Olympic Gold

Students from the module NM4211- Online Journalism taught by Ms Tan Ee Lyn, are busy writing articles on Singapore’s first Olympic gold by Joseph Schooling. First up, is an article on Schooling’s return to Singapore and how he was greeted by excited Singaporeans.The article is written by Natasha Kleinman, who is an MOE Teaching Award scholar, and in her third year of studies majoring in Communications and New Media (and minoring in Theatre Studies).

N.Kleinman Headshot

Natasha Kleinman

“There was a very tight window to prepare and produce my article on Schooling’s homecoming, so this experience challenged me to think fast and have a clear focus. Amidst jostling with the crowd taking pictures and videos, through the interviews I conducted with people of different ages and backgrounds, I could see that they had a huge amount of respect for Schooling and his parents. They were genuinely inspired by his historic feat and were more than willing to sacrifice some sleep to show their support”, says Kleinman

For this event, Ms. Tan encouraged me to prepare some material such as interview questions, be mentally prepared for the crowd, and always put my safety first”, she adds. Kleinman is looking forward to attending today’s press conference, and is excited about writing another article on this. Read Kleinman’s article here.

Prof Raka Shome’s research awarded grant by Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society

Raka Shome ProfileProf Raka Shome has been awarded a $10,000 grant by the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society, Villanova University, Pennsylvania. The grant is awarded for Prof Shome’s research titled ‘Spectacular Nationalism and Contemporary India’.

Each year, the Waterhouse Family Institute funds research conducted by scholars across the world, based on the emphasis the research gives to communication and those that engage communication and its impact on the world and ability to create social change. The WFI Research Grants are selectively awarded and Prof Shome’s reserach has been awarded the maximum grant amount to support her research.

Prof Shome’s research  attempts to understand the ways in which a spectacular nationalism is being produced in contemporary India and the ways in which it functions to produce a new national pride that is articulated in relation to the global while reifiying hardened logics of nagtionalism.  Through a focus on  many media campaigns as well as the circulation of commodities that are being rebranded through revivalist “Indian” logic, Prof Shome attempts to offer an extended theory of spectacular nationalism (as opposed to nationalism as just spectacle)– especially in the context of current India. She also attempts to trace the linkage between this spectacular nationalism and the overt and invisible discourses of Hindutva that are being normalized by the spectacular logic of contemporary Indian nationalism.

Congratulations, Prof Shome!