Photo by Andreas Weiland on Unsplash
I woke up this morning realising that it's already June. I just couldn't believe it. We're actually halfway in the year. I have been so busy this semester too, but also very excited with the progress that I have been making. This semester, I started teaching digital marketing. When I was asked to teach the unit (with my colleagues really believing in my capacity), I did not hesitate and just said a resounding 'yes'. Truth be told, I accepted the teaching responsibility because I know that I have the skills and knowledge. I have an extensive experience in branding, advertising, events management, as well as broadcast media production. Such skills have been complemented by my research capacity in digital media, which also covers a transnational and global context. I have also been learning different digital media tools to make my teaching style so engaging and unique. In fact, last year I began learning so many tools and started practising. Such training has contributed to my strength in teaching digital marketing. Further, teaching digital marketing has been so enjoyable for me because I am able to teach my students how to combine practice and theory - a capacity needed in order to thrive in the work force. I will talk about my experiences and strategies in teaching down the track. But for this post, I just want to start this blog by reflecting on what I have been blessed for the past months. Here we go.
Coming from a very rocky 2018, I can tell that this year - thus far - has been very kind and generous to me. I have received so many great things which I have been very grateful. As this is my birthday month, I just thought that it's just fitting to reflect on the things that are happening in my life.
First, I was offered a continuing position as a Lecturer in Communication in my university. I was very grateful for this outcome given the issues relating to academia, including exploitation and precarity. I see my position as an opportunity to find ways in helping others and giving back to the community. As a continuing staff, I am being guided through a mentoring program in my university. More than this, I am very thankful for all those people (lots and lots) who have been supporting and inspiring me in many ways. I have been to a bumpy road before getting to where I am right now, and so I promise myself to maximise my full potential in not only delivering what I can but also creating synergies and solidarity with scholars, communities and institutions.
Second, I have started some exciting projects this year. I got a small grant to fund a collaborative project on investigating the role of foreign workers in the care industry in Australia. The study will be compare to New Zealand and Japan. My collaborators and I will be using such project to propose a bigger project, and hopefully get a bigger grant. I am pumped for this project because I am able to expand my research on the intersections of migration and mobilities. The project will also examine the role of digital media in facilitating carework. On top of this, I also began a new research project on YouTube. So over the past months, I have been hanging around on YouTube. I am not only watching and analysing videos, but I am also learning how to incorporate 'edutaintment' into my teaching strategy. I used to deploy edutainment when I was working on television production so might as well use it for engaging students. I am capitalising on my performative self to engage students, but of course nothing short of critical approaches. Speaking of this, I already have the tools to start my YouTubing 'extravagansa' - camera, microphone, high-powered laptop, make up set, and a ring light. I was telling myself, 'I can use again my skills in television production!''
Third, I am glad that some of my publications came out this. I published an article in focusing on the role of mobile photography in enabling connectivity among transnational families. I also published a book chapter unpacking the paradox of digital media use in facilitating a transnational household. I have few publications that are under review and being cooked, which some are a collaborative work. I am inspired to publish because publishing is one of the many ways through which I can articulate how inequalities and divide are performed, embodied, perpetuated, and negotiated in digital spaces. Choosing a research on migration and digital media is a result of my experiences as a migrant (even before moving to Australia) who constantly navigates an uneven playing field.
Fourth, I will be doing a Visiting Scholar Program in the Centre for Mobilities Research (Cemore) at Lancaster University. As a digital media scholar deploying a mobilities lens in my work, I am looking forward to meeting and engaging with some of the great scholars in the mobilities field in Lancaster, UK. As part of my visit, I will be delivering a paper on [im]mobile infrastructures in a seminar and facilitate a reading group tackling immobility. I will also be writing a blog entry on rethinking a digital household in the Global South during my visit, which I can share down the track. Further, I am invited to present in the University College London (UCL) to talk about my paper on 'standby mothering'. Feel free to come to my presentations if you happen to be in the UK.
Fifth, I recently joined the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation. I am very pleased to be finally part of such impressive research institution. I have been tracking the institution's works and research track even before I finished my PhD. So now that I am a member, I am looking forward to working on some research collaborations and engagement. I also had a recent meeting which got me so excited in relation to a bigger project that I have been thinking of.
Sixth, my book project is moving forward. I just need to revise what I submitted for the first round of review and I do hope to get a book contract. Cross fingers and toes that publisher will publish my book on '[im]mobile homes'. The book is proposed to be published under a mobile communication series. On top of this, my research partner and I just submitted a book proposal on YouTube. This new research project is one of my side projects. I will be presenting some parts of this book project in the forthcoming AoIR 2019 in Brisbane.
Seventh, my friend and I started a group called Asia Pacific Digital Culture and Society. The aim of this group to pool together scholars working on research in the intersections of Asia Pacific and digital media. We are currently on the stage of developing the website. I also joined as one of the board members of the Asian Australian Studies Research Network (AASRN). I am very grateful for this group because I am learning so many great things. It has been pivotal in allowing me further reflect on my identity as a migrant in Australia.
Lastly, I just want to say that I am feeling overwhelmed with what's happening with my life right now. But I am also very grateful for all the opportunities that are coming my way. To say that I am busy is an understatement because I am very very busy. But this does not mean that I forget to relax, connect with family and friends, and stay grounded. My career does not define me as a person. Rather, it's the little things that I am able to do to make a difference in someone's life. What I have achieved or will be achieving down the track is an outcome of the inspiration and support from the people that are just dear to me. In this regard, I always consider that one's mobility is relational. This mean that my movements are a byproduct of some of the immobility of others - for they sacrifice their own mobility to enable the movement of others. To be in such space is a privilege and I will use this opportunity to reach out to others.