I am a Lecturer in Communication (Digital Media) in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University. I coordinate and teach undergraduate and postgraduate media and communications units.
I obtained my doctorate degree in Communications and Media studies from Monash University in 2016. My research expertise lies in the intersections of digital media, mobilities and migration. My research study cuts across different disciplines, including new media, cultural studies, sociology, and anthropology.
My research interests include transnational communication, mediated intimacies, caregiving at a distance, the digitalisation of public and private spaces, infrastructures of mediated mobilities, and the politics of networked communication.
My PhD research investigated the ways in which 21 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Melbourne, Australia, and their left-behind family members in the Philippines used mobile devices and networked communications platforms to forge ties and sustain long-distance relationships. I closely examined how mobile device use facilitated an array of communicative opportunities and challenges for the transnational Filipino family. The research study also located the mobile practices of geographically separated Filipino family members in various contexts, including sustaining everyday interactions, connecting to the homeland, re-staging family celebrations, and addressing crises. Further, it unpacked the different tactics deployed by dispersed family members to organise, embody and experience family life at a distance.
One of the major contributions of the study is a critical re-examination of the conduct of transnational family life through mobile device use in the age of smartphones and mobile applications. Extending a critical mobilities lens by the late British Sociologist John Urry in the context of media and communications (Keightley and Reading, 2014), I consider my research study as a vantage point in theorising mediated mobilities in a transnational context. I specifically pay attention to the different, interconnected and asymmetrical infrastructures that engender and undermine technologically mediated mobilities in a mediated environment. This approach illuminates the paradoxical consequences of mobile device in shaping transnational family life. It has also stirred ways of unraveling the politics of mediated mobilties by emphasising the dimensions of communicative mobilities - access, technical competency, affective experience, rhythms, communicative space, and quality of connectivity. Overall, by critically examining the mobile device of geographically separated family members in reclaiming family life at a distance, I unveil how communicative possibilities and inequalities can be reinforced in a networked and mobile society.
I am currently working on various projects, including the following:
(1) [Im]mobile homes. The manuscript is a post-PhD project which emphasises the role of differentiated, interdependent and asymmetrical social structures and technological infrastructures in shaping an [im]mobile family life at a distance. The book is under contract with Oxford University Press as part of the Mobile Communication Series.
(2) Infrastructures of im/mobility: An autoethnography. Drawn from a 30-day personal diary and photo documentation, the paper explores the performance, embodiment, tensions and negotiations of 'at-homeness' during a home visit. It specifically locates the role of immobile infrastructures and temporalities of migration in engendering and undermining familial connections and affects of (un)belongingess.
(3) YouTube and Brokerage or Social Transactions in the Philippines. This book project examines the role of YouTube in the brokerage of social transactions in the Philippines. It problematises the influence of personalised and creative online narratives in constructing imaginaries of 'postcolonial subjectivities', 'mobile intimacy', freelance work, and populist politics. I am collaborating with Associate Professor Cheryll Soriano of De La Salle University, Philippines for this project.The book project is under contract with Amsterdam University Press as part of its Asian Visual Culture series.
(4) Foreign Workers in the Care Industry in Australia. I am working with Dr Arlene Ozanne (University of Otago, New Zealand) and Dr Ruth Carlos (Ryukoku University, Japan) for this project. This research study is an extension of previous studies that explored the role of foreign workers in the care industry in New Zealand and Japan. The project is granted a Grant Priming Fund from the University of Otago (2019).
(5) Re/Dis-connections and the ageing migrant. The study aims to re-think the role of digital communication technologies in shaping the everyday life of elderly migrants in Melbourne, Australia in this age of im/mobility.
((6) International Students and Digital Sexual Health and Well-being. This research project is being developed with Dr Benjamin Hanckel of Kings College London.
(1) Transnationalisation of Intimacy (Book Chapter). This conceptual book chapter is in collaboration with Dr. Yang Hu of Lancaster University, UK.
((2) Digital Media and Music in the Philippines (Journal Article/s). This research project is being worked upon with Dr. áine Mangaoang of Universitetet i Oslo.
(3) Representations of Duterte's War on Drugs in selected Filipino films (Journal Article). I am collaborating with Dr Cesar Albarran-Torres of Swinburne University.
(4) The commerce of interracial relationship (Journal Article/s). This research project is being developed with Dr Maria Tanyag of the Australian National University.
Apart from teaching and researching, I am a member of Global Mobilities Network.
I am a member of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation.
I am a convener of the newly-formed group, Asia-Pacific Digital Culture and Society. Join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
I am also the Social Media Editor of the Asian Journal of Communication. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook.
You can reach me via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Photo taken by Daniel Reeders during the AoIR 2019 Conference held in QUT, Brisbane.