Speakers

The Asian Conference on Asian Studies (ACAS) is an interdisciplinary conference held alongside The Asian Conference on Cultural Studies (ACCS). 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.


  • Sue Ballyn
    Sue Ballyn
    University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Keiko Bang
    Keiko Bang
    Bang Singapore Pte Ltd
  • John Nguyet Erni
    John Nguyet Erni
    Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
  • Donald E. Hall
    Donald E. Hall
    University of Rochester, USA
  • Gloria Montero
    Gloria Montero
    Novelist, Playwright & Poet
  • Baden Offord
    Baden Offord
    Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia & Cultural Studies Association of Australasia

Previous Speakers

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

Sue Ballyn
University of Barcelona, Spain

Biography

Dr Sue Ballyn is the Founder and Honorary Director of the Centre for Australian and Transnational Studies Centre at the University of Barcelona 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 University of Barcelona 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 Professor Lucy Frost. May 25th 2018 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 formed 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 2020 a book of interviews with elderly women, with the working title Stories of Experience, will be published as a result of this project. These oral stories are drawn from field work she has carried out in Barcelona.

She was recently 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. Her present work focuses on Sephardi Jews in Asian diaspora, and the construction of ageing.

Featured Presentation (2019) | Presentation information will be added shortly

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
Keiko Bang
Bang Singapore Pte Ltd

Biography

Keiko Hagihara Bang is the founder and CEO of Bang Singapore Pte Ltd, a boutique media firm focused on fandom, influencers, branded content, e-commerce and technology-led storytelling. Her 35-year career spans time serving as a reporter for media such as CNN, NHK and what is today CNBC, and as a creator of critically-acclaimed independent documentaries for the world, from the Asia-Pacific region. She has produced more than 50 award-winning films including: Zheng He: Emperor of the Seas, Mysterious Hanging Coffins of China, Guge: The Lost Kingdom of Tibet, Jackie Chan, John Woo, Hip Korea, Secrets of the Samurai and many others.

In Japan, she successfully created a landmark co-production with PBS, TV Asahi and ZDF of the first non-Japanese documentary on the Battleship Yamato as seen from the Japanese point of view. Bang also worked for 5 years with the Ministry of Information and Communications (Somusho) on pioneering co-production schemes which engendered more than 40 hours of programming between rural Japanese broadcasters and other Asian countries, and culminated in Bang’s launch of Asian Side of the Doc (French) in Tokyo, the first ever major documentary conference to be held in Japan. Bang was also the first independent Asian production company to rank on Realscreen’s “World’s 100 Most Influential Documentary Companies”. In addition to her work on the creative side, Keiko is a serial entrepreneur and has worked with more than 150 companies, 7 governments and 50 media partners on co-productions, country branding and C-Level media strategy across twenty-four countries in Asia. Bang is a Member of the International Academy of Arts & Sciences, Chairperson of the New Media Taskforce and Advisor to the Documentary Committee of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, and to the VR Braintrust (IDFA). She is also a Member of the Asian Academy Awards, and Advisor to the Emerging Future Institute, The Rohingya Blockchain Project, and Teach North Korean Refugees. She is the Founder of The Beautiful Minds Global Girls’ Education Broadcaster Project with UNESCO.

Featured Presentation (2019) | Presentation information will be added here shortly
John Nguyet Erni
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

Biography

John Nguyet Erni is Fung Hon Chu Endowed Chair of Humanics, Chair Professor in Humanities, and Head of the Department of Humanities & Creative Writing at Hong Kong Baptist University. In 2017, he was elected President of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities. A recipient of the Gustafson, Rockefeller, Lincoln, and Annenberg research fellowships, and other awards and grants, Erni has published widely on international and Asia-based cultural studies, human rights legal criticism, Chinese consumption of transnational culture, gender and sexuality in media culture, youth popular consumption in Hong Kong and Asia, and critical public health. He is the author or editor of 9 academic titles, among them Law and Cultural Studies: A Critical Rearticulation of Human Rights (Routledge, 2019); Visuality, Emotions, and Minority Culture: Feeling Ethnic (Springer, 2017); Understanding South Asian Minorities in Hong Kong (with Lisa Leung, HKUP, 2014); Cultural Studies of Rights: Critical Articulations (Routledge, 2011); Internationalizing Cultural Studies: An Anthology (with Ackbar Abbas, Blackwell, 2005); Asian Media Studies: The Politics of Subjectivities (with Siew Keng Chua, Blackwell, 2005); and Unstable Frontiers: Technomedicine and the Cultural Politics of “Curing” AIDS (Minnesota, 1994).

Keynote Presentation (2019) | Inhabiting the Open

Previous ACAS Presentations

Keynote Presentation (2015) | Convergence or Collision – Human Rights with or without Cultural Studies
Donald E. Hall
University of Rochester, USA

Biography

Donald E. Hall is Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at the University of Rochester, USA. Prior to moving to Rochester, he was Dean of Arts and Sciences at Lehigh University, USA. Dean Hall has published widely in the fields of British Studies, Gender Theory, Cultural Studies, and Professional Studies. Over the course of his career, 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. Before that, he was Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English at California State University, Northridge, 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 Lansdowne Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Victoria (Canada), was Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Cultural Studies at Karl Franzens University in Graz, Austria, and was Fulbright Specialist at the University of Helsinki. He has also taught in Sweden, Romania, Hungary, and China. He 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. From 2013-2017, he served 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 activist intellectualism, and the Victorian (and our continuing) interest in the deployment of instrumental agency over our social, vocational, and sexual selves. Among his many books and editions are the influential faculty development guides, The Academic Self and The Academic Community, both published by Ohio State University Press. Subjectivities and Reading Sexualities: Hermeneutic Theory and the Future of Queer Studies were both published by Routledge Press. Most recently he and Annamarie Jagose, of the University of Auckland, co-edited a volume titled The Routledge Queer Studies Reader. Though he is a full-time administrator, 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.

Professor Donald E. Hall is a Vice-President of IAFOR. He is Chair of the Arts, Humanities, Media & Culture division of the International Academic Advisory Board.

Keynote Presentation (2019) | Presentation information will be added here shortly

Previous Presentations

Keynote Presentation (2018) | The Cities We Fled
Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
Gloria Montero
Novelist, Playwright & Poet

Biography

Novelist, playwright and poet Gloria Montero grew up in a family of Spanish immigrants in Australia’s North Queensland. After studies in theatre and music, she began to work in radio and theatre, and then moved to Canada where she continued her career as an actress, singer, writer, broadcaster, scriptwriter and TV interviewer.

Co-founder of the Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples in Toronto (1972), she served as its Director until 1976. Following the success of her oral history The Immigrants (1973) she was invited to act as Consultant on Immigrant Women to the Multicultural Department of the Secretary of State, Government of Canada.

She organised the international conferences "Amnistia" (1970) and "Solidaridad" (1974) in Toronto to support and make known the democratic Spain that was developing in the last years of the Franco dictatorship, and in 1976 at Bethune College, York University, "Spain 1936-76: The Social and Cultural Aftermath of the Spanish Civil War".

With her husband, filmmaker David Fulton, she set up Montero-Fulton Productions to produce documentary films on social, cultural and ecological themes. Their film, Crisis in the Rain, on the effects of acid rain, won the Gold Camera Award American Film Festival 1982. Montero was consultant-interviewer on Dreams and Nightmares (A-O Productions, California) about Spain under Franco, a film that won international awards in Florence, Moscow, Leipzig and at the American Film Festival 1975.

Among her many radio documentaries for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are: The Music of Spain – a series of 18 hours which presented Spanish music within a social and historical framework; Segovia: the man and his music — a 2-hour special (Signature); Women and the Law (Ideas); Foreign Aid: Hand-out or Rip-Off (Ideas).

Since 1978 Montero has been living in Barcelona, where she has continued to write and publish novels such as The Villa Marini, All Those Wars and Punto de Fuga. Her poem Les Cambres was printed with a portfolio of prints by artist Kouji Ochiai (Contratalla 1983). A cycle of prose poems, Letters to Janez Somewhere in Ex-Yugoslavia, provided the basis for collaboration with painter Pere Salinas in a highly successful exhibition at Barcelona's Galería Eude (1995).

She won the 2003 NH Premio de Relato for Ménage à Trois, the first time the Prize was awarded for a short story in English.

Well known among her theatre work is the award-winning Frida K., which has toured Canada, played New York and Mexico and has been mounted in productions in Spain, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and Latvia.

Photo by Pilar Aymerich.

Keynote Presentation (2019) | Presentation information will be added here shortly

Previous IAFOR Presentations

Featured Presentation (CITY2018) | How can writers respond when the future looks fearful?
Featured Presentation (CITY2017) | My Barcelona – The City as Answer to a Personal Question
The 14th Doireann McDermott Lecture (CITY2016) | Filling in the Lonely, Empty Places
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 Presentation (2019) | Presentation information will be added shortly