School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Image of Joanne Lim

Joanne Lim

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts


  • workRoom EA13 Block E
    Malaysia Campus
    Jalan Broga
    43500 Semenyih
    Selangor Darul Ehsan
  • work+6 (03) 8924 8197
  • fax+6 (03) 8924 8020

Expertise Summary

Dr Joanne Lim is Associate Professor of Communication, Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia. She is Head of School (Media, Languages, & Cultures) & Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Joanne holds a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies and an MA in Global Media from the University of East London, UK, and had been appointed Visiting Research Fellow with the National University of Singapore in 2013. Dr Lim has taught in the areas of (New) Media and Journalism, Cultural Policy and the Creative Industries. Her research focuses on areas of participatory media and New Communication Technologies, interculturality, youth identities and civic/political engagement within the Malaysian-Southeast Asian context. She is Associate Editor of Media Asia (Routledge). She has authored a number of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters including Mobile Media and Youth Engagement in Malaysia (2014), East Asian Trends: Negotiating youth identities, culture and citizenship (2014), Rhizomatic Behaviours in Social Media: V-logging and the Independent Film Industry in Malaysia (2013) and has been invited to speak at numerous conferences worldwide (including South Korea, South Africa, Vietnam and Singapore). Dr Lim is currently involved in several research projects including: 'Integrating New Communication Technology: A Study of Media Convergence in the Malaysian Democracy' and 'Youth Theatre: Fostering Interculturality Through the Performing Arts in Malaysia'. She also has experience working as a journalist with one of Malaysia's leading newspaper. She also worked as a Broadcast Journalist in Alberta, Canada and as a Co-producer of a radio talk show in Seattle, USA. At present, Dr Lim is currently working on a research monograph which explores new media and public participation in a democracy.

Teaching Summary

Joanne teaches at all levels of the International Communications Studies programmes and the MA in Cultural Studies, specialising in the areas of Media and Cultural Studies, Postcolonialism, Political… read more

Research Summary

Joanne is currently leading two research projects funded by the Malaysian Department of Higher Education. The first project under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme focuses on 'Social Media and… read more


  • Deputy Head of School
  • Deputy Director, Centre for the Study of Communications and Culture
  • Chair, Faculty Internship Working Party
  • Nottingham Advantage Award Liaison (SMLC)
  • FASS Ethics Committee Representative (SMLC)
  • Head of External Relations, Career Development and Alumni Relations (SMLC)


  • Head of Undergraduate Programmes
  • Admissions Tutor
  • Academic-Library Liaison
  • Marketing and Recruitment Committee Member (Faculty-level)
  • Teaching and Learning Committee Member (Faculty-level)

Joanne teaches at all levels of the International Communications Studies programmes and the MA in Cultural Studies, specialising in the areas of Media and Cultural Studies, Postcolonialism, Political Communication and the Creative Industries. She is a follower of Stuart Hall and finds areas of postmodernism and post-structuralism to be particularly significant in raising questions about the dialectical struggle between East and West, and the discourses of power and identity within and between nations and nation-states. She also engages with psychoanalytic theory and the work of such thinkers as Jacques Lacan, Homi Bhabha, Edward Said and Gayathri Spivak in examining issues concerning multiculturalism, national identity, religious fragmentation, racial tension, gender (in)equality, and the suppression of human rights. She is particularly interested in the study of Youth Cultures and Identities, and their use of alternative media forms to articulate and legitimate competing ideological agendas, especially within highly censored societies.

Foundation modules:

  • Media and Texts: Culture
  • Media and Texts: Society
  • Foundations in Politics, Media and Culture

Undergraduate modules:

  • Introduction to Cultural Studies
  • Cultures of Everyday Life
  • Political Communication, PR and Propaganda
  • Writing for the Media
  • Culture, Film and Media Dissertation
  • Politics, Culture and Media in Southeast Asia

Postgraduate modules:

  • Cultural Policy
  • Research Methods in Cultural Studies
  • Working in the Culture Industry

Current Research

Joanne is currently leading two research projects funded by the Malaysian Department of Higher Education. The first project under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme focuses on 'Social Media and the Agency of Youth in Malaysia'. The study examines the politics of social media in Malaysia and the issues of youth as consumers, youth as representations and youth as creators, to offer an understanding of changing lives and frustrated desires, contradictions and dispersed sites of youth agency that are refracted into various degrees and forms. By comparing how young adults engage with social media based on their geographical location and social/political determinisms, it may be possible to observe different forces contend to fix their own meanings and (alternative) definitions in the construction of national-and-self identity. The findings of this study will be useful to consider social media as an essential tool in the project of social, cultural and political restructuring.

The second project, 'Youth Theatre: Fostering Interculturality through the Performing Arts in Malaysia' is being conducted under Exploratory Research Grant Scheme. The project will take the form of an "instrumental case study" this will involve developing and implementing a carefully planned series of actions which will test the potential benefits of including intercultural theatre in the school programme as a way of supporting the personal development of young people and delivering on broader social and economic development goals. The project will involve the development and introduction of a pilot programme of two years duration during which an intercultural drama project will take place in a small number of selected schools. Such a project may have the potential to turn one of the defining characteristics of Malaysian society,its diversity, into a competitive advantage for its young people, providing the ideal context in which to foster the development of high order thinking skills.

Joanne was also recently appointed as visiting research fellow with the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (more specifically, the Cultural Studies Research Cluster led by Professor Chua Beng Huat). Her work in Singapore involved an extended research project on social media, comparing youth identities and cultural participation between young adults in Singapore and Malaysia (with further plans to explore youth cultures within the wider Asian region).

Past Research

Joanne was the country researcher on the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada) PAN eGov Project involving six nations, entitled 'Youth, ICTs, and Political Engagements in Asia'. The project had set out to examine the role of ICT to mobilize and advocate (political) change among young Malaysians. The project culminated in a series of reports and a journal article on Videoblogging and Youth Activism in Malaysia, published in the International Communication Gazette.

Her past research also focused on the cultural politics of the reality TV phenomenon within a postcolonial context and published an article entitled 'Reinventing Nationalism' in Media, Consumption and Everyday Life in Asia.

Previous research also focused on the impact of ICT on Broadcast Journalism, comparing the adoption of ICT between news stations in Malaysia and the United States. This resulted in several published articles including a chapter in Research in Language, Literature and Communication.

Future Research

Research concerned with discourses on media and globalization, which explores the politics and implications of the media within Asian transformations (identities, cultures and state politics) in this new era of technology and political reform. Future research areas include media monitoring, social/alternative media (from independent filmmaking to Internet blogging), youth agency, citizen/activist journalism, self/social governance, gender and human rights.

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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