Distinguished Professor Ien Ang

Profile photo of Professor Ien AngDistinguished Professor Ien Ang is a Professor of Cultural Studies and was the founding Director of the Institute for Culture and Society. She is one of the leaders in cultural studies worldwide, with interdisciplinary work spanning many areas of the humanities and social sciences. Her books, including Watching Dallas, Desperately seeking the audience and On not speaking Chinese, are recognised as classics in the field and her work has been translated into many languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Turkish, German, Korean, and Spanish. Her most recent books are The art of engagement: culture, collaboration, innovation (University of Western Australia Press, 2011, co-edited with Elaine Lally and Kay Anderson) and Cultural diplomacy: beyond the national interest (Routledge, 2016, co-edited with Yudhishthir Raj Isar and Phillip Mar).

Professor Ang's innovative interdisciplinary work deals broadly with patterns of cultural flow and exchange in our globalised world, focusing on issues such as:

  • the formation of audiences and publics
  • the politics of identity and difference
  • migration, ethnicity and multiculturalism in Australia and Asia
  • issues of representation in contemporary cultural institutions.

She is the recipient of numerous Australian Research Council grants, including a prestigious ARC Professorial Fellowship (2005-2009). Her current ARC research project is entitled The China Australia Heritage Corridor (with Dr Denis Byrne).

As a leading scholar in the field and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, she is frequently called on for keynote addresses in Australia and internationally. She is a champion of collaborative cultural research and has worked extensively with partner organisations such as the NSW Migration Heritage Centre, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, The Special Broadcasting Service, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the City of Sydney.

Professor Ang has had the title of Distinguished Professor conferred on her by Western Sydney University in recognition of her outstanding research record and eminence. She is the first person at the University to be conferred with this honour.

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PhD, 1990, Social and Cultural Sciences, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Doctorandus/Mphil, 1982, Mass Communication, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Kandidaats/BA, 1977, Psychology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Honours and Awards

2013: Presenter, Association for Cultural Studies Summer Institute, Klagenfurt, Austria

2012-2015: Chair, Expert Working Group, Asia Literacy: Language and Beyond, a project of the Securing Australia’s Future Program, Australian Council of Learned Academies for PMSEIC, through the Office of the Chief Scientist

2009-2011: Member, Thematic Issues and Working Group on Knowledge Generation, Skills and Perception in a Global World, Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC)

2009: Presenter, Annual Henry Mayer Lecture, University of Queensland (12 March)

2008: Presenter, Annual Wertheim Lecture, Auditorium, University of Amsterdam (5 June)

2008: Visiting Research Fellow, International Institute for Asian Studies, University of Leiden, Amsterdam Branch

2007: Conferred title of Distinguished Professor, University of Western Sydney

2006: Scholar in Residence, Scholars Program for Cultural and Communication, Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania

2005-2009: Australian Research Council Professorial Fellowship

2005: Visiting Professor, Advanced Cultural Studies Institute of Sweden, Linkoping University, Sweden

2004: Visiting Professor, City University of Hong Kong

2003: Recipient, Centenary Medal, Australian Commonwealth Government

2003: Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor, University of Bristol

2001: Presenter of the Annual History Lecture, History Council of NSW

2000: Fellow, Australian Academic of the Humanities

2001-2003: Elected Member, Council of the Australian Academy of the Humanities

2000: Isaac Manasseh Meyer Fellowship, National University of Singapore

1998: Center for Cultural Studies Resident Scholarship, University of California, Santa Cruz

1998: Obermann Center Research Fellowship, University of Iowa

1994: Cultural Studies Research Fellowship, East West Center, Hawaii

1992: Visiting Professor, University of Stockholm, Sweden

1986: Fulbright Fellowship, junior scholar category, City University of New York

1986-present: Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the following journals: New Formations, Cultural Studies, Continuum: Australian Journal for the Media, Cultural Studies Review, Social Semiotics, European Journal of Cultural Studies, Hecate, Feminist Media Studies, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Topia: Canadian Journal for Cultural Studies, Traces: Multilingual Journal for Cultural Theory, Ethnicities, Comparative American Studies, American Ethnologist

2003-2004: External advisor, National Museum of Australia

2002-2004: Member, International Advisory Committee, Institute for Citizenship and Globalization, Deakin University

2002: Australian reader, Humanities and Creative Arts panel, Australian Research Council

2001: International (Non UK) Adviser, Communications, Cultural and Media Studies assessment panel, Research Assessment Exercise, United Kingdom

1999-2003: External Examiner, Cultural Studies Program, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, PRC

1999-2002: Member, Reference Group for the Migration Heritage Centre, Premier's Department, State Government of New South Wales

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Selected Publications


Anderson, K, Ang, I, del Bono, A, McNeill, D & Wong, A (in press) 2019, Chinatown unbound: trans-Asian urbanism in the age of China (opens in a new window), Rowman & Littlefield, London & New York.

Ang, I, Isar, YR & Mar, P (eds) 2016, Cultural diplomacy: beyond the national interest? (opens in a new window), Routledge, London.

Lally, E, Ang, I & Anderson, K (eds) 2011, The art of engagement: culture, collaboration, innovation (opens in a new window), University of Western Australia Press, Perth.

Ang, I, Hawkins, G & Dabboussy, L 2008, The SBS story: the challenge of cultural diversity, UNSW Press, Sydney.

Ang, I 2001, On not speaking Chinese: living between Asia and the West (opens in a new window), Routledge, London & New York.

Ang, I 1996, Living room wars: rethinking media audiences for a postmodern world, Routledge, London & New York.

Ang, I 1991, Desperately seeking the audience, Routledge, London & New York.

Ang, I 1985, Watching Dallas: soap opera and the melodramatic imagination, Methuen, London.

Book Chapters

Ang, I & Noble, G 2018, ‘Making multiculture: Australia and the ambivalent politics of diversity’, in D Rowe, G Turner & E Waterton (eds), Making culture: commercialisation, transnationalism, and the state of ‘nationing’ in contemporary Australia (opens in a new window), Routledge, London, pp. 140-153.

Ang, I & Wong, A 2017, ‘From Chinatown to China’s town? The newest Chinese diaspora and the transformation of Sydney’s Chinatown’, in YW Chan & SY Koh (eds), New Chinese migrations: mobility, home and aspirations, Routledge, London, pp. 21–38.

Ang, I 2017, ‘Sydney's Chinatown and the rise of China’, in C Ming Wang & DPS Goh (eds), Precarious belongings: affect and nationalism in Asia, Rowman & Littlefield, New York, pp. 203–18.

Ang, I 2015, 'Change and continuity: art museums and the reproduction of art‐museumness' (opens in a new window), in A Witcomb & K Message, K (eds), The international handbooks of museum studies, volume 1: museum theory, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 211-31.

Ang, I 2013, 'No longer Chinese? Residual Chineseness after the rise of China', in J Kuehn, K Louie & DM Pomfret (eds), Diasporic Chineseness after the rise of China: communities and cultural production, University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, pp. 17-31.

Ang, I 2013, 'On display: the state of the world', in T Winter (ed.), Shanghai Expo: an international forum on the future of cities, Routledge, London, pp. 101-19.

Ang, I 2012, 'Culture as a site of struggle: the contribution of cultural studies', in Z Ibrahim & J Petaling (eds), Social science and knowledge in a globalising world, PSSM and Strategic Information and Research Development Centre, Malaysia, pp. 313-22.

Ang, I & Mar, P 2011, 'Making art matter: navigating the collaborative turn', in B Zelizer (ed.), Making the university matter, Routledge, London & New York, pp. 113-21.

Ang, I & Pothen, N 2011, 'The transnational communication of "racism": media, migration, and the shaping of international relations', in T Kuhn (ed.), Matters of communication: political, cultural, and technological challenges to communication theorizing, Hampton Press, New York, pp. 125-44.

Ang, I 2011, 'Unsettling the national: heritage and diaspora', in H Anheier & YR Isar (eds), Heritage, memory and identity, Sage, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore & Washington DC, pp. 82-94.

Ang, I 2011, 'Partnerships for contemporary art: bridging diverging worlds', in E Lally, I Ang, & K Anderson (eds), The art of engagement: culture, collaboration, innovation, University of Western Australia Press, Perth, pp. 69-91.

Mar, P, Lally, E, Ang, I & Kelly, M 2011, 'The artists and their projects: Craig Walsh, Heads Up; Sylvie Blocher/Campement Urbain, The Panthers of the Future/The Future of the Panthers; Ash Keating, Activate 2750; Jeanne van Heeswijk, Talking Trash: Personal Relationships with Waste', in E Lally, I Ang, & K Anderson (eds), The art of engagement: culture, collaboration, innovation, University of Western Australia Press, Perth, pp. 19-63.

Ang, I, Lally, E, Anderson K, Mar P & Kelly M 2011, 'Introduction: what is the art of engagement?', in E Lally, I Ang, & K Anderson (eds), The art of engagement: culture, collaboration, innovation, University of Western Australia Press, Perth, pp. 1-13.

Anderson, K, Ang, I & Lally, E 2011, 'Conclusion', in E Lally, I Ang, & K Anderson (eds), The art of engagement: culture, collaboration, innovation, University of Western Australia Press, Perth, pp. 225-29.

Ang, I 2010, 'Complex', in N Tsoutas (ed.), Australian, Casula Powerhouse, Casula, pp. 32-38.

Ang, I 2010, 'Sobre no hablar Chino: identificaciones diasporicas y etnicidad postmoderna', in PB Rodriguez & CR Gonzalez (eds), Nacion, diversidad y genero: perspetivas criticas, Anthropos, Rubi, pp. 185-214. [Reprint of: Ang, I 2001, On not speaking Chinese: living between Asia and the West, Routledge, London & New York.]

Ang, I 2009, 'Un courant dominant la recherche en communication: les Cultural Studies', in E Dacheux (ed.), Les sciences de l'information et de la communication, CNRS Éditions, Paris, pp. 67-91.

Ang, I 2008, 'Cultural studies', in T Bennett & J Frow (eds), The Sage handbook of cultural analysis, Sage Publications, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi & Singapore, pp. 227-48.

Ang, I 2007, 'Beyond Asian diasporas', in RS Parrenas & CDS Lok (eds), Asian diasporas: new formations, new conceptions, Stanford University Press, Palo Alto, pp. 285-90.

Ang, I 2007, 'Between Asia and the West', in M Perkins (ed.), Visibly different: face, place and race in Australia, Peter Lang, Bern, pp. 175-80.

Ang, I 2006, 'The art museum as monument: cultural change contained', in M Lake (ed.), Memory, monuments and museums: the past in the present, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, pp. 138-50.

Ang, I 2005, 'Diaspora', 'Difference' and 'Multiculturalism', in T Bennett, L Grossberg, & M Morris (eds), New keywords in culture and society, Blackwell, Oxford.

Ang, I 2005, 'Who needs cultural research?', in P Leystina (ed.), Cultural studies and practical politics: theory, coalition building, and social activism, Blackwell, New York, pp. 477-83.

Ang, I 2004, 'Beyond transnational nationalism: questioning the borders of the Chinese diaspora in the global city', in BSA Yeoh & K Willis (eds), State/nation/transnation: perspectives of transnationalism in the Asia-Pacific, Routledge, London & New York, pp. 179-98.

Ang, I 2004, 'The cultural intimacy of TV drama', in K Iwabuchi (ed.), Feeling Asian modernities: transnational consumption of Japanese TV dramas (opens in a new window), Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, pp. 303-09.

Ang, I 2003, 'Im Reich der Unsicherheit. Das globale Dorf und die kapitalistische Postmoderne', in A Hepp & C Winter (eds), Die Cultural Studies Kontroverse, Klumpen Verlag, Hamburg, pp. 84-110.

Ang, I 2003, 'From White Australia to Fortress Australia: the anxious nation in the new century', in L Jayasuriya, D Walker & J Gothard (eds), Legacies of White Australia: race, culture and nation, University of Western Australia Press, Crawley, pp. 51-69.

Ang, I 2003, 'Cultural translation in a globalised world', in N Papastergiadis (ed.), Complex entanglements: arts, globalisation and cultural difference, Rivers Oram Press, London, pp. 30-41.

Ang, I 2001, 'Desperately guarding borders: media globalization, "cultural imperialism" and the rise of "Asia"", in S Yao (ed.), House of glass: culture, modernity and the state in Southeast Asia, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore pp. 27-45.

Ang, I 2001, 'Trapped in ambivalence: Chinese Indonesians, victimhood and the debris of history', in M Morris & B de Bary (eds), 'Race' panic and the memory of migration (opens in a new window), Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, pp. 21-47.

Ang, I 2000, 'Identity blues', in P Gilroy, L Grossberg & A McRobbie (eds), Without guarantees. In honour of Stuart Hall, Verso, London, pp. 1-13.

Stratton, J & Ang, I 1998, 'Multicultural imagined communities: cultural difference and national identity in the USA and Australia', in D Bennett, D. (ed.), Multicultural states: rethinking difference and identity, Routledge, London & New York, pp. 135-62.

Ang, I 1995, 'I'm a feminist but...: "other" women and postnational feminism', in B Caine & R Pringle (eds), Transitions: new Australian feminisms, Allen and Unwin, St Leonards, pp. 57-73.

Ang, I 1994, 'In the realm of uncertainty: the global village and capitalist postmodernity', in D Crowley & D Mitchell (eds), Communication theory today, Polity Press, Oxford, pp. 193-213.

Journal Articles

Noble, G & Ang, I 2018, ‘Ethnicity and cultural consumption in Australia’ (opens in a new window), Continuum, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 296-307.

Ang, I 2017, ‘What are museums for?: the enduring friction between nationalism and cosmopolitanism’, Identities, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 1–5.

Ang, I 2017, 'Claiming Chinatown: Asian Australians, public art and the making of urban culture', Journal of Australian Studies, DOI: 10.1080/14443058.2017.1343252.

Ang, I 2016, 'Stuart Hall and the tension between academic and intellectual work', International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol 19, no. 1, pp. 29-41.

Ang, I 2016, 'At home in Asia? Sydney's Chinatown and Australia's "Asian Century"' (opens in a new window), International Journal of Cultural Studies.

Ang, I, Isar, YR & Mar, P 2015, 'Cultural diplomacy: beyond the national interest?', International Journal of Cultural Policy, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 365-381. Special issue: Cultural diplomacy – beyond the national interest? (guest eds I Ang, YR Isar & P Mar).

Ang, I 2014, 'Beyond unity in diversity: cosmopolitanizing identities in a globalizing world', Diogenes, vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 10-20.

Ang, I 2014, 'Beyond Chinese groupism: Chinese Australians between assimilation, multiculturalism and diaspora', Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 37, no. 7, pp. 1184-1196.

Ang, I 2014, 'Not yet post-Asia: paradoxes of identity and knowledge in transational times', Asian Cinema, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 125-137.

Ang, I 2013, 'Cultural studies matters (does it?): engaging inter/disciplinarity', Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 432-37.

Ang, I 2012, 'Dépasser l'unité dans la diversité: pour des identitiés cosmopolites', Diogène, vol. 237, pp. 12-27.

Ang, I 2011, 'Navigating complexity: from cultural critique to cultural intelligence', Continuum, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 779-94.

Ang, I 2011, 'Ethnicities and our precarious future', Ethnicities, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 27-31.

Ang, I 2010, 'Australia, China, and Asian regionalism: navigating distant proximity', Amerasia Journal, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 127-40.

Ang, I 2009, 'Provocation - beyond multiculturalism: a journey to nowhere?', Humanities Research, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 17-21.

Ang, I & Pothen, N 2009, 'Between promise and practice: Web 2.0, intercultural dialogue and digital scholarship' (opens in a new window), Fibreculture, 14.

Ang, I 2009, 'Henry Mayer Lecture 2009 – From Dallas to SBS: the popular, the global and the diverse on television', Media International Australia, no. 131, pp. 6-15.

Ang, I 2008, 'Passengers on train Australia', Griffith Review: Re-Imagining Australia, no. 19, pp. 227-39.

Ang, I 2007, 'Television fictions around the world: melodrama and irony in global perspective' (opens in a new window), Critical Studies in Television, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 18-30.

Hawkins, G & Ang, I 2007, 'Inventing SBS: televising the foreign' (opens in a new window), ACH: The Journal of the History of Culture in Australia, vol. 26, no.1, pp. 1-14.

Ang, I & Cassity, E 2006, 'Humanities-industry partnerships and the "knowledge society": the Australian experience' (opens in a new window), Minerva, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 47-63.

Ang, I 2006, 'From cultural studies to cultural research: engaged scholarship in the 21st century' (opens in a new window), Cultural Studies Review, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 183-97.

Ang, I 2005, 'The predicament of diversity: multiculturalism in practice at the art museum' (opens in a new window), Ethnicities, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 305-20.

Ang, I 2005, 'De-Americanizing the global? Overcoming fundamentalism in a volatile world' (opens in a new window), Comparative American Studies, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 267-81.

Ang, I 2004, 'Between Asia and the West: the cultural politics of food', LifeWriting, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 147-54.

Koser, K, Werbner, P & Ang, I 2004, 'Cultural research and refugee studies: new knowledge, methodologies, and practical implications; a panel commentary', Social Analysis, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 59-65.

Ang, I 2003, 'Representing social life in a conflicting global world: from diaspora to hybridity', Hong Kong Journal of Sociology, no. 4, pp. 1-12.

Ang, I 2003, 'Intertwining histories: nation, migration and heritage', AUMLA: Journal of the Australian Universities Language and Literature Association, no. 99, pp. 23-35.

Ang, I 2003, 'Together-in-difference: beyond diaspora, into hybridity' (opens in a new window), Asian Studies Review, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 141-54.

Ang, I 2002, 'After "911": defending the global city' (opens in a new window), Ethnicities, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 160-62.

Ang, I 2001, 'Intertwining histories: heritage and diversity', Australian Humanities Review, 24 September.

Ang, I & Stratton J 1996, 'Asianing Australia: notes toward a critical transnationalism in cultural studies', Cultural Studies, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 16-36.


Ang, I, Rowe, D, Magee, L, Wong, A, Swist, T, Rouillard, D & Polio, A 2016, Mapping culture: venues and infrastructure in the City of Sydney (opens in a new window)(PDF, 11.6MB), Western Sydney University, Penrith.

Wong, A, Anderson, K, Ang, I & McNeill, D 2016, Sydney's Chinatown in the Asian century: from ethnic enclave to global hub: a research report (opens in a new window). Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University.

Mar, P & Ang, I 2015, Promoting diversity of cultural expression in arts in Australia (opens in a new window). Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney.

Ang, I, Tambiah, Y & Mar, P 2015, Smart engagement with Asia: leveraging language, research and culture, Australian Council of Learned Academies, Melbourne.

Ang, I, Brand, J, Noble, G & Sternberg, J 2006, Connecting diversity: paradoxes of multicultural Australia, Special Broadcasting Service Corporation, Sydney.

Ang, I & Cassity, E 2004, Attraction of strangers: partnerships in humanities research (opens in a new window), Australian Academy of the Humanities, Canberra.

Ang, I, Brand, J, Noble, G & Wilding, D 2002, Living diversity: Australia's multicultural future, Special Broadcasting Service Corporation, Sydney.


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Professor Ang spoke to the 'New Stories. Bold Legends: Stories from Sydney Lunar Festival' podcast about her life, her work, and her multicultural identity. Listen to the podcast (opens in a new window).