Staff Profile

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Dr Bertha Chin

Senior Lecturer, Social Media and Communication
PhD (Media and Cultural Studies) (Cardiff), MRes, MA (Media and Communications) (Goldsmiths College), BA (Film and English Literature) (Edith Cowan University).

Faculty of Business, Design and Arts

Office No:+60 82 260 925
Fax No:+60 82 260 815
Room No: B334
Email: bchin@swinburne.edu.my
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Dr Bertha taught classes in media theory, advertising and digital culture at various higher institutions in the UK before returning to Kuching. She obtained her PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from Cardiff University. She has published extensively in the field of fan studies, celebrity studies, crowdfunding and social media. She is a board member of the UK-based Fan Studies Network, and in 2017, set up an Australian and Asian chapter of the network for fan studies scholars based in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. She is one of the few Asian scholars on the editorial board of the prestigious International Journal of Cultural Studies, and Celebrity Studies, as well as the Journal of Fandom Studies and Transformative Works and Cultures. Bertha is also a member of the Asian Media and Cultural Studies Research Network. She consulted for various independent films, web series and gaming projects on social media and audience engagement, one of which was developed into a series for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation while she was in the UK.

Since moving back to Sarawak from the UK, she has also become interested in coffee culture and Sarawak heritage, and in her spare time, volunteers for The Brooke Trust, a charitable organisation promoting the recognition and appreciation of Sarawak’s unique history and heritage. She is also on the committee member of The Sarawak Association, a UK-based organisation with historical roots that connects Sarawakians and those with an interest in Sarawak.

Research Interests

Cultural studies, Fandom, Social Media, Digital Culture, Celebrity Culture, Creative and Media Industries, Identity, Postcolonialism, Lived Culture, Feminism

Teaching Areas

  • Social media
  • Communication
  • Digital Technology

Professional Memberships

  • Fan Studies Network
  • Society of Cinema and Media Studies
  • Transformative Works and Cultures
  • Inter-Asia Cultural Studies

Postgraduate Supervision

Bertha is an accredited associate supervisor. She is currently supervising PhD projects that are looking at critical anthropology and postcolonialism, Chinese fandom, and, anime fandom and transnational media flows.

Recent Medias

  • “Social media is not real life?”, Red Lipstick with Nad Kamal, RedFM, 2021
    “We have a voice and it’s very loud”: How K-pop fans took on Trump and won, ABC News, 2020. Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-27/k-pop-fans-are-mobilising-a-base-political-activism-philanthropy/12392308
  • “Fans: What do you go nuts for“, Nightlife with Indira Naidoo, ABC Radio, 2020. Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nightlife/fans-what-do-you-go-nuts-for/12682060
  • “When Fans go Stan”, Stop Everything! with Benjamin Law and Beverley Wang, ABC Radio, 2019. Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/stop-everything/fan-stan-game-of-thrones-indigenous-arthur-jafa/11142746
  • “Awakening of the Sarawak coffee” by Georgette Tan, KINO Magazine, Issue #35, 2019. Available at: https://www.kuchinginandout.com/features/awakening-of-the-sarawak-coffee
  • “Fan studies: looking beyond the crazy” by Guinevere A. Pakar, New Sarawak Tribune, 20 February 2017.

Research Outputs

  • Edited collection  Chin, Bertha, CarrieLynn Reinhard, and Julia Largent, eds. (2020). Eating Fandom: Intersections Between Fans and Food Cultures. London: Routledge
  • Edited collection  Chin, Bertha, Lucy Bennett, and Bethan Jones, eds. 2015. Crowdfunding the Future: Media Industries, Ethics and Digital Society. New York: Peter Lang Publishers.
  • Special issue journal (edited) Chin, Bertha, and Wikanda Promkhuntong, eds. 2019. “Fandom and Cinephilia in Southeast Asia.” Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media and Society 16 (2). http://www.plarideljournal.org/issue/volume-16-issue-02/
  • Edited collection  Chin, Bertha, CarrieLynn Reinhard, and Julia Largent, eds. (under contract). Eating Fandom: Intersections Between Fans and Food Cultures.
  • Special issue journal (edited)  Chin, Bertha, Renee Middlemost, and Matt Hills, eds. 2018. “Themed Section: Australasian Fan Studies Network.” Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies 15 (2). http://www.participations.org/Volume%2015/Issue%202/contents.htm.
  • Special issue journal (edited)  Chin, Bertha, Lucy Bennett, and Bethan Jones, eds. 2015. “Crowdfunding: A New Media & Society Special Issue.” New Media & Society 17 (2). https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444814558906.
  • Special issue journal (edited) Chin, Bertha, and Lori Morimoto, eds. 2015. “Themed Section 1: Transcultural Fandom.” Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies 12 (2). http://www.participations.org/Volume%2012/Issue%202/contents.htm
  • Book chapter  Chin, Bertha. 2019. “When Hated Characters Talk Back: Twitter, Hate, and Fan/Celebrity Interactions.” In Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age, edited by Melissa Click, 291–314. New York: NYU Press.
  • Book chapter  Chin, Bertha. 2018. “It’s About Who You Know: Social Capital, Hierarchies and Fandom.” In A Companion to Media Fandom and Fan Studies, edited by Paul Booth, 243–56. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Book chapter  Chin, Bertha, and Lori Morimoto. 2017. “Reimagining the Imagined Community: Online Media Fandoms in the Age of Media Convergence.” In Fandom 2nd Edition: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, edited by Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss, and C Lee Harrington, 2nd ed., 174–88. New York: NYU Press.
  • Book chapter  Chin, Bertha, Aswin Punathambekar, and Sangita Shresthova. 2017. “A Conversation on Race and Transcultural Fandom.” In Routledge Companion to Media Fandom, edited by Melissa Click and Suzanne Scott, 298–306. London ; New York: Routledge.
  • Book chapter Chin, Bertha, and Melanie Bourdaa. 2017. “World and Fandom Building: Extending the Universe of Arrow in Arrow 2.5.” In Arrow and Superhero Television: Essays on Themes and Characters of the Series, edited by James F. Iaccino, Cory Barker, and Myc Wiatrowski, 177–90. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company.
  • Book chapter  Chin, Bertha, and Bethan Jones. 2017. “Digital Platforms and Crowdfunding.” In The Routledge Companion to British Cinema History, edited by I.Q. Hunter, Laraine Porter, and Justin Smith, 418–28. London ; New York: Routledge., Bertha (with Bennett, Lucy and Jones, Bethan) (2016) “Between Ethics, Privacy, Fandom and Social Media: New trajectories that challenge media producer/fan relations” in Paul Booth and Amber Davisson (eds.) Controversies in Digital Ethics, Bloomsbury: London.
  • Book chapter Chin, Bertha. 2016. “Social Media, Promotional Culture, and Participatory Fandom.” In Public Relations and Participatory Culture: Fandom, Social Media and Community Engagement, edited by Amber Hutchins and Natalie T.J. Tindall, 8–12. London ; New York: Routledge.
  • Book chapter Chin, Bertha, Melanie Bourdaa, and Nicolle Lamerichs. 2016. “The Transmedia Practices of Battlestar Galactica: Studying the Industry, Stars, and Fans.” In Public Relations and Participatory Culture: Fandom, Social Media and Community Engagement, edited by Amber Hutchins and Natalie T.J. Tindall, 195–205. London ; New York: Routledge.
  • Journal article Chin, Bertha, 2019. “Note from the Editors: The state of Fan Studies in South East Asia.” Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media and Society 16 (2). http://www.plarideljournal.org/article/volume-16-issue-02-note-from-the-editors/
  • Journal article Chin, Bertha, William Proctor, Bridget Kies, Richard McCulloch, Katherine Larsen, Rukmini Pande, and Mel Stanfill. 2018. “Roundtable on Toxic Fan Practices.” Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies 15 (1): 370–93.
  • Journal article  Chin, Bertha, Matt Hills, and Renee Middlemost. 2017. “Introduction to the FSN Australasia 2017 Themed Section.” Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies 15 (2): 263–69. http://www.participations.org/Volume%2015/Issue%202/16.pdf
  • Journal article  Chin, Bertha, and Lori Morimoto. 2015. “Introduction: Fan and Fan Studies in Transcultural Context.” Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies 12 (2): 174–79. http://www.participations.org/Volume%2012/Issue%202/10.pdf 
  • Journal article  Chin, Bertha, Lucy Bennett, and Bethan Jones. 2015. “Introduction to Crowdfunding: A New Media & Society Special Issue.” New Media & Society 17 (2): 141–48. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444814558906.
  • Journal article  Chin, Bertha (with Jones, Bethan, McNutt, Myles and Pebler, Luke) (2014) “TWC Symposium Roundtable: Veronica Mars Kickstarter and crowdfunding” In “Fandom and/as Labor,” edited by Mel Stanfill and Megan Condis, special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 15.http://dx.doi.org/10.3983/twc.2014.0519
  • Journal article  Chin, Bertha (2013) “Locating Anti-Fandom in Extratextual Mash-ups”. M/C Journal Vol 16(4), Themed issue on Remix, edited by Andrew Whelan and Katharina Freund. Available at http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/viewArticle/684
  • Journal article  Chin, Bertha (with Morimoto, Lori) (2013) “Towards a Theory of Transcultural Fandom”. Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies Vol 10(1), Special Issue on Fan Studies Network: New Connections, New Research, edited by Lucy Bennett and Tom Phillips, pp. 92-108. Available athttp://www.participations.org/Volume%2010/Issue%201/7%20Chin%20&%20Morimoto%2010.1.pdf
  • Journal article Chin, Bertha (2013) “The fan-media producer collaboration: how conflict and fan relationships are managed in a post-series X-Files fandom”. Journal of Science Fiction Film and Television Vol 6(1), Special Issue on The X-Files 20th Anniversary, edited by Stacey Abbott and Simon Brown, pp. 87-99.
  • Journal article  Chin, Bertha (with Hills, Matt) (2008) “Restricted Confessions? Blogging, subcultural celebrity and the management of producer-fan proximity”. Social Semiotics, Vol 18(2), Special Issue on The Star and Celebrity Confessional, edited by Sean Redmond, pp. 253-272.
  • Book review Chin, Bertha. 2016. “[Book Review] ‘Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century,’ Edited by Kristin M. Barton and Jonathan Malcolm Lampley.” Transformative Works & Cultures 21. https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2016.0700.
  • Keynote address [invited] “The truth is still out there: Fan studies, marginalisation, and the acafan identity” at Fan Studies Network Australasia 2019 Conference, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, 11-13 December 2019
  • Keynote address [invited] “Into the Badlands (of Hollywood): Non-threatening Asian celebrities and visibility” at Fame and Fandom: Functioning On and Offline (Fame & Persona Research Consortium), University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, 8-10 December 2019
  • Keynote address [invited] “I have all the feels: Appropriate fandom, pleasure and play” at Playful Encounters Conference, University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China, 29-30 September 2018
  • Conference Presentation “Heritage Crop” (with Raine Melissa Riman) at Borneo Coffee Symposium, Old Court House, Kuching, Malaysia, 6-7 April 2019
  • Conference Presentation “Shethority: Moving beyond playing a superhero on television” at Superheroes Beyond, ACMI, Melbourne, Australia, 6 – 8 Dec, 2018
  • Conference Presentation “The displaced fan studies scholar and the third space: an autoethnography” at the 6th Annual Fan Studies Network Conference, Cardiff University, UK, 29 – 30 June, 2018
  • Conference Presentation  “The liminal space of the fan studies scholar in Southeast Asia: an ethnographic approach” at The Third Annual Popular Culture and Education Conference, The Education University of Hong Kong, HK, 20-22 July 2017.
  • Conference Presentation  “#FriendshipGoals or #Queerbaiting: representation, female friendships and the construction of the ideal fan” at the Fifth Annual Fan Studies Network Conference, University of Huddersfield, UK, 24-25 June 2017
  • Conference Presentation  “Felicity Smoak is a superhero: CW’s Arrow and the Felicity Smoak fandom” at the Superhero Identities Symposium, ACMI, Melbourne, Australia, 8-9 December 2016
  • Conference Presentation  “Social media and policing: can the celebrity-as-fan ever be authentic?” at Celebrity Studies Journal Conference, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 28-30 June 2016
  • Conference Presentation “Bad fan behaviour ruins it for the rest of us: fandom policing as a form of ‘fanagement’” at Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Annual Conference, Atlanta, USA, 30 March – 3 April 2016
  • Conference Presentation  “Orlando Jones needs to GTFO of our fandom: Supernatural conventions and gate-keeping” at Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand, 29 June – 1 July 2015
  • Conference Presentation  “Love and hate on Twitter: the celebrity-fan relationship on social media” at Celebrity Studies Journal Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, 19-21 June 2014
  • Conference Presentation  “From “Dear gracious backers” to “Dear whomever”: crowdfunding and accountability” at Cult Cinema and Technological Change Conference, Aberystwyth University, UK, 15-16 April 2014
  • Conference Presentation  “Captain of the ‘ship’: The production of the celebrity persona and fan policing” at Producers and Audiences Conference, University of Lund, Sweden, 20 March 2014
  • Non-peer reviewed articles  Chin, Bertha (2016) “Live long and prosper, and the truth is out there: What is fan studies?” in Discover, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak, Kuching.
  • Non-peer reviewed articles  Chin, Bertha (2016) “Star Wars and the legitimisation of fans in fandom-sceptical South East Asia” in The Force has Awoken: Star Wars Special Edition, Episode 12, Deletion  http://www.deletionscifi.org/episodes/episode-12/star-wars-and-the-legitimisation-of-fans-in-fandom-sceptical-south-east-asia/
  • Non-peer reviewed articles  Chin, Bertha (2015) “Potential implications of crowdfunding in the field of fan studies and academia” in MediaCommons: A Digital Scholarly Network http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/question/what-are-potential-implications-crowdfunding-academic-research-and-teaching/response/potent
  • Guest Lecture  “The fandom is now public: empowering or ‘appropriating’ fans?” at Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Melbourne, 29 March 2017
  • Public Talk “Episode 110A: Transcultural Fandom”, Three Patch Podcast, 17 November 2020. Available at: https://three-patch.com/2020/11/17/episode-110a/
  • Public Talk “Fandom, Icons and Legacies”, Project Insight, 9 September 2020. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1147506372309977
  • Public Talk “Transcending Realms: The fan culture experience” Project Insight, 8 August 2020. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=678623206061120
  • Public Talk “Asian celebrity and the pandemic: Misreading the room?”, Asian Media and Cultural Studies Network, 18 June 2020. Available at: https://youtu.be/T5EfivXmajw
  • Public Talk “Heritage crop” [Invited speaker with Raine Melissa Riman] at Borneo Coffee Symposium, Old Court House, Kuching, 6 – 7 April, 2019
  • Public Talk  “Social Media: the age of fandom?” at Sharing My Passion, The Museum Café and Shop at the Main Bazaar, Kuching, 1 February 2017
  • Public Talk  “Fans and merchandising” at Science to Society, Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak, 19 October 2016