Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus

Dr Bertha Chin

Lecturer, Social Media major
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


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. Her thesis explored the notion of community boundaries and the construction of fan celebrities in cult and science fiction television. She has published extensively in the field of fan studies, crowdfunding and social media. She is a board member of the Fan Studies Network, co-organises the Fan Studies Network conference in the UK every year. In 2017, she set up an Australian chapter of the network for fan studies scholars based in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Fandom Studies, Celebrity Studies, and Transformative Works and Cultures. She also 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.

Research Interests

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

Teaching Areas

  • Social media
  • Digital Technology

Professional Memberships

  • Fan Studies Network
  • Society of Cinema and Media Studies
  • Transformative Works and Cultures

Postgraduate Supervision

Bertha is an accredited associate supervisor. She currently supervisors PhD projects that are looking at cultural anthropology and postcolonialism, and social media and the academic identity.

Recent Medias

  • “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, Lucy Bennett, and Bethan Jones, eds. 2015. Crowdfunding the Future: Media Industries, Ethics and Digital Society. New York: Peter Lang Publishers.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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 “Heritage crop” [Invited speaker with Raine Melissa Riman] at Borneo Coffee Symposium, Old Court House, Kuching, 6 – 7 April, 2019
  • Public Talk “I have all the feels: Appropriate fandom, pleasure and play” [Keynote address] at Playful Encounters, University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China, 29 – 30 Sept 2018.
  • 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