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The Australian National University

Dr Ross Tapsell

PhD (Wollongong) BA Hons (Sydney)
Lecturer, Department of Gender, Media and Culture
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
T: + 61 2 6125 3677

Areas of expertise

  • Studies Of Asian Society 169903
  • Communication Technology And Digital Media Studies 200102
  • Asian Cultural Studies 200202
  • Media Studies 200104

Research interests

My main research interests focus on new, digital technologies and their relationship to culture, nationalism, media and politics in Southeast Asia. My ongoing research interests focus on the changing information societies of the Asian region and how this affects freedom of expression, media freedom, political participation and elections. 




Ross Tapsell is a lecturer and researcher at the ANU's College of Asia and the Pacific, specialising in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Upon completion of his PhD, Ross was a recipient of the Australian Government Endeavour Postdoctorate Award. He has been a Visiting Fellow at The University of Indonesia (Jakarta), Airlangga University (Surabaya) and Indiana University (Bloomington, US). He has previously worked in Indonesia with The Jakarta Post and the Lombok Post. 

Ross is involved in a number of Southeast-Asia activities at the ANU, including the Indonesia Project, the Southeast Asia Institute, and the academic news/analysis website New Mandala. He is also on the editorial board of the scholarly journal Asiascape: Digital Asia (Brill). 

As well as scholarly publications, Ross's articles have appeared in The Canberra Times, ABC's The Drum, The Converstaion, Tempo, The Jakarta Post, the Malay Mail and others. 

Researcher's projects

I am currently writing a book 'Digital Battlefields: Elites and individual citizens in Indonesia' (working title) accepted with an international publisher.

In September 2016 I convened the ANU Indonesia Update Conference 'Digital Indonesia' with Dr Edwin Jurriens (Melbourne University). We will produce an edited book from the conference theme, due out in early 2017. The conference website is available here:


Current student projects

A'an Suryana  - Religious freedom in Indonesia

Evi Eliyanah - Contemporary Indonesian women film-makers

Nunsol Jang - Korean migrant wives media

Wawan Ichwannudin - Political party membership in Indonesia


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Updated:  22 October 2016 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers