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The Australian National University

Dr Ross Tapsell

PhD (Wollongong) BA Hons (Sydney)
Lecturer in Asian Studies School of Culture, History & Language
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
T: + 61 2 6125 3677

Areas of expertise

  • Studies Of Asian Society 169903
  • Asian Cultural Studies 200202
  • Other Language, Communication And Culture 2099
  • Historical Studies 2103

Research interests

My main research interests focus on Southeast Asian society, with a particular interest in new, digital technologies and their relationship to culture, nationalism, media and politics in Indonesia and Malaysia. My ongoing research interests focus on freedom of expression, media freedom and creative industries. I also write regularly on Australia-Indonesia relations.




Ross Tapsell is a lecturer and researcher on Indonesia and Malaysia.

Upon completion of his PhD in History, 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 will convene 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.


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:  29 August 2016 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers