COVID-19 Conversations 1: Introduction

Dr Gaik Cheng Khoo & Dr Bridget Welsh from the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute Malaysia (UoNARI-M) introduces our lecture series entitled COVID-19 Conversations where they sit down with experts from the interdisciplinary network of UoNARI Malaysia to look at what are the broader effects on society, economy and governance. The series asks what will the ‘new normal’ post-COVID-19 be like, and what needs to be done now to better understand the multi-faceted impact of COVID-19.


Dr Gaik Cheng Khoo: Gaik’s work focuses on cinema and independent filmmaking in Malaysia; cosmopolitan spaces including public eating places like kopitiam and mamak stalls; race, religion and the politics of identity; multiculturalism and food. Lately she is focusing on Korean migrants in Malaysia as exemplary of generational and attitudinal changes among South Koreans. As transnational migrants on the move for studies, work, play, or retirement, they register in complex, layered and sometimes contradictory ways, a kind of resistance to traditional stereotypes of S. Korean middle class aspirations and status. Gaik is interested in how temporality, modernity and happiness figure in their migration and settlement. For more information on the work Gaik does, visit…

Dr Bridget Welsh: Bridget Welsh is currently an Honorary Research Associate with the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute Malaysia (UoNARI-M) based in Kuala Lumpur. She is also a Senior Research Associate of the Hu Fu Center for East Asia Democratic Studies of National Taiwan University, a Senior Associate Fellow of The Habibie Center, a University Fellow of Charles Darwin University. She specializes in Southeast Asian politics, with a focus on Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Indonesia. An author and editor of numerous books, reports and articles, her last report is Grappling with Transition: Myanmar’s 2019 Asia Barometer Findings. Her forthcoming book A Divided Malaysia: The Rise and Fall of Pakatan Harapan examines Malaysia’s 2018 elections and the transformation of national politics during the Harapan government of 2018-2020. She taught at John Cabot University, Ipek University, Singapore Management University, SAIS (JHU) and Hofstra University. She received her Ph.D in political science from Columbia University, language training at Cornell University (FALCON) and B.A. from Colgate University. She is a Senior Advisor for Freedom House, a member of the International Research Council of the National Endowment for Democracy and a core member of the Asian Barometer Survey covering fifteen countries in East Asia.