Dr. Mary J. Ainslie

Associate Professor, Media and Cultural Studies

International Communications / Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Staff Profile Portrait Image



Room 332, IEB


University of Nottingham Ningbo China


199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China


+86 (0)574 8818 0000 (8173)



  • PhD. English Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University.
  • MA. School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London).
  • BA (HONS). Manchester Metropolitan University.

Professional Qualifications

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE), University of Nottingham.
  • Trinity Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate, St Mary’s College Twickenham, London.


  • University of Nottingham, winner of Vice Chancellor’s Medal 2017: for services to the university in the form of public engagement through developing and enhancing student life on campus. 



Dr. Mary J. Ainslie is an Associate Professor specializing in communications throughout Southeast Asia, with specific emphasis upon Thailand and Malaysia, as well as the wider intercultural links between the East and Southeast Asia regions. Previously Head of Film and Television studies at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus in Kuala Lumpur, she moved to the Nottingham Ningbo campus in 2017 to further film and media studies, introducing several courses and developing creative arts. She is now Deputy Head of the School of International Communications, and a recipient of the prestigious Nottingham Vice-Chancellor’s Award for her learning activities.


Dr. Ainslie has received funding for a range of projects from various international organizations, including the Academy of Korean Studies, the Korea Foundation and the Vidal Sassoon Centre for the Study of Antisemitism (for studies in which she was project leader). She organized the first symposium to study the consumption and reception of Korean pop culture in Southeast Asia and regularly presents her work in Europe, Israel, Korea and across Southeast Asia. She has published in journals such as China Quarterly, Korea Journal, The Women’s Studies International Journal and The Asia Pacific Journal, as well as in numerous edited collections.


To date she is editor of the volume ‘The Korean Wave in Southeast Asia: Consumption and Cultural Production’ (2015), ‘Thai Cinema: The Complete Guide’ (2018), 'Southeast Asia on Screen: From Independence to Financial Crisis (1945-1997)' (2020) has edited a special edition of the ‘Horror Studies Journal’ (2015), and is currently co-editing ‘The Southeast Asian Gothic collection’. Her monograph 'Anti-Semitism in Contemporary Malaysia: Malay nationalism, philosemitism and pro-Israel expressions' was published in 2019, while her forthcoming monograph is under contract with Edinburgh University Press.


Dr Ainslie has appeared as a guest speaker on television, radio and at film festivals across Asia as well as quoted in popular media such as The Financial Times and Forbes magazine. She is regularly invited to join international scholarly networks, give guest lectures, keynotes and to examine PhD theses internationally. In 2020 she was made an external affiliate at the Max and Tessie Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, a position awarded due to the significance of her publications addressing anti-Semitism and philosemitism in Asia. 



01/2017 – present. University of Nottingham (Ningbo Campus)

Course Taught:


  • Understanding the Creative and Cultural Industries
  • ‘Chinese Cinemas’ (co-convenor)
  • ‘Communication and Culture’
  • ‘Reading Film and Television’ (convenor)
  • ‘Cultural Analysis’ (convenor)
  • ‘Researching Communications’


  • Media and Communication Theory’


08/2011 – 12/2016. University of Nottingham (Malaysia Campus)

Course Taught:


  • ‘Culture Film and Media Skills’
  • ‘Introduction to Cultural Studies’
  • ‘Approaches to Film and TV’
  • ‘Film History’
  • ‘Cultures of Everyday Life’
  • ‘Southeast Asian Cinema’


  • ‘Postcolonialisms’
  • ‘Research Methods in Cultural Studies

Research interests

Reflected in her diverse publications and funded projects, Dr. Ainslie’s research interests mostly collate around transnational pan-Asian media depictions, Southeast Asian current social issues and the analysis of changing media-consumption in this region. She is also part of continuing projects exploring issues around Judaism and anti-Semitism in Asia, and, in a highly original move, was the first scholar to begin researching this phenomenon on an empirical level in Malaysia.


Visiting Professor and Research Affiliate:


2021 – Present

Research Collaborate, Asian Cinema Research Lab, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University.


11/2020 – Present

External Affiliate, Max and Tessie Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.


03/2018 – 04/2018

Visiting Professor, University of East Finland, ERASMUS+ Higher Education Staff Mobility Grant.

  • Culture and the Colloquial (Guest Lecture)
  • Cultural Spaces (Guest Lecture)


09/2017 – Present.

Research Fellow, Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies (IAPS), University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Ningbo


2013 – 2017.

Regional President of Thailand and Malaysia for the ‘World Association of Hallyu Studies’, Korea University.


2012 – 2016.

Research Affiliate. ‘Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia’ (DORISEA) network, with the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen.


08/2014 – 12/2015

Visiting Professor, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

  • Teaching postgraduate course ‘Transnational Media’

Orcid Account/ID

Google Scholar ;

Academia.edu ;

Orcid ID ;

Semantic Scholar



Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  • (2021) ‘Chinese Philosemitism and Historical statecraft: Exploring Representations of Judaism through Contemporary Sino-Israeli Relations’. The China Quarterly 245, March 2021, pp.208-206. Cambridge University Press. SSCI Indexed. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305741020000302
  • (2017) with Lim, Joanne B. Y. and Lipura, Sarah Domingo. ‘Understanding the potential for a Hallyu ‘Backlash’ in Southeast Asia: A Case Study of Consumers in Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines’ Kritika Kultura (28). A&HCI Indexed DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2017.02805
  • (2015) ‘The 2009 Malaysian Female Circumcision Fatwa: state ownership of Islam and the current impasse”. Women’s International Studies Journal. Volume 52, September–October 2015, Pages 1–9. SSCI Indexed. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2015.06.015
  • (2014) ‘Thai horror film: International success, history and the avant-garde’ Horror Studies 5(2) pp. 153-156. (with Ancuta, Katarzyna). Scopus Indexed. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/host.5.2.153_2
  • (2011) “Contemporary Thai Horror: The Horrific Incarnation of Shutter” Asian Cinema 22:1 pp. 45-57. Thomson Reuters: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/ac.22.1.45_1



  • (Forthcoming 2022) Contemporary Thai Film: A Monstrous Hybrid. Under contract at Edinburgh University Press.

Edited collections


  • (Forthcoming 2022) The Southeast Asian Gothic University of Wales Press (with Ancuta, K. and Ng, Andrew H. S.).

Peer Reviewed Book Chapters


  • (Forthcoming 2022) ‘Goths in Malaysia: Youth Fandom, Islam and Identity’ in Ainslie, M., Ancuta, K., Ng, Andrew H. S. (eds) The Southeast Asian Gothic (University of Wales Press).
  • (Forthcoming 2022) ‘The Role of Israel and Anti-Zionism in Malaysian Political and Cultural Life’ in Kowner, Rotem and Evron, Yoram (eds) Israel-Asia Relations in the 21st Century: Complexity and Diversity in a Changing World (Hong Kong University Press).
  • (Forthcoming 2021) ‘Korean Popular Culture as Soft Power’ in Rawnsley, G., Ma, Yiben and Pothong, Kruakae (eds) Edward Elgar Handbook of Political Propaganda (Routledge).
  • (2021) ‘The Changing Status of the Thai Luk Khrueng (mixed race) Performer: A Case Study of Ananda Everingham’ In Jonathan Driskell (ed.) Film Stardom in Southeast Asia (Edinburgh University Press).
  • (2020) ‘Introduction: Independence and Post-World War II Filmmaking: Nation-building, Modernity and Golden Eras’ (Amsterdam University Press). Pp. 35-36. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9789048541904-003
  • (2018) ‘Post-war Thai Cinema: Audiences and Film Style in a Divided Nation’ in Gennari, Daniela T. et al (eds.) Cinema Outside the City: Rural Cinema-going from a Global Perspective (Palgrave Macmillan). Pp. 303-324. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-66344-9_17
  • (2018) Sections: ‘Introduction’, ‘Key Early Productions’, ‘Santi-Vina’, ‘Black Silk’, ‘Sugar is not Sweet’, ‘Ngu Phi’, ‘Pisat Saneha’, ‘Tone’, ‘New Thai Cinema’, ‘Heritage/ Nostalgia’, ‘Daeng Birley’s and Young Gangsters’, ‘Buppha Ratri’, ‘Sars Wars’, ‘Shutter’, ‘Zee-Oui’, ‘13 Beloved’, ‘Dynamite Warrior’, ‘Red Eagle’, ‘Comedy/Romantic Comedy’ in Thai Cinema: The Complete Guide (I. B. Tauris) (Ainslie, M. J. and Ancuta, K.).
  • (2016) ‘Towards a Southeast Asian Model of Horror: Thai Horror Cinema in Malaysia, Urbanization and Cultural Proximity’ In Transnational Horror Cinema: Bodies of Excess and the Global Grotesque (Palgrave Macmillan). Pp 179-204. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-58417-5_9
  • (2013) “Preface” in Mohamad Rashidi Pakri and Arndt Graf (ed.) Faction and Fiction in the Malay World (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing) pp. viii-ix.
  • (2009) “The Monstrous Chinese ‘Other’ in the Thai horror movie Zee-Oui” in Cheung, Ruby and Fleming D. H. (ed), Cinemas, Identities and Beyond (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing) pp. 97-113.

Book Reviews


  • (2021) Book review for “Ivy I-Chu Chang, Taiwan Cinema, Memory, and Modernity” in International Journal of Taiwan Studies. (4). Pp. 387–389.


Outreach Activities and Public Engagement:


  • Monograph used by Vice President of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists during Israeli government discussion concerning anti-Semitism in Malaysia.
  • Paper ‘Thai horror film in Malaysia: Urbanization, Cultural Proximity and a Southeast Asian model’ requested and republished by the Asian Film Archive, a division of the National Library Board of Singapore, as part of Singapore Art Week’s 2019 exhibition.
  • Commentator and interviewee for Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen by Lukas Messmer (Southeast Asia Correspondent) article ‘Traumfabrik Südkorea’. March 2018.
  • Published research article ‘The 2009 Malaysian Female Circumcision Fatwa: state ownership of Islam and the current impasse’ used as evidence by Malaysian Women’s NGO ARROW in the presentation of the Malaysian practice at WHO general conference. 2017.
  • Research exploring Malaysian circumcision used by Islamic feminist NGO ‘Sisters in Islam’ to address circumcision in Malaysia.
  • Invited and funded speaker and panel member at The Khon Kaen International Film Festival. ‘Horror films across Southeast Asia.’ January 2015.
  • BFM Radio (Malaysia) Podcast ‘HALLYU, IS IT ME YOU'RE LOOKING FOR?’ interviewee. Broadcast May 2015.


Invited (Externally Funded) Presentations, Key Notes and Guest Lectures:


  • Asian Cinema Research Lab (Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University) Book Discussion: ‘Southeast Asia on Screen: From Independence to Financial Crisis (1945-1997)’. June 2021.
  • Inaugural public lecture at Max and Tessie Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies, Carleton University, ‘Challenging Antisemitism in Contemporary Malaysia: Countering Malay nationalist forces through pro-Israel expressions.’ March 2021.
  • Invited public lecture at Universiti Malaysia Sabah ‘Antisemitism: Does it Exist in Malaysia and Why it Matters.’ Hosted by the Centre for the Promotion of Knowledge and Language Learning to mark 'International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust'. January 2021.
  • Invited public lecture at Concordia University to present ‘Chinese Philosemitism and Historical Statecraft: Accosting Judaism into Contemporary Chinese Civilization’. Sponsored by The Concordia University Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies, the Marvin A. Drimer Foundation and the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies. February 2020.
  • Guest lecture at Carleton University ‘The Changing Status of the Thai Luk Khrueng (mixed race) Performer: A Case Study of Ananda Everingham’. March 2020.
  • Paid Guest Lecture at Thammasat University, Bangkok: “How can we study film to understand Culture: A Case Study of Southeast Asia and Thai Cinema”. August 2018.
  • Travel and accommodation from Hebrew University of Jerusalem Asian Studies Department to present “Malay Nationalism and Chinese Fandom: Urban Hallyu Fans and Masculinity in Kuala Lumpur” at Middle Classes in East Asia's Global Cities: Spaces, Communities, and Lifestyles June 2016.
  • Travel and accommodation from ‘Korea Foundation’ to present “Chinese ‘Pretty Boys’ vs. Malay hegemony: Urban Malaysian Masculinity and Hallyu Fandom” at ‘Korean Soft Power in Southeast Asia’ symposium, Korea University, Seoul. April 2016.
  • Travel and accommodation from ‘World Association of Hallyu Studies’ to present at The Dubai World Association of Hallyu Studies, 3rd World Congress, Korean Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism, November 2015. Papers: “The Politicization of Hallyu in Southeast Asia: Cultural Perceptions of and Barriers to Consumption in Thailand and Philippine Contexts” and “K-Pop, Malay Islam and Moral Panic: B1A4 and the Korean Wave as Social Resistance in Malaysia.”
  • Travel and accommodation from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften to attend and present “Thai horror film in Malaysia: Urbanization, Cultural Proximity and a Southeast Asian model” at DORISEA-Konferenz, Berlin. January 2015.
  • Travel and accommodation from Ateneo de Manila University to present keynote paper at “The Hallyu Mosaic in the Philippines: Framing Perceptions and Praxis” conference, Manila. June 2014. Paper titles “Imagining East Asia in Southeast Asia: A Case Study of the Reception of Korean TV Dramas Amongst Thai Viewers”. Manila, June 2014.
  • Travel and accommodation from Korea University to present “The Artificiality of Hallyu in Laos” at ‘Content Innovation for Hallyu 3.0 Conference’ at Center for Hallyu Studies, Korea University, Pusan. Aug 2014.
  • Travel and accommodation grant from Institute of Korean Studies to attend and present the research “East Asian Popular Culture and ASEAN” at ‘Institute of Korea Studies International Conference’, Plaza Hotel, Seoul. October 2013.
  • Travel and accommodation from the World Association of Hallyu Studies to chair a panel at "The First Congress of the World Association for Hallyu Studies conference" in Seoul, Oct 2013.
  • Travel and accommodation fund from Yonsei University for travel and accommodation at ‘Is a Trans-Asia possible? Re-Imagining East Asia as a Cultural Crossroads’ in Seoul, December 2012.
  • Göttingen University travel and accommodation fund to present the paper “Thai horror movies: style and reception context” at ‘Ghost-Movies in Southeast Asia and beyond. Narratives, cultural contexts, audiences’, Göttingen, October 2012.


Selection of Conference/Workshop Presentations:


  • The cultivation of Philosemitism in China – co-opting Chinese-Jewish history to the 21st century Chinese/Israeli relationship at ‘The Third Annual Conference of the Jiangnan Research Group on China Studies’ at The University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus, Ningbo, China, April 2019.
  • Challenging anti-Semitism in contemporary Malaysia: Countering Malay nationalist forces through pro-Israel expressions at 13th Biennial Conference of Asian Studies in Israel, Tel-Hai College, Israel, May 2016.
  • The 2009 Malaysian Female Circumcision Fatwa: state ownership of Islam and the current impasse at ‘The 12th Biennial Conference of Asian Studies in Israel, 2014’ conference, at the University of Haifa, Israel. May 2014.
  • National Hierarchies and Hallyu Fans: Perceptions of Korea and Koreanness by K-Drama fans across Thailand at 'Cultural Geography of the Hallyu: Mapping the World through Korean Popular Culture' conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. May 2014.
  • Thai consumptions of Korean Pop Culture: New Identities? At ‘Southeast Asia Seminar. Catching up Southeast Asia New Body: States, Markets and Public Spheres”, Kyoto University and Chulalongkorn University. June 2014.



  • University of Nottingham, winner of Vice Chancellor’s Medal 2017: for services to the university in the form of public engagement through developing and enhancing student life on campus.
  • Zhejiang Provincial Level ‘First Class Module’ UG Programme Award 2021 (省级一流本科专业建设点) for ‘Reading Film and TV’.

Funded projects / Research grants

External Funding:

  • Project Leader for “Challenging anti-Semitism in contemporary Malaysia: countering Malay nationalist forces through pro-Israel expressions.” Awarded 6000USD from Vidal Sassoon international Center for the Study of Antisemitism. September 2015 – September 2016.
  • Project Leader for “The Politicization of Hallyu in Southeast Asia: Cultural Perceptions of and Barriers to Consumption.” Awarded 7000USD from Academy of Korean Studies Competitive Research Grant. May 2015 – May 2016.
  • Part of “Hallyu across ASEAN: Soft Power and Cultural Diplomacy” project with Korea University and the Lyons Institute of East Asian Studies. Awarded 70,000USD (individual funding 6,400USD) from the Korea Foundation. April 2015 – April 2016.

Internal Funding:

  • Nottingham Small Research Grant 15,000CNY for “Ratana Pestonji: Uncovering the post-war activities of the ‘Master’ of Thai Cinema”. January 2018 – August 2018.
  • Project leader for symposium “The ‘Korean Wave’ in Southeast Asia: Consumption and Cultural Production.” Awarded 7,200GBP from Centre for Advanced Studies Research Development Fund (University of Nottingham, internal grant). April 2012 – April 2013.


Orcid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5058-724X

PhD Supervision

  • Ranna Huang, Understanding and comparing non-western media systems through a framework of Hallin & Mancini. Start date: September 2018. (second supervisor)
  • Xianqin Wu, Examining Culturalized self-presentation in online dating profiles in China: A comparative analysis of Shijijiayuan and Tinder. Start date: June 2019 (primary supervisor).
  • Tatiana Venevtseva, Understanding film consumers in China: What influences the decision-making of Chinese cinemagoers? Start date: September 2020 (second supervisor).
  • Yanqing Wen, Israeli and Chinese Soft Power. Start date: September 2021 (second supervisor).