Gaik Cheng Khoo

University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus


Gaik Cheng Khoo is Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus where she teaches film and cultural studies. She is interested in cosmopolitanism, citizenship and questions of belonging and identity as manifested in film, food and space. She has three main prongs of research: film, Korean migrants and the durian. Her work examines 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. Her current research is on a political economy of the Malaysian durian, focusing on the supply chain based on a Malaysian Fundamental Research Grant Scheme project (2020 – 2024).

Recent publications include “Adjusting to Slow Times and Happiness: South Koreans in Malaysia” in Korea Journal 62.4 (2022), co-editing Southeast Asia on Screen: From Independence to Financial Crisis (1945-1998), (eds. GC Khoo, Thomas Barker and Mary J. Ainslie, Amsterdam University Press, 2020), and a position paper on “Why Durian Matters: Tangling with Sustainability.” Berita Newsletter (Malaysia Singapore Brunei Studies Group Association for Southeast Asian Studies). 1 Sept, 2022, 48 (2): 33-38.  

She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on independent filmmaking in Malaysia and Singapore. Gaik is the founder of the Association of Southeast Asian Cinemas, a regional-based biannual international conference going into its eleventh manifestation in 2023.