Monsoon Pod is the podcast of The Monsoon Project, a platform for young scholars across the world to share their ideas, opinions and stories on the Asia-Pacific.


  • Punks and monks

    Punks and monks

    12/09/2019 Duração: 28min

    Up until 2012, Myanmar’s military government and tight censorship laws kept a lid on its music scene, restricting the production of local talent and musicians’ exposure to foreign tunes. But music has always been part of civic life in Burma. The scene has only grown since the country began to liberalise in 2011, influenced as much by local traditions as by overseas influences.Join host Dot Mason as she attempts to trace Myanmar’s musical history in the context of its recent experiences of political change. Has music played a role in the democratic transition? What drives budding musicians in Myanmar today? And…what’s punk got to do with it all?Dot is joined by three learned individuals, each of whom bring their own insights to the program.Trevor Wilson is a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Political and Social Change at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, and a former Australian Ambassador to Myanmar between 2000 and 2003. He has had a long and distinguished career in the Australian foreign service,

  • International student strife and successes

    International student strife and successes

    30/08/2019 Duração: 13min

    Education is Australia’s third largest export, with international students making up a quarter of enrolments in universities across the country and the industry generating a whopping $34 billion to the Australian economy. But what is the international student experience like? Are students’ needs being catered for in the industry? And is it ethical to have an industry based on students migrating overseas and paying such high fees in the first place? On this episode of The Monsoon Pod, Serena Ford looks at this industry in Australian universities and talks with experts and students alike, to unpack the international education sector in Australia. Dr Helen Forbes-Mewitt is a senior lecturer and researcher in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University. Her research specialises in international student wellbeing, international education and other migrant groups. Hazel Ang is the President of the International Students Department of ANUSA, located in the Australian National University. The department works

  • Tackling Japans rugby history

    Tackling Japan's rugby history

    23/08/2019 Duração: 20min

    Rugby’s biggest dance—the World Cup—is coming to Asia for the very first time. This September, Japan will host 19 of Rugby’s best national teams for the main event in the World Rugby calendar, and the pressure is on. After their famous victory against South Africa in 2015, Japan is poised for one of its most important sporting performances. Each new game they play will be the biggest game in Japanese rugby history. But how did we come to this moment? In this Monsoon Pod, host Patrick Cooney explores Japan’s rugby story. He offloads the discussion to Ken Dobson, a rugby sevens coach in Hokkaido, to talk about the progression of the game in Rugby’s so-called ‘newest’ market. Ken Dobson worked with Queensland Rugby Union and is now heading the men and women’s sevens program at the Hokkaido Barbarians in Japan.

  • Marriage markets, Gender inequality and the Leftover Women of China

    Marriage markets, Gender inequality and the Leftover Women of China

    16/08/2019 Duração: 17min

    What makes the ‘perfect woman,’ the ‘perfect relationship,’ and the ‘perfect marriage’ in China today? In recent years, an emerging class of highly educated, highly skilled and career-driven young women in urban China have been able to relish in new opportunities to find greater financial independence and autonomy. However, the ongoing pressure on young women to marry continues to marginalise Chinese woman, so much so that a label has emerged, describing unmarried women aged 27 or older as ‘shengnu’, meaning ‘leftover women.’ In a society where traditional family values and ideas of marriage still hold strong, where does this leave Chinese women? On this Monsoon Podcast, Karen Zhang explores the many pressures that unmarried urban women in China face today, at a familial, societal and governmental level. Dr Jane Golley is an Associate Professor at the Australian National University and economist, and is currently the Acting Director of the Australian Centre on China in the World. Jane is also the co-editor of

  • Citizenship sagas and scandals

    Citizenship sagas and scandals

    13/08/2019 Duração: 15min

    From Birtherism in the United States to Australia’s dual-citizenship saga. A dark and politically motivated cloud is hanging over politicians worldwide, who may have claim to multicultural and dual national heritage. In this episode of the Monsoon Podcast, Dominic Harvey-Taylor looks at the history of citizenship as a tool for discrimination in Japan, and how dual-citizenship has generated sagas and scandals for politicians across the Asia Pacific. Professor Tessa Morris Suzuki is Professor Emerita of Japanese History at the Australian National University. Her research interests include grassroots movements and survival politics in Northeast Asia; the Korean War in regional context; national identity and ethnic minorities in Japan and memory and reconciliation in Northeast Asia. Music: Twisting Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

  • Dancing on the nuclear precipice

    Dancing on the nuclear precipice

    06/08/2019 Duração: 18min

    Territorial disputes over Kashmir have endured since 1947, making it one of Asia’s most persistent flashpoints. Violence is endemic to the region, which has been host to multiple wars and regular terror attacks. In recent years, both Pakistan and India’s proliferation of nuclear weapons have upped the stakes of this increasingly interactable conflict. This week on the Monsoon Podcast Jonathon sits down with Josie Gardner and David Brewster to chart the origins of the Kashmir conflict and understand its future. The result is a unique portrait of the dispute, where the rehearsed pageantry and palpable hostility meet to produce a most unlikely, and curious, nuclear stability at the heart of the Asian Century’s most enduring conflict. David Brewster is a seasoned observer of South Asian security and is a senior research fellow at the Crawford School at Josephine Gardner is a PhD Candidate at UNSW where she investigates local peace-building initiatives in Kashmir.

  • Weeaboos: harmful or harmless?

    Weeaboos: harmful or harmless?

    30/07/2019 Duração: 19min

    With the world ever more connected and globalised, foreign cultures are readily and easily available to us all. This has led to large audiences of fans forming internationally around specific cultures. One nation which has found its culture in immense world-wide popularity has been Japan. Foreign fans of Japanese culture are labelled, and sometimes self-identify, as ‘weeaboo’. The term has no concrete meanings, but it’s generally used pejoratively against those who form a large part of their identity around Japanese popular culture. On this Monsoon Podcast, Hiroki Hunter explores the sentiments around being a ‘weeaboo’. Can we collectivise such a diverse international group simply because they enjoy a unifying element? Peter Gravestock studies a Bachelor of Arts and Asian Studies at the Australian national University, and is passionate about Japanese popular culture. Antigonie Bradshaw studies a Bachelor of Chemistry at ANU and is a fan of Japanese pop culture. Claire Okumura studies a Bachelor of Asian Studi

  • Of clicks and consoles: eSports and Asia

    Of clicks and consoles: eSports and Asia

    23/07/2019 Duração: 19min

    In this episode of the Monsoon Podcast, Emily Lyon on the eSports industry and how professional videogaming is levelling-up in Asia. Videogames are a ubiquitous part of modern life, but the professional competitive sport that has grown around them is still poorly understood by many outside of the business. How did this business come to be? Why does Southeast Asia have such a key role in the industry’s future? What even is eSports? On this Monsoon Podcast, Emily Lyon shares the controller with Saira Mueller and Tobias Scholz, to answer these questions and give you a primer on all things eSports. Saira Mueller is the Director of Content at Gen.G Esports. Saira is also a former journalist with Dot Esports, and the founder of the Women of Esports community. Tobias Scholz is an Assistant Professor and Post-Doc Researcher at the University of Siegen. He is also co-editor of the annual eSports Yearbook, and a long-time eSports fan.

  • Reunifying Korea: a split of opinion

    Reunifying Korea: a split of opinion

    08/02/2019 Duração: 29min

    In this episode of the Monsoon Podcast, Greg Thomson explores Korea's divide – not between the North and South, but on whether reunification is wanted and workable at all. In the decades since the Korean War, a reunified Korea has become an increasingly far-flung dream. Yet 2018 brought a glimmer of hope, with North and South Korea engaging in ground-breaking dialogue and cooperation politically, economically, and socially. Why is this a dream for some and ringing alarm bells for others? Is South Korean President Moon Jae-in really representing the people by advocating for unification? And is re-unification even possible as the political and cultural divide between the nations grows ever-wider? On this Monsoon Podcast, Greg Thomson takes these tough questions to two experts. Lauren Richardson is the Director of Studies at the ANU Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy. Her research focuses on the role of non-state actors in shaping diplomatic interactions in the context of Northeast Asia, particularly Japan-Korea

  • Law in space: who is at fault in our stars?

    Law in space: who is at fault in our stars?

    25/01/2019 Duração: 18min

    In this episode of the Monsoon Podcast, Alisa Asmalovskaya blasts off into space law to see what's there and what remains to be explored. Physicist Stephen Hawking famously warned that humanity will not survive if it doesn't venture out into space within the next century. Science and technology, however, are not the only disciplines which need to evolve for us to manage this feat. How is the legal system venturing into space? Can countries claim space territories as their own? Astronomy can tell you what happens when stars collide – what about when it's space objects like satellites? On this Monsoon Podcast, Alisa Asmalovskaya takes flight into the uncharted realms of space law with Joel Dennerley. Joel Dennerley holds a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws at the Australian National University. His Honours thesis focused on how to prove who is at 'fault in our stars', specifically, when space objects collide. Feature image source: US Defence Music: Inspired by Kevin MacLeod Licensed under Creative Commons: By

  • Plunging into the Pacific

    Plunging into the Pacific

    18/01/2019 Duração: 30min

    In this episode of the Monsoon Podcast, Kai Clark dives below the surface of the Pacific region and the reasons it's worth exploring. Covering over 30 per cent of the Earth's surface, the Pacific is home to a multitude of countries, cultures, and languages. Yet when we discuss this region, if at all, the conversation is limited to politics and security or the impacts of climate change. What can we learn from the Pacific beyond this conversation? What insights can the region provide on some of the most pressing issues facing societies today, and what do they tell us about knowledge itself? On this Monsoon Podcast, Kai Clark delves into the Pacific region with PhD candidate Bianca Hennessy and Pacific Studies student Oliver Lilford. Bianca Hennessy is a PhD candidate at the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University. Her research seeks to understand how Pacific Studies is taught and understood throughout different universities in the Pacific. Oliver Lilford is a 3rd year Bache

  • Populism vs The World

    Populism vs The World

    11/01/2019 Duração: 19min

    In this episode of the Monsoon Podcast, Guy Exton puts populism centre stage, exploring its characters in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. For better or for worse, 2018 was a year of populism. Champion cricketer Imran Khan was elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, President Duterte of the Phillipines finished his second year of office, and the impacts of Brexit's Vote Leave and the policies of US President Donald Trump continued to ripple across the world. What is populism, how did we get here, and where to next? On this Monsoon Podcast, Guy Exton accompanies Dr Jessica Genauer on a journey around the world’s populist democracies. Dr Jessica Genauer is a lecturer at the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University. Her recent PhD thesis examines the impact of election system design during periods of regime transition in the Middle East and North Africa. Feature image source: The Epoch Times Music: Ride of the Valkyries - from "Die Valkyrie" by Richard Wagner,

  • Million-dollar pencils and the billion-dollar question

    Million-dollar pencils and the billion-dollar question

    04/01/2019 Duração: 21min

    In this episode of the Monsoon Podcast, Nanumi Starke untangles the taxing debate on multinational tax avoidance. How could paying little to no tax on billions of dollars in profit possibly be legal? Globalisation has brought the world closer, but it has also ushered in an era of highly imaginative tax avoidance. How does it work, what can Australia do, and just what do million-dollar pencils have to do with it? On this Monsoon Podcast, Nanumi Starke wades into the murky world of tax with three experts in the field, demystifying the lingo on the way. Johan Van Der Walt is a PhD student at the ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance. His research interests include the shift from ‘tax secrecy’ to ‘tax transparency’ and the impact this shift could have on compliance attitudes. Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fenner in the Australian Capital Territory. Prior to being elected in 2010, Andrew was Professor of Economics at the Australian National University. He holds a Ph

  • Pakistans nuclear black market

    Pakistan's nuclear black market

    13/12/2018 Duração: 24min

    In this episode of the Monsoon Podcast, Maxwell Lowe looks at the life and legacy of AQ Khan, the man behind the Pakistan's nuclear black market. In 2004, Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer (AQ) Khan appeared on state television and forcibly confessed to illegally supplying nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea for over three decades. Famous for his role in developing Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, AQ Khan revealed himself to be the largest black market exporter of nuclear technology in history. Today Khan’s legacy can be seen through the world’s most volatile nuclear hot spots which threaten the lives of millions every day. In Pakistan, Khan is still seen as a national hero. Yet despite the scale and reckless consequences of his actions, he has largely been forgotten outside his home state. How did AQ Khan transform himself into the world’s most powerful nuclear smuggler and why was he able to continue for so long? Maxwell Lowe looks at Pakistan’s nuclear bomb and the life and legacy of AQ Khan. Hassan A

  • Trump’s Space Force: much ado about nothing?

    Trump’s Space Force: much ado about nothing?

    06/12/2018 Duração: 37min

    In this episode of the Monsoon Podcast, Luke Courtois speaks to four distinguished experts about the newly announced branch of the US military: Trump’s Space Force. The space domain is becoming increasingly contested, with a host of state and non-state actors entering the fray. It is in this context that US President Donald Trump announced the Department of Defence would set up a new branch of the military called the ‘Space Force’. What is behind this initiative? Despite becoming an instant meme on social media, should we be taking the idea more seriously? Luke Courtois invites four experts into the space age to explore this hotly debated but nonetheless critical development. Namrata Goswami is a senior analyst and associate author based in Montgomery, in the US state of Alabama. She regularly consults for the NATO Partnership for Peace Consortium ‘Emerging Security Challenges Working Group’ and is a Senior Analyst and Subject Matter Expert with Wikistrat and Auburn University Futures Lab. Malcolm Davis is a

  • The fourth industrial revolution

    The fourth industrial revolution

    10/09/2018 Duração: 25min

    In our very first Monsoon Podcast, Cherry Zheng speaks to Ehsan Nabavi, a research fellow at the 3A Institute, about the new machines and why the Institute is looking to build a whole new discipline to deal with their implications. From the Uber you caught yesterday to elections around the world, make no mistake: artificial intelligence and big data are revolutionising society. These technologies can’t just be left up to their designers to manage, because already they are filtering down into every aspect of life. Just why has this been called the fourth Industrial Revolution, and what should we do about it? Ehsan Nabavi is currently a Research Fellow in 3A Institute at the Australian National University (ANU). He completed his PhD at ANU School of Sociology in 2017. In his transdisciplinary research program, Ehsan explores how emerging engineering tools can reshape the ways in which government reaches decisions, and society makes choices, as well as how they can reshape both government and society themselves.