Upcoming talks and works-in-progress listed here. Navigate research accolades, publications, presentations, service, and press under the RESEARCH tab above.

For pre-prints email crystalabidin[at]gmail[dot]com.
Academia.edu here.
PhD dissertation abstract and outline here.



[paper] Abidin, Crystal, and Tama Leaver. 2017. “From YouTube to TV, and Back Again: Viral Video Child Stars and Media Flows in the Era of Social Media.” Digitising Early Childhood International Conference, Novotel Perth, Perth. September 11-15, 2017. [via video-conferencing]

[paper] Abidin, Crystal. 2017. “Here, There, and Nowhere: Mixed race East Asians and corporeal placeness in Australia.” Mixed Race in Asia and Australasia: Migrations, Mobilities and Belonging, Asia Research Institute Workshop, Singapore. October 12-13, 2017. [via video-conferencing]

[keynote] Abidin, Crystal. 2017. “Attention whores and internet mores: The lifecycle and labour of Influencer affects and moralities.” Affective Politics of Social Media, University of Turku, Turku. October 12-13, 2017. <Link>

[paper] Ask, Kristine, and Crystal Abidin. 2017. “My life is a mess: Self-deprecating relatability and the memefication of student publics.” AoIR 2017, Association of Internet Researchers, Tartu. October 18-21, 2017.

[fishbowl] Hendry, Natalie Ann, Paul Byron, Crystal Abidin, and Brady Robards. 2017. “A Tumblr and young people fishbowl.” AoIR 2017, Association of Internet Researchers, Tartu. October 18-21, 2017.

[paper] Abidin, Crystal. 2017. “Towards a theory of cross-media networked microcelebrity: Of bedrooms, blogsites, broadcasts, and boardrooms.” AoIR 2017, Association of Internet Researchers, Tartu. October 18-21, 2017.

[panelist] Abidin, Crystal. 2017. “Clicks or it didn’t happen: Influencers, sex bait, and commodified activism.” Youth, Digital Participation and Citizenship in the Asia Pacific’ Workshop, Deakin University, Melbourne. November 8-9, 2017.

[paper] Abidin, Crystal. 2017. “Hook ups, Break ups, Make ups: Influencer couples as digital estates.” Digital Intimacies: Connections and disconnection, RMIT, Melbourne. November 13-15, 2017.

[paper] Abidin, Crystal. 2017. “Reclaiming liminal (micro)celebrity: MunahHirziOfficial, Parody politics, and Micro- minority representation.” Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies, UWA, Perth. December 8-10, 2017.

[paper] Abidin, Crystal. 2017. “Contemporary Chinese weddings on the internet.” AAS/ASA/ASAANZ 2017, Australian Anthropology Association, Adelaide. December 11-15, 2017.



[special issue] Private messages from the field: Moral confessions and ethical dilemmas in digital ethnography – with Gabriele de Seta (Academia Sinica)

[journal article] From Beyoncé to MunahHirziOfficial: Influencer parodies, Productive liminality, and Intersectional marginality

[journal article] Somewhere Between Here and There: Visibility Labour and Literacies Between Academia and the Influencer Industry

[journal article] Grief hype-jacking: Influencers, Attention Economies, and the Commodification of Grief

[journal article] Si Gin Na (“Brat”): Social Media & the juvenile insolence in Singapore – with Liew Kai Khiun (Nanyang Technological University)

[journal article] History of the digital camera in Singapore 1994-2006 – with Connor Graham (Asia Research Institute)

[journal article] #nofilter, #inreallife: Influencers and Porous Authenticity on Instagram

[book chapter] Glamour and Grotesque: Influencers and the anatomy of plastic surgery advertorials

[book chapter] Gay and famous on YouTube: Influencers, Queer microcelebrity publics, and Discursive activism

[book chapter] Practices, Privacy, and Privileges: Conducting Research on Tumblr – with Akane Kanai (University of Newcastle) and Matthew Hart (La Trobe University)

[popular press] Not just another Gangnam Style: Framing politics and internet celebrity in East Asia

[popular press] From populist factoids to ethnographic minutiae: Ethnography in the Influencer industry

[popular press] Public Shaming, Peer Surveillance, and the Profitability of Internet Drama



[book] Buymylife.com: Vernacular commerce, creation, and culture in Singapore blogshops

[book] Please Subscribe: Influencers, social media, and the commodification of everyday life

[edited book] Microcelebrity and internet fame around the globe – with Megan Lindsay Brown (Arizona State University)

[edited book] Me-diated Inter-faces: representation, presentation, and embodiment online – with Katie Warfield (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and Carolina Cambre (Concordia University)

[special issue] Between art and application: Exploring the histories and cultures of emoji vernacular – with Joel Gn (Singapore University of Social Sciences)

[journal article] From YouTube to TV, and Back Again: Viral Video Child Stars and Media Flows in the Era of Social Media – with Tama Leaver (Curtin University) 

[journal article] My life is a mess: Self-deprecation, relatability, and collective identities in the memefication of student issues – with Kristine Ask (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

[journal article] Understanding Travelogues: An Orientalist Imaginary of South East Asia? – with Connor Graham (Asia Research Institute)

[journal article] Privacy for Profit: Influencers, Personae and the Lifecycle of Commoditized Privacy

[book chapter] L8r H8r: Fans, haters, and ephemeral solidarity in Influencer wars

[book chapter] The Great Good Childhood Birthday: Commemoration, commercialism, and moral parenting in Influencer advertorials

[book chapter] “Hey YouTube, welcome to my exclusive private home tour”: Influencers, Domestic space vlogs, and Continuums of disclosures

[book chapter] Fast phone fashion: Fashion marketing in the age of smartphones

[book chapter] My Instagram Husband: Influencers, Gendered fame, and Networked tensions amidst commodified romance

[conference paper] Oppressed, Oratorical, Outlandish: Chinese Privilege activism through entertainment in Singapore’s internet popular culture



An oral history of punk in Singapore – with Liew Kai Khiun (Nanyang Technological University) in partnership with The Substation

Digital folklore in Singapore – in partnership with the Asia Research Institute

Cultures of YouTube in Asia

The commodification of weddings and aspirational housing

Aspirational tensions: Young couples and homemaking in a tightly regulated ecology

Young people and grief in digital spaces

Not just a pretty boy: Male Influencers in a hyper­feminized economy


2 thoughts on “Research

  1. Hi Crystal!

    I became aware of your ethnographic work on Instagram via Academia. I’m planning to use Instagram for my dissertation project. I have couple of questions regarding visual data collection and ethics. Would you mind connecting via email for further discussion?


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