Research activity per year

Personal profile

Researcher's projects

1. Book on Korean migrants/transnationals in Malaysia.

2. A political economy of the Malaysian durian. 

3. Essays on what is "modern Malaysian cuisine" and on Malay vegetarians in Malaysia.


Gaik grew up in Malaysia which accounts for her interest in food and
multiculturalism. Her love for film developed out of watching clips of Hollywood
classics from That's Entertainment as a child, then later from exposure to world
cinema as an undergraduate in Austin, Texas and a graduate student in Vancouver.

Past student projects

Research interests

My research interests revolve around food, film and culture
1. Food and identity: what is "modern Malaysian" cuisine? And separately, what are the factors for the existence or lack of ethnic Malay vegetarians and vegans in Malaysia? 

2. Film: comparative views of trends, socio-cultural and political effects on cinemas in Southeast Asia in the period between the end of WW2 and before the 1997 financial crisis.  

3. Culture: currently I am interested in exploring questions of South Korean identity and migrant/transnational adaptation to living, working and studying in a multicultural society like Malaysia. How does this wave of Korean migrants differ from earlier waves of Korean diasporas in other parts of the world?   

Available student projects


Ph.D (Interdisciplinary Studies), University of British Columbia

Expertise Areas

  • Social and Cultural Geography
  • Studies of Asian Society
  • Cinema Studies
  • Film and Television
  • Consumption and Everyday Life
  • Culture, Gender, Sexuality
  • Migrant Cultural Studies
  • Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies
  • South-East Asian Literature (excl. Indonesian)


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