Phoebe Pua


Phoebe Pua is a PhD candidate at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Her current research focuses on feminist narratives in contemporary Southeast Asian cinema, particularly films written and directed by women. More broadly, she writes about the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in Hollywood films and popular culture. Her articles (co-authored with Mie Hiramoto) on East Asian cultural representations in James Bond films were the first to comprehensively examine how East and Southeast Asian languages, cultures, and peoples have been styled and encoded throughout the franchise’s 60-year history. During her time at NUS, Phoebe was awarded the NUS Research Scholarship (2016-2019), the President’s Graduate Fellowship (2019-2020), and three Graduate Student’s Teaching Awards.


Phoebe is completing her doctoral dissertation, provisionally titled “The New Third World Woman: Feminist Futurity in Southeast Asian Cinema”. The dissertation looks at recent Southeast Asian films with ‘Third World woman’ protagonists and examines how they recast the controversial figure as a disobedient, restless, and possibly feminist New Third World woman.

As a complement to her research, she also organizes and speaks at public programs on Southeast Asian screen cultures. In early 2021, she co-programmed Turf Wars: Cinema and the Tropics in Southeast Asia, a three-day series of screenings and talks at the NUS Museum.


1. Pua, Phoebe, and Mie Hiramoto. “White hot heroes: Semiotics of race and sexuality in Hollywood ninja films.” Language and Communication, vol. 71, 2020, 56-67.

2. Hiramoto, Mie, and Phoebe Pua. “Racializing heterosexuality: Non-normativity and East Asian characters in James Bond films.” Language in Society, vol. 48, no. 4, 2019, 541-563.

3. Pua, Phoebe. “Iron lady to old lady: the neutering of James Bond’s M,” Feminist Media Studies, vol. 18, no. 1, 2018, 94-107.

4. Pua, Phoebe, and Mie Hiramoto. “Mediatization of East Asia in James Bond films.Discourse, Context and Media, vol. 23, 2018, 6-15.

5. Pua, Phoebe. “Screening the Forest: Slow days at the Asian Film Archive.” Asian Film Archive, 29 June 2018.