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[ Vol. 23, Supp. 2, 2016 ]



The Asian Journal of Humanities

Published by
Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia

Print ISSN: 1394-9330
Online ISSN: 2180-4257
Frequency: Biannually (April/May and September/October)
Current Issue: Volume 23, Supp. 2, 2016
Abstracting/Indexing: SCOPUS, Malaysian Citation Index (MyCite) Google Scholar, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), JURN, Genamics JournalSeek

* The term Kemanusiaan is a Malay word meaning "Humanities". It is derived from the form manu, a Sanskrit term which means "man" or "mankind".


KEMANUSIAAN The Asian Journal of Humanities, formerly known as Jurnal Ilmu Kemanusiaan (Journal of Humanities) publishes theoretical and empirical writings on aspects of the humanities in Asia as well as those that are universally relevant and provide new knowledge to the broad area of the Humanities.

USM has extended content delivery format for its journals’ publication in print and PDF to include ePub, to address the growing need for more mobile accessibility.


Publication Ethics

KEMANUSIAAN The Asian Journal of Humanities adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) standards on publications ethics. For further details please visit:

Current Issue
Volume 23, Supp. 2, 2016

Title: Editors' Introduction
Linguistics, Literature and Culture: Interactions between the Global and the Local
Author: Farzad Sharifian and Shakila Abdul Manan
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 23(Supp.2): v–ix, 2016

Title: "Glocalisation" of the English Language: A Cultural Linguistics Perspective
Author: Farzad Sharifian
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 23(Supp.2):1–17, 2016
- Abstract  

In line with other aspects of globalisation, the unprecedented global spread of English has led to an increase in the degree to which the language has become localised, serving to encode the communicate needs of various speech communities. This dual process of globalisation and localisation of English may be referred to as the "glocalisation" of the language. Glocalisation of English involves various processes at the level of "cultural conceptualisations". These include: (1) the use of English to encode cultural conceptualisations that were not originally associated with the language, (2) spread of Anglo-English cultural conceptualisations to non-Anglo speech communities and (3) blending of cultural conceptualisations. This article elaborates on these processes and discusses the implications of the glocalisation of English for the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Keywords and phrases: cultural linguistics, TESOL, world Englishes, glocalisation of English, cultural conceptualisations

Title: "Culture and Conceptualisation of Scientific Terms: An Analysis of the Concepts "Weight" and "Mass" in Arabic and French
Author: Hicham Lahlou and Hajar Abdul Rahim
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 23(Supp.2):19–37, 2016
- Abstract  

Studies on difficulties in understanding scientific terms have shown that the problem is more serious among non-Western learners. The main reasons for this are the learners' pre-existing knowledge of scientific terms, their native language incommensurability with Western languages, and the polysemy of the words used to denote scientific concepts. The current study is an analysis of the conceptualisation of scientific concepts in two culturally different languages, i.e. Arabic and French, which represent a non-Western language and a Western language respectively. Physics concepts which are considered as some of the most challenging concepts for non-Western languages (Loo 2005; Aranador 2005) were selected for analysis. To this end, the terms that refer to two physics concepts, "weight" and "mass" in Arabic وَزْن (wazn) and كُتْلَة (kutla) and in French poids and masse were semantically analysed. The analysis of the concepts in both languages is informed by the prototype theory by Rosch (1973; 1975), idealised cognitive models (ICMs) by Lakoff (1987), and conceptual metaphor and conceptual metonymy by Lakoff and Johnson (2003). The data for analysis were retrieved from two comparable Arabic and French corpora, namely the ArabiCorpus and the Concordancier-Corpus Français. The results suggest that there are both similarities and differences between the Arabic and French concepts in terms of meanings, prototypes, and metaphorical as well as metonymic semantic extensions. These findings support the argument that the human conceptual system is related to our environmental and cultural experiences and also importantly, validate previous claims on the need for educators to be cognizant of the culturally relevant meanings of scientific words found in everyday language that may impede learners' understanding of scientific concepts.

Keywords and phrases: culture, conceptualisation, polysemy, prototype, conceptual metaphor, metonymy

Title: An Ideological Construction of the Indigenous Community: The Orang Asli as Portrayed in The Star Newspaper
Author: Marlina Jamal and Shakila Abdul Manan
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 23(Supp.2):39–62, 2016
- Abstract  

Powerful western nations, especially those which control global news media, tend to portray less powerful nations through a Western-centric lens or perspective in globalised space. As such, less powerful nations are depicted as weak and powerless victims, reinforcing in the process prevailing power structures or unequal relations between powerful nations and less powerful ones. Minority groups are also not spared as they are, more often than not, depicted in a similar negative way. Interestingly, this is where the global connects with the local as mainstream media in the local front are inclined to construct minority groups such as the Orang Asli or indigenous community through the lens or perspective of the powerful elite. They are not given the space to speak for themselves and as such portrayed as weak and disempowered. The indigenous people are often marginalised by the mainstream media because they in part do not constitute a constituency considered politically important; neither are they regarded crucial by profit-oriented media because they do not have the purchasing power which advertisers relentlessly seek via the media. Given this scenario, this study examines the portrayal of the Orang Asli in a mainstream paper, The Star newspaper, from a critical discourse analysis perspective. Utilising van Dijk's Theory of Semantic Macrostructures and Theory of Ideology, the projection of the community is inspected through the analysis of macro elements that is thematic structure and micro elements comprising lexical, syntactic and rhetorical structures. Findings reveal that the "self" group members comprising the ruling or powerful elite and governmental organisations were positively depicted while the Orang Asli were portrayed in a negative and stereotypical fashion. Needless to say, media coverage of indigenous people globally has also often revolved around similar stereotypical images that are both pejorative and discriminatory.

Keywords and phrases: global news media, critical discourse analysis, semantic macrostructures, ideology, Orang Asli

Title: The Commodification of Islam?: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Halal Cosmetics Brands
Author: Manmeet Kaur and Bharathi Mutty
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 23(Supp.2):63–80, 2016
- Abstract  

Although many studies have emerged examining media representations of Muslims and Islam through the lens of discourse analysis, it is unfortunate that similar studies focusing on glocalised marketing strategies targeted at Muslims have been scarce, especially at a time when market research analysts have identified Muslims as constituting one of the fastest growing consumer segments in the world. In order to tap into this promising market, a number of cosmetics companies have left no stones unturned in their efforts to convince Muslim consumers that their products are Shariah-compliant. Whether or not this claim has any truth value, it is persuasive, as it raises awareness about the existence of halal cosmetics. In line with this, the present study examined the linguistic and non-linguistic semiotic features employed by the halal cosmetics companies to promote their products to Muslim consumers in order to expose the dominant discourses, underlying meanings and hidden ideologies. A qualitative research design was employed to study the marketing websites of five halal cosmetics companies. Analysis was carried out using Fairclough's (1992) three-dimensional model of critical discourse analysis. Findings call attention to the commodification of Islam, revealing how marketers are transforming cosmetics into powerful symbols representing religious correctness and values, indices of one's piety.

Keywords and phrases: critical discourse analysis, glocalised marketing, halal, cosmetics, beauty

Title: Defying the Global: The Cultural Connotations of "Islam" in Malaysia
Author: Siti Zubaidah Mohd Hashim and Hajar Abdul Rahim
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 23(Supp.2):81–98, 2016
- Abstract  

The cultural connotations of the word "Islam" is analysed in this study using a corpus-based semantic prosody analysis of Malaysian newspaper reports in English and Malay. Approximately 1.6 million words of Malaysian newspaper reports published between year 2014 and 2015 were used to develop two comparable sub-corpora of English and Malay data. The downward collocations (words with semantic content, i.e. nouns, verbs and adjectives) of the word "Islam" in the two sub-corpora formed the data for analysis and Partington's (2004) categorisation of semantic prosodies, i.e. positive, negative or neutral was employed in determining its prosody. The collocational patterns of "Islam" that emerged in the corpus of study suggest that the word has mostly positive and neutral prosodies in Malaysian newspapers. The cultural connotations of "Islam" that emerged from the analysis of the Malay corpus reflect the familiarity of Islam and its inherent link with the Malay language and culture, evident from the use and naturalisation of Arabic words pertaining to Islam in the Malay language. In the English corpus, the cultural connotations of "Islam" suggest its institutionalisation in the country's education system, banking system and financial establishments. These cultural connotations are in contrast with the generally negative representation of Islam in the Western and global discourse.

Keywords and phrases: Islam, cultural connotation, semantic prosody, Malaysia, Malay

Title: The Metrical Parameters of Word Stress Production and Perception among Iraqi English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Learners
Author: Zainab Abbodi Ali and Alias Abd Ghani
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 23(Supp.2):99–117, 2016
- Abstract  

This paper disscusses the impact of glocalisation process on the production and perception of Iraqi English as a foreign language (EFL) learners in word stress placement pertaining to metrical parameters. Previous studies lack an in-depth investigation of the parameters tracing the prosodic acquisition path of the learners in acquiring L2 (Archibald 1993; Youssef and Mazurkewich 1998). This study which adopts the metrical parameters model of Dresher and Kaye (1990) shows how similar metrical parameters settings of both Arabic and English affect the performance of Iraqi EFL learners in word stress placement. The findings of the study reveal how Iraqi learners of English internalise the conceptualisation of the metrical parameters of English word stress production and perception in their glocalised variety of English as part of learning the language as an international (global) language. The findings of the study also suggest that Iraqi EFL learners assigned more incorrect responses in word stress placement in the perception task than the production task because they followed different parameter-setting orders in acquiring L2, leading to them resetting more parameters wrongly in the perception task than the production task. The study highlights on the importance of accepting both global and local varieties of English in curriculum development in Iraq.

Keywords and phrases: English as an international language, globalisation, glocalisation, word stress production and perception, acquisition of metrical parameters

Title: Glocalising Cultural Desire: Texts on the Overseas Filipina Worker (OFW)
Author: Lily Rose Tope
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 23(Supp.2):119–136, 2016
- Abstract  

The export of labour in the Philippines has been a state response to a failing economy. Filipino labour, one of the biggest assets of the Philippine state, became in great demand in the United States, Middle East, Europe and the rich countries of Asia. In the last decades, the demand for female labour has equalled and sometimes surpassed that for male labour. Female foreign workers from the Philippines laboured mostly as maids, caregivers, medical personnel and entertainers. My study posits the idea that the social conditioning of the Filipina in the home and the community prepares her to be a good Filipino woman and that these same traits make her an attractive commodity in the global market. Local and global expectations split the Filipina worker's subjectivity. For instance, trained to be an agent of nurture within the family, she is preferred by employers in nursing and caregiving facilities overseas. Trained in the musical culture of the Filipino household and community, she is preferred as an entertainer in hotels and bars. The study furthermore examines the tension between the cultivation of a local cultural good and its transformation into an instrument of commercial profit and exploitation when it enters the globalised space. The globalised subjectivity returns to the local with mixed results. This paper will use literary texts on the overseas Filipina worker as they explore her evolving subjectivity during the process of glocalisation.

Keywords and phrases: globalisation, foreign labour, Overseas Filipina workers, glocal, subjectivity

Title: Mechanisms of Mobility in a Capitalist Culture: The Localisation of the Eye of (Global) Authority in the Novel and the Film of Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake
Author: Moussa Pourya Asl, Nurul Farhana Low Abdullah and Md Salleh Yaapar
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 23(Supp.2):137–159, 2016
- Abstract  

This article examines the modes of objectification of a collective subject described as "Indian American", through the panoptic technologies of literature and cinema as utilised in the United States (US) in the aftermath of 9/11. Following the 2003 publication of the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake, Fox Searchlight Pictures released Mira Nair's cinematic adaptation in 2007. Published in the aftermath of the 9/11 event in the US, the story spans over three decades, telling of the diasporic experiences of a middle-class family of a minority culture, the Gangulis, from their immigration in the 1960s—which historically coincided with the rise of two contrasting social phenomena, Neoliberalism and the Oriental Other—to their present assimilated status into the mainstream American culture. We argue that the literary and cinematographic narratives of The Namesake are employed by the hegemonic state power to offer an antidote to the chronic insecurities unleashed by notions of both Neoliberalism and the Oriental Other. The study outlines the panoptic dimensions of both narratives and unpacks the way their visual, narrative and "characterological architectonics" correspond with what Michel Foucault calls "the carceral mechanisms of power". Novel and film thus act together to instantiate in the public the ideological interests of the capital which, in turn, mobilises the apparatus itself, doing so through narrative techniques that conscript the public into a unified scopic regime. In the diasporic world of The Namesake, as the article concludes, the individual difference is associated with social deviance, in a way that in society, the local subject and its individuality become a signifier of guilt, whereas, assimilation into global cultural pluralism is made synonymous with conformity and normativity.

Keywords and phrases: Panopticon, minority culture, hegemon, the Oriental Other, Neoliberalism

Title: From International Horror Films to the Local Filem Seram: Examining the Cinematic Identity and Roles of the Malaysian Pontianak
Author: Lee Yuen Beng and Sarata Balaya
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 23(Supp.2):161–174, 2016
- Abstract  

Malaysian horror films describe the pontianak as a supernatural entity with overflowing hair, vampire-like traits and a beautiful woman capable of seducing, charming and alluring her male victims. Once she has her target trapped, she transforms back into an unsightly pontianak and exacts her vengeance. Her capability of resurrecting from the afterlife and using her sexuality in seeking for death and destruction to those who have wronged her could position her as a villain or antagonist due to the chaos, destruction and murder to those regardless of innocence. Short of being labelled as a vamp or femme fatale, the pontianak continues being stereotyped as oppressive and monstrous for she gains supernatural strength and destablises a film's equilibrium. In short, the pontianak is seen as a threat towards partriachal order and such forms of representations are similarly shared in horror films globally. Using the films Sumpah Pontianak (1958) and Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam (2004), this paper examines the representation, identity and roles of the Malaysian cinematic pontianak within the contexts of local and global horror cinemas.

Keywords and phrases: Malaysian horror cinema, pontianak, patriarchy, villains, stereotype, internationalisation