Ang Ien was born in Indonesia and raised in the Netherlands. She taught formerly at the University of Amsterdam's Institute of Mass Communication,where she was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree and also at Perth's Murdoch University in the early 1990s. She was appointed Professor of Cultural Studies and Director of the Research Centre in Intercommunal Studies at the University of Western Sydney (Nepean) and has written extensively on media and mass communication theory, publishing several books and many articles in this discipline. Her research interests include post-colonial studies; theories of identity, ethnicity, diaspora, and multiculturalism; globalisation and post-modernity; contemporary Asia and the changing world ; Australia-Asia relations; issues of theory and methodology.
Professor Ang has served as Chair of the Editorial Committee of Communal/Plural: Journal of Transnational and Crosscultural Studies and has made conference presentations, including many invited keynote addresses. She is the author of Living Room Wars: Rethinking Media Audiences for a Postmodern World (Routledge, 1996), Desperately Seeking the Audience (Routledge, 1991), and Watching Dallas. Soap Opera and the Melodramatic Imagination (Methuen, 1985), as well as innumerable edited collections, book chapters, journal articles on feminism and cultural studies.
From 1995 to 1997 Professor Ang was joint recipient with Dr John Stratton of an ARC Large Grant for a project entitled 'Reimagining Asians in Multicultural Australia'. In 1999 she was convenor of the Alter/Asians conference in Sydney.