School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Image of Hongwei Bao

Hongwei Bao

Associate Professor in Media Studies, Faculty of Arts



I joined the Department of Culture, Media and Visual Studies (formerly Department of Culture, Film and Media), the University of Nottingham, in 2013. Prior to this, I worked as Lecturer in Asian Media at Nottingham Trent University (2012-13), Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Potsdam (2011, part-time), Lecturer in Asian Studies at the University of Sydney (2006-10, part-time) and Lecturer in International and Intercultural Communication at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, Beijing (2002-06). I was DAAD Fellow at the Free University of Berlin from 2010 to 2011, and British Academy Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths College,University of London, from 2011 to 2012. I received a PhD in Gender Studies and Cultural Studies from the University of Sydney, Australia, in 2011.

I am currently director of the Centre for Contemporary East Asian Cultural Studies (CEACS). I am also a member of the Centre for Critical Theory (CCT), Institute for Screen Industry Research (ISIR) and Asia Research Institute at Nottingham. I am also a Research Associate of Centre for Chinese Visual Arts, Birmingham School of Art.

I serve on the editorial boards of British Journal of Chinese Studies and Chinese Independent Cinema Observer. I write and edit a column, Queer Lens, for the Chinese Independent Film Archive website.

I am on the international advisory boards of ALMS2019, China Academic Network on Gender, China Rainbow Media Awards, Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Queer Asia, Refeng Xueshu: A Journal of Contemporary Cultural Studies and Translation for Change. I serve on the jury of the Cambridge Waterprite Student film Festival, Shanghai Queer Film Festival, and the Beijing Film Academy Focus Student Film Festival.

I am a Fellow of Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA), Royal Asiatic Society (FRAS) and Higher Education Academy (FHEA). I am also a Trustee of UK New Artists (UKNA), a registered charity and National Portfolio Organisation.

I am deeply committed to anti-racism and EDI work. I serve on the BAME/EDI committee in the Department and the School. I am a member of the Stop Asian Hate Nottingham Working Group, University BAME Staff Network, and University LGBTQ+ Staff Network. I am also a member of the COVID-19 Anti-Racism Group.

I have organised and curated film programmes for the Nottingham Chinese Independent Film Festival (in collaboration with the Broadway Cinema Nottingham) and various other film screening events and research workshops. I have also organised events for the University of Nottingham's LGBT History Month. I curated a Chinese queer film programme for the Chinese New Year events at the Nottingham Lakeside Arts. I also co-organised the Transnational Radical Film Cultures conference and Queer Asia as Method Roundtable and Townhall.

Expertise Summary

I am interested in mediated cultural politics in a transnational context, including but not limited to gay identity and queer activism, community culture and citizen media, as well as independent films and film festivals. My research is primarily concerned with how media relate to issues of gender, sexuality and identity, and how they participate in community building, empowerment of minority groups, and grassroots mobilisation. It also considers how media and contemporary culture respond to a postsocialist world dominated by neoliberal ideologies, and how socialist and democratic forms of community cultures and social forms are lived and experienced in everyday lives and social movements.

Teaching Summary

In 2021-22, I teach the following modules:

Communication and Culture (semester 1, first year core module)

Media Identities (semester 1, second year module)

Gender, Sexuality and Media (semester 2, third year and MA module)

I also contribute to the Researching Culture and Media module with a workshop on semiotics.

The PhD projects that I am currently supervising include:

Live Streaming Digital Video Platform in China;

History of the China Film Group Corporation;

Contemporary Chinese Girlhood Film.

I have supervised the following PhD projects to completion:

Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival;

Representation of the Cultural Revolution on Contemporary Chinese Screen;

The Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Art as Cultural Diplomacy;

The Use of the Literary Fantastic in Diasporic Chinese Women's Writing;

The Animal and the Human in Late Imperial Chinese Novels;

Women and Contemporary Chinese Art;

The Nostalgic Mode of Expression on Chinese Screen Media;

Feng Xiaogang's 'New Year Celebration Films'.

Research Summary

I work at the intersections of queer studies, China/Asia studies, and cultural studies. My transdisciplinary research primarily focuses on queer culture in contemporary China - from community media… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

I work at the intersections of queer studies, China/Asia studies, and cultural studies. My transdisciplinary research primarily focuses on queer culture in contemporary China - from community media to cinema, from literature to contemporary art, from theatre to musical cultures, and from cultural history to political theory. Bringing together diverse research methods and innovative approaches in humanities and social sciences, my research hopes to help de-Westernise queer studies and cultural studies, and bring Marxism and queer theory into critical dialogues with each other.

My first monograph, Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Queer Politics in Postsocialist China, was published by the Nordic Institute of Asia Studies Press in 2018. Interviews about the book can be found on Notches, New Books Network and CEMEAS.

My second monograph, titled Queer China: Lesbian and Gay Literature and Visual Culture under Postsocialism, was published by Routledge in 2020. Some news and event updates as well as teaching and learning resources are available on the Taylor and Francis author website. An interview about the book can be found on Notches. A review of the book can be found on Feminist Encounters, Critical Arts, European Journal of Cultural Studies, Global Media and China and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.

I also co-edited a book on queer media and culture in China: Queer/Tongzhi China: New Perspectives on Research, Activism and Media Cultures.

My third monograph, titled Queer Media in China, has recently been published by Routledge in 2021.

I am currently co-editing two special journal issues: one on diasporic Chinese art for Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art and the other on documentary theatre in China for Chinese Independent Cinema Observer.

Some of my writings on queer cinema are available on the CIFA website and my writings on COVID-19 are available on the ''Writing in/about the Pandemic' Padlet. Some of my pilot studies on the East and Southeast Asian Communities in the UK can be found here and here. I edit Stop Asian Hate Nottingham padlet series.


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