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 Theatrical 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 co-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 serve on the international editorial or advisory boards of ALMS2019, China Academic Network on Gender, China Rainbow Media Awards, Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Refeng Xueshu: A Journal of Contemporary Cultural Studies and Translation for Change.

I hold a PGCHE (Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education) and am Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK.

I have orgasnised 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.

In 2019, 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 (with Dr Daniel Mutibwa).

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. I am 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. I also consider how media and contemporary culture respond to a postsocialist world dominated by neoliberal ideologies, and how socialist and democratic forms of social organising and community cultures are lived and experienced in everyday lives and social movements.

Teaching Summary

In academic year 2019-20, I am on research leave and will not undertake any teaching.

I usually teach the following undergraduate modules:

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

Media Identities (semester 2, second year module)

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

Critical and Cultural Theory Today (semester 1, MA in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies)

I also contribute to the Researching Culture, Film and Media module with workshops on ethnography.

Research Summary

My research brings queer theory, Marxism and China into critical dialogues with each other. By looking at queer media production, queer filmmaking, and LGBTQ activism in contemporary China, I… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

My research brings queer theory, Marxism and China into critical dialogues with each other. By looking at queer media production, queer filmmaking, and LGBTQ activism in contemporary China, I theorise how sexual subjectivities and desires emerge in a neoliberal and postsocialist context and how a radical queer public culture can take shape through communication, culture and political engagements.

My monograph, titled Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Queer Politics in Postsocialist China, has been positively reviewed by Anthropology in Action, Antipode: A Radical Journal in Geography, China Quarterly, China Review International, East Asian Journal of Popular Culture, Feminist Encounters, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Newbooks.Asia, The China Journal and Women in Gender in Chinese Studies. Interviews about the book can be found on Notches, New Books Network and CEMEAS.

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 new monograph, titled Queer China: Lesbian and Gay Literature and Visual Culture, is expected to come out in 2020.

I am currently working on the following research projects:

(1) The Queer Generation: Queer Filmmaking in the People's Republic of China, which examines major Chinese queer filmmakers and their works;

(2) Queer Community Media in China, which looks at community based media, including zines, websites, webcasts and dating apps in the PRC.


The PhD projects that I am currently supervising include:

Regional Creative Economies in China and the UK;

Acting in Wong Kar-Wai's Films;

China Film Group Corporation:

Queer Film Festivals in Shanghai;

The Kong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

I have supervised the following PhD projects to completion:

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;

Feminist Art Practices in contemporary China;

The Nostalgic Mode of Expression on Chinese Screen Media Since the 2000s;

Feng Xiaogang's 'New Year Celebration' Films.

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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