Dr Hongwei Bao, Associate Professor in Media Studies, School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, Faculty of Arts
Dr Bao is co-director of the Centre for Contemporary East Asian Cultural Studies and his research expertise is at the intersection of queer studies, China/Asia studies, and cultural studies. Dr Bao’s transdisciplinary research primarily concerns queer culture in contemporary China: from community media to queer cinema and other art forms, and from cultural history to political theory. His research focuses on how media relate to issues of gender, sexuality and identity, and how they participate in community building, empowerment of minority groups, and grassroots mobilisation.
Dr Bao draws from his research to advise and work actively with Shanghai and Beijing based LGBT organisations as they forge a collective identity and sense of community, build an extensive peer-support network, and devise appropriate activist strategies in their petition for same-sex marriage in China. He encourages culturally sensitive and context-specific strategies in legislative and policy change. Pooling from China’s rich history and traditions of gender and sexuality makes a more convincing argument about the convergence of Chinese culture and queerness. The high priorities given to families and kinship in China can be used to provide cultural legitimacy for marriage equality. In the UK, his research contributes to multicultural dimensions of LGBT identities.
Over and above REF submissions, Dr Bao writes articles and blogs for wide dissemination to the general public, including a number of topical compelling blogs in relation to xenophobic attitudes towards the Chinese in a time of Coronavirus. His non-REF writing allows him significantly more impact through outreach to wider international audiences than academic ones.