Nottingham Sensory Studies Network

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 Director of Research for the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies and Director of the Centre for Critical Theory and Cultural Studies (CCTCS).I am a member of the 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 and International Institute of Asia Studies, Leiden University.

I serve on the editorial boards of British Journal of Chinese Studies ,Chinese Independent Cinema Observer, Contemporary East Asian Visual Cultures, Societies and Politics (Springer) and Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art and Political Cinemas (Edinburgh University Press). I write and edit a column, Queer Lens, for the Chinese Independent Film Archive website. I co-edit the Bloomsbury book series on Queering China: Transnational Genders and Sexualities.

I am on the international advisory boards of ALMS2019, China Academic Network on Gender, China Rainbow Media Awards, 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 Asiatic Society (FRAS) and Higher Education Academy (FHEA). I am also a Trustee of UK New Artists (UKNA), a significant national arts organisation.

I have directed 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, Queer Asia as Method Roundtable and Townhall, and China and/in the Global South: Cultures, Aesthetics and Politics research symposium.

As part of my impact work, I am also the producer of the Queer Chinese Arts Festival, Queer Zine-Making project, Drag Up!, Queers Across the Waves and Poetics of Migration project. A documentary about the Drag Up! project can be found here.

Besides being an academic, I also write poems, short stories, film/art reviews, critical essays, op-eds in both English and Chinese. As a translator, I translate between Chinese and English.

I have been interviewed by or have provided commentary on gender, sexuality and media in China for the following international media organisations: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Deutsche Welle, Intellectuals, Kyodo News, The Economist, The Guardian, New York Times, Protocol, Sky News, South China Morning Post, SupChina, Times Higher Education, Times Out, Weekendavisen, Vice, among others.

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 2023-24, I teach the following modules:

CULT1008 & CULT1020 Communication and Culture (semester 1, first year core module)

CULT2011 Media Identities: Who We Are and How We Feel (semester 1, second year module)

CULT3033 & CULT4059 Gender, Sexuality and Media (semester 2, third year and MA module)

I also contribute to the Researching Media and Media module with research methodology workshops.

I supervise BA and MA dissertations as well as PhD theses.

The PhD and MPhil projects that I am currently supervising include:

The Noir Aesthetics in Chinese Cinema;

Metamorphosis in Transnational Literary Texts;

Indigenous Queer Performance in the US..

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'

Live Streaming Digital Video Platform in China;

Contemporary Chinese Girlhood Film;

History of the China Film Group Corporation

Research Summary

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

Recent Publications

Current Research

I work at the intersections of queer studies, China/Asia studies, and cultural studies. My transdisciplinary research 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 de-Westernise queer studies and cultural studies, and bring Marxism and queer theory into critical dialogues with each other.

My first single-authored 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. Queer Comrades was featured on the Vogue magazine's 'essential queer reading list' in 2022.

My second single-authored 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 and New Books Network. 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.

My third single-authored monograph, Queer Media in China, was published by Routledge in 2021. The book has been reviewed by The Journal of Asian Studies and The China Journal.

My fourth single-authored monograph, Contemporary Chinese Queer Performance, was published by Routledge in August 2022. The book has been reviewed by Feminist Encounters.

My fifth single-authored monograph, Queering the Asian Diaspora, is forthcoming with Sage in 2025.

My co-edited book, Contemporary Queer Chinese Art (with Jamie J. Zhao and Diyi Mergenthaler), was published by Bloomsbury in July 2023. You can watch the recording of a book launch here.

I am the co-editor, with Dr Jamie J. Zhao, of Routledge Handbook for Chinese Gender and Sexuality and the Bloomsbury book series Queering China: Transnational Gender and Sexualities. I also co-edit Queer Chinese-Language Literature (with Yahia Ma).

I have co-edited a book on queer media and culture in China: Queer/Tongzhi China: New Perspectives on Research, Activism and Media Cultures. I have also co-edited a special issue of position papers for British Journal of Chinese Studies, a special double issue on contemporary Chinese art in the Diaspora for Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, and a special issue on queer Chinese screens for Journal of Chinese Cinemas.

My debut poetry collection The Passion of the Rabbit God and poetry pamphlet Dream of the Orchid Pavilion are both out in 2024.

Some of my writings on queer cinema are available on the CIFA website.


Nottingham Sensory Studies Network

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