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2012 events

Memories of Chinese media since 1949

Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald

Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at the Centre for World Cinemas at the University of Leeds

Room S0.12, Strand Campus, King's College London

4-6pm, Wednesday 22 February 2012


This talk discusses the Chinese media in the light of recent field research with older Chinese citizens in the PRC.  The work was premised on a separate project that sought to describe and understand the role of the political poster in the 1960s and 1970s. Here (in collaboration with Renmin University and the Australian Research Council), it was expanded to discuss all forms of media, and all periods relevant to those born on or before the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. Focussing on key memories, influences, usage patterns, and trajectories, these local histories of media put contemporary debates on propaganda, soft power, creative industries, and people’s journalism into a longer perspective. Likewise, the burgeoning interest from research students and established scholars – as well indeed as a wider public fascination with the workings of the Chinese state - into the purposes and practices of media in China is served by multiple points of departure and a variety of approaches to sophisticated and difficult questions of what one expects from media cultures and systems in a strong state, such as the PRC? The talk will present verbatim  accounts of how media create and preserve meaning, how and where continuities exist between revolutionary and reform environments, and open up questions of the future of the Chinese media for a new generation.


Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald is currently a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at the Centre for World Cinemas at the University of Leeds. Following a first degree in Chinese at the University of Oxford and a DPhil  on Chinese film at University of Sussex (1997), she emigrated to Australia, where she has worked ever since. Her research covers film, the media, and children’s experiences in the Asia-Pacific region, with a particular focus on visual culture. Previous positions held include  Professor of Chinese Media Studies at the University of Sydney, and Foundation Dean of Media and Communication at RMIT University, Melbourne. She has recently been awarded a prestigious Future Fellowship by the Australian Research Council, which she will take up at the University of New South Wales in May 2012. Recent work is published by Theory, Culture and Society,  New Formations, and MIA.

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