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Dr Qing Cao
My research focuses on the study of Chinese media and communication with three strands of interest. The first is concerned with the role of the media in transforming traditional China into a modern society. The second is the impact of language use in the media that shapes people’s perceptions of reality, and how they respond to rapid social changes. The third examines mutual media representations between China and the West, focusing on identity reproduction through the image of the other. My central concern in all these strands is the way in which the mass media impact on the ability of humans to make sense of the world they live in.
Currently I am working on a project that looks at the press in late Qing and early Republic China. The project is funded by The Arts and Humanities Research Council under the Open World Research Initiative. It is part of the translingual strand and transnational strand. My project translating modernity: a linguistic investigation of the migration of western ideas to China around the turn into the 20th century examines how concepts rooted in European post-enlightenment values were linguistically reconstructedin China’s early modern press and how it shaped intellectual and political discussions about fundamental issues on how to modernize China. It seeks to understand the link between a sudden rise of modern vocabularies mediated through Meiji Japan and a rapid shift of worldview among the educated elites. Previously I completed two British Academy-funded research projects. Both examined the way in which the media actively promote a developmentalist identity of the post-reform China contextualised in the historical drive for an industrialist modernity.
My book China under Western Gaze is the first book-length study of the British television documentaries’ representation of China in the pivotal years of 1980-2000. Drawing on Vladimir Propp’s dramatis personae, I analysed the mythic and mimetic narratives of the documentary texts and visual images. The book details how the 1980s’ fascination with a ‘rediscovered’ cultural China turned into the 1990s’ repulsion of a political China; and how the sudden change in a single decade is intricately linked to the global shift of geopolitics from the cold war to the post-cold war world.
I have supervised PhD students working on a range of topics, including the BBC reporting of China, Western newsmagazine reporting of US-China and US-Japan trade wars, the 19th century English newspaper representation of China, BBC reporting of Saudi Arabia, Chinese literary representation of modernity in Republican China, discursive construction of China’s national identity, and representation of women in newspapers from late Qing to contemporary China. I would welcome enquiries from students who wish to pursue PhDs in similar fields and those related to my research interests. Proposals that use corpus linguistics as a research method are welcome.
- Media and cultural representation
- Mutual perceptions between the West and China
- Mass media and sociopolitical changes in China
- Discourse and narrative
- 2014 China under Western Gaze: Representing China in the British Television Documentaries, 1980-2000, World Scientific, 242 pp.
Chapter in book
- 2019 'Discursive Construction of National and Political Identities in China', in Shei, Chris (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Discourse Analysis, Routledge, pp. 431-443
- 2019 (co-authored with Wu, Doreen & Tomaselli, Keyan) 'Introduction: Continuities and Changes for an Alternative Modernity', in Cao, Qing, Wu, Doreen & Tomaselli, Keyan (eds.), Brand China in the Media: Transformation of Identities, Routledge.
- 2017 'Chinese Developmentalism and Television Representation of South Africa', in Batchelor, K. & Zhang, X. (eds.), China-Africa Relations: Building Images through Cultural Co-operation, Media Representation and Communication, Routledge, pp. 199-217
- 2015 'The Politics and poetics of television documentary in China', in Rawnsley, Gary & Rawnsley, Ming-yeh (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Media, Routledge, pp. 355-371
- 2014 'China's Soft Power: Formulations, Contestations and Communication', in Cao, Qing, Tian, Hailong & Chilton, Paul (eds.), Discourse, Politics and Media in Contemporary China, John Benjamins, pp. 171-194
- 2014 'Introduction: Legitimisation, Resistance and Discursive Struggles in Contemporary China', in Cao, Qing, Tian, Hailong & Chilton, Paul (eds.), Discourse, Politics and Media in Contemporary China, John Benjamins, pp. 1-22
- 2013 'From revolution to business: China's changing discourses on Africa', in Chan, Stephen (ed.), The morality of China in Africa: the middle kingdom and the dark continent, Zed Books, pp. 60-69
- 2010 (co-authored with Renwick, N.) 'China’s Evolving Human Security Discourse', in Iwatake, Mikako (ed.), New Perspectives from Japan and China, Renvall Institute Publications 27, University of Helsinki, pp. 27-50
- 2009 'Journalism and Political Change: the Case of China', in Stuart, Alan (ed.), The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism, Routledge, pp. 138-148
- 2006 'Western Representation of the ‘Other’', in Shi-xu (ed.), Discourse as Cultural Struggle, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, pp. 105-122
- 2003 (co-authored with Renwick, N.) 'Modern Political Communication in China', in Rawnsley, Gary & Rawnsley, Ming-Yeh (eds.), Political Communication in Greater China: The Construction and Reflection of Identity, Routledge, pp. 62-82
- 2001 'Selling Culture: Ancient Chinese Conception of the ‘Other’ in Legends', in Chan, Stephen, Mandeville, Peter & Bleiker, Roland (eds.), The Zen of International Relations: IR Theories from East to West, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 178-202
- 2019 (co-edited with Wu, Doreen & Tomaselli, Keyan) Brand China in the Media: Transformation of Identities, Routledge, 242 pp.
- 2014 (co-edited with Tian, Hailong & Chilton, Paul) Discourse, Politics and Media in Contemporary China, John Benjamins, 213 pp.
- 2017 (co-authored with Wu, Doreen) Modern Chinese Identities at the Crossroads. Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, 31 (6): Routledge.
- 2018 'A Corpus-based Investigation of Guomin', Journal of Chinese Sociolinguistics 31, pp. 13-28
- 2017 (co-authored with Wu, Doreen) 'Modern Chinese Identities at the Crossroads: Introduction', Critical Arts 31, pp. 1-8
- 2017 'Rupture in Modernity: A Case Study of Radicalism in Late Qing Chinese Press Debate', Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies 31, pp. 9-28
- 2012 'Modernity and Media Portrayals of China', Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 22, pp. 1-21
- 2011 'The Language of Soft Power: Mediating Socio-political Meanings in the Chinese Media', Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies 25, pp. 7-24
- 2010 'The re-imagined West in Chinese Television: a Case Study of the CCTV Documentary Series the Rise of the Great Powers', Journal of Language and Politics 9, pp. 615-633
- 2008 (co-authored with Renwick, N.) 'China's Cultural Soft Power: An Emerging National Cultural Security Discourse', American Journal of Chinese Studies 15, pp. 69-86
- 2007 'China Through Western Eyes: a Case Study of a BBC Television Documentary Series Road to Xanadu', European Journal of East Asian Studies 7, pp. 275-297
- 2007 'Confucian Vision of a New World Order? Culturalist Discourse, Foreign Policy and the Press in Contemporary China', International Communication Gazette 69, pp. 431-450
- 2006 'The Discourse of Technology in Western Representation of China: A Case Study', Global Media Journal 5, pp. 1-14
- 2000 'Journalism as Politics: Reporting Hong Kong’s Handover in the Chinese Press', Journalism Studies 1, pp. 665-678
- 1999 (co-authored with Renwick, Neil) 'China's political discourse towards the 21st century victimhood, identity, and political power,', East Asia: an international quarterly 17, pp. 111-143
- 1999 'Signification of Hong Kong’s Handover: the Case of the British Press', Journal of International Communication 6, pp. 71-89
- 2012 'Propaganda', pp. 351-353
- 2018: HEFCE Global Challenges Research Funds
- 2017: Taiwan Fellowship
- 2016: AHRC Open World Research Initiative
- 2012: British Academy Research Grant
- 2010: China Sinology Research Grant
- 2005: British Academy Research Grant