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Dr. Qing Cao is an Associate Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at University College London. His 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. His 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. Previously he 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. His 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, he 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. He is a member of Global China Academy Council.
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