Yao Cheng

Full-time PhD student in media and communications

Title: Cultural Imagination of the Other: Chinese women in Hollywood Cinema

Hollywood has long been fascinated by Chinese women’s images (Marchetti, 1993; Leong, 2005; Funnell, 2014). However, the images shift with the development of American society and the changes in the Sino-American relationship. The representations of Chinese women in Hollywood cinema have contributed to shaping Americans’ diverse imaginings of China and Chinese during different periods (Leong,2005). For example, Dagon lady, played by Anna May Wong; The vicious assistant, presented by Tsai Chin; The exotic prostitute, illustrated by Nancy Kwan; Warrior women, portrayed by Ming-Na Wen and Lucy Liu; Kungfu girl, played by Ziyi Zhang, Bingbing li, and Michelle Yeoh. All of the actors have encountered constraints and opportunities due to their gender and race attributes but sought opportunities and ways to succeed both within and despite these constraints. However, due to cultural differences, their representations in Hollywood cinema are often controversial and thus cause social and academic debates. This research investigates the cinematic representations of Chinese women in Hollywood cinema by specifically focusing on three Chinese American actors: Anna May Wong (1905-1961) (黄柳霜), Nancy Kwan (1939- )(关南施), and Lucy Liu (1968- )(刘玉玲)in order to explore the ever-changing imaginations of Chinese identity in Hollywood cinema. Their experience of gender, race, and ethnicity in Hollywood cinema is influenced by the social and film-industrial development in America and the Sino-American relationship. Wong, Kwan, and Liu are the most representative female Chinese American actors in their generation. Likewise, all of their American citizenships are often in question because of their racial heritage. The inquiry here is set in the separated periods when the images of these three actresses are largely represented in Hollywood films, namely, the 1920s to the 1940s for Wong, the 1960s to the 1980s for Kwan, and the 2000s to the 2020s for Liu.

Heyang Hu

Full-time PhD student in media and communications

Title: The information quality of Covid-19 coverage: A comparison between The Netherlands and the UK

As WHO has stated, a parallel “infodemic” is undermining efforts to combat the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Although misleading information about Covid on social media and its impacts were discussed in a vast majority of studies, the quality of information on mainstream media was largely overlooked. This project compares the performance of different types of media in the Netherlands and the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic by adopting a unique analytical framework for evaluating information quality. It aims to re-examine the values of public service media in European societies. Finally, it will provide an insightful discussion for addressing key issues that are central to the future of building a high-quality information environment in the post-covid era.



Xingfu Yu

Full-time PhD student in media and communications

Title: Comparing metaphors behind social media posts containing ‘COVID-19’ during its early stage in China and UK: Using Weibo and Twitter as examples

Metaphors are crucial for people to express attitudes and beliefs. During COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown and social distancing policies stimulated many internet users to express themselves on social media, where metaphors were widely used and significantly influenced their understanding of, and responses to, COVID-19. How people conceptualize and react to COVID-19 can be represented by their online discourse diachronically. To the best of my knowledge, no diachronic study has compared COVID-19 related metaphors on social media between China vs UK. They are comparable as social media discussions were synchronized with COVID-19 trends, and both countries were accused to provide incorrect information for the public.

The aim of this study is to compare the use of metaphors to ‘COVID-19’ behind social media posts from the institutional accounts on Sina Weibo vs Twitter and the comments below those posts in the early stage of the pandemic. I will further discuss whether discursive metaphors are more likely to drive government and public responses than scientific facts in such a severe public health crisis as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Qi Wang

Full-time PhD student in media and communications

Title: The culture of mobile phone photography: Mobile phone photography as everyday culture and the transformation of photographic aesthetics

With mobile phone penetration, taking photographs with a phone has become common in daily life, which gives the public the easy access to photography. The alternative potential of mobile phone photography to de/reconstruct the concept of art needs to be further examined. This study aims to develop a better understanding of mobile phone photography in terms of its culture regarding the interactional fields of art, media, and aesthetics studies.



Hanxue Zhang

Full-time PhD student in media and communications

Title: Exploring the narrative design of interactive online films for improving the interactor’s participation and understanding

Nowadays, video media such as films, TV series, and online series have become critical entertainment for current people who need to relax and escape the pressures of reality. The way people watch television has evolved in recent years. Video productions have also developed in many forms in response to different audience needs and technological advances. With the rapid development of the Internet, AI, VR, and other technologies, interactive drama has become a reality for the audience to ‘touch’. This research will make an in-depth understanding and exploration of audiences’ feelings, experiences, and needs and establishes a close relationship between the audience and interactive online films/series.


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