Call for Papers: Communication, Culture and Governance in China and East Asia Symposium

30 May 2018

A two-day symposium co-hosted by:

The Digital Media Research Centre, Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
The Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (IASH), The University of Queensland.


Dates: Thursday 2 August and Friday 3 August 2018

Event organisers: Professor Terry Flew (DMRC, QUT) and Dr Nina Li (IASH, UQ)
Venue: Building Z9, Creative Industries Precinct, QUT Kelvin Grove, Musk Avenue, QLD 4059

Symposium Theme:

The relationship between communication, culture and governance is becoming an increasingly important one in the East Asian region. Communications infrastructure is a central element of expansionary projects such as China’s Belt and Road initiative, and governments throughout the region are increasingly investing in digital content in order to promote cultural soft power, in Asia and globally.

At the same time, phenomena such as ‘fake news’, as well as privacy and data protection issues, are presenting new challenges for governance.  Such issues arise at a time when international tensions are increasing, over economic, diplomatic, political and cultural issues.

While there have been initiatives to build bridges, (for example Hollywood-China film co-productions), anti-China rhetoric by leaders such as U.S. President Donald Trump and the escalation of US-China tariff wars point to growing contestation and the potential for conflict that goes beyond national soft power competition. Where regional players in the Asian region, including Australia, will be situated in such an environment remains unclear.

This symposium will involve a selected group of speakers and papers dealing with such questions, with a particular focus on China and the North-East Asian region.

Topics for consideration include:

  • National media policies and cultural soft power aspirations
  • Global competition in communications infrastructure
  • Digital publics, counter-publics and cultural contestation
  • Digital media and new modes of political communication
  • New networks of production, distribution and consumption in the digital creative industries
  • Comparative studies of applications of AI, Blockchain and the Internet of Things, and uses/misuses of citizen data by digital platforms, governments and others.


Confirmed speakers include:

Professor Yu Hong (College of Media and Communication, Zhejiang University)

Professor Michael Keane (Professor of Chinese Media, Curtin University)

Associate Professor Trisha Lin (National ChengChi University, Taiwan)

Dr Angela Xiao Wu (Department of Media, Culture and Communication, NYU Steinhardt)

Dr Xiang Ren (Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University)

Dr Marko Skoric (City University of Hong Kong)

Other speakers will be announced shortly.

The event will be preceded by a Masterclass for Higher Degree Research students at QUT on 1 August 2018. Details of that event will be announced shortly.


Call for papers:

We invite 20 minute paper proposals, which engage with the symposium themes. Proposals should include a title, description (up to 300 words), and the name and contact details of each presenter, including institutional affiliation. Please send proposals to

Deadline for submission: Friday 22 June

Acceptance advised: Friday July 6

The event is free to attend. Please contact us if you require information on accommodation options in Brisbane.

For further information on the symposium, please contact Gillian Ridsdale, Engagement Program Coordinator, Creative Industries Faculty, QUT


Presented by the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in collaboration with the QUT Digital Media Research Centre. 


QUT Digital Media Research Centre