Prof.dr. Qing Cao

School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Durham University, UK


Research Interests

My research focuses on Chinese media and communication with three strands. The first is concerned with the role of the mass media in transforming traditional China into a modern society. The second looks at the power and impact of language use in shaping people’s perceptions of reality, and the way in which people respond to rapid social changes. The third examines mutual representations between China and the West in the media, focusing on the reproduction of cultural identities through images of the other. My central concern in all these strands is the way in which the mass media impact on the ability of people to make sense of the world they live in in a cross-cultural context. Currently I am working on a project that looks at the press of the late Qing and early Republic periods. This UK Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project translating modernity: a linguistic investigation of the migration of western ideas to China around the turn into the 20th century examines how new concepts rooted in European post-enlightenment values were linguistically reconstructed in the newly emergent late imperial Chinese press. It seeks to understand the linkage between the rise of modern vocabularies and a fundamental shift of worldview of the Chinese cultural and political elites around the turn into the 20th century.


Selected Publications


·       China under Western Gaze: Representing China in the British Television Documentaries, 1980-2000, World Scientific, 2014

Edited book/journal

·       Brand China in the Media: Transformation of Identities (co-edited with Wu, D & Tomaselli, K.G.), Routledge, 2019

·       Brand China (co-edited with Wu, D) A Special Issue of Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, 31 (6): 2017

·       Discourse, Politics and Media in Contemporary China, (co-edited with Tian, H & Chilton, P) John Benjamins, 2014

Journal article

·       Rupture in Modernity: A Case Study of Radicalism in Late Qing Chinese Press Debate', Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies 31(6), pp. 9-28, 2017

·       'Modern Chinese Identities at the Crossroads: Introduction' (co-authored with Wu, D), Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies  31(6), pp. 1-8, 2017

·       'Modernity and Media Portrayals of China', Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 22(1), pp. 1-21, 2012

·       'The Language of Soft Power: Mediating Socio-political Meanings in the Chinese Media', Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies 25(1), pp. 7-24, 2011

·       '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(4), pp. 615-633, 2010

·       'China's Cultural Soft Power: An Emerging National Cultural Security Discourse' (co-authored with Renwick, N.), American Journal of Chinese Studies 15(2), pp. 69-86, 2008

·       'China Through Western Eyes: a Case Study of a BBC Television Documentary Series Road to Xanadu', European Journal of East Asian Studies 7(2), 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(5), pp. 431-450,2007

·       'The Discourse of Technology in Western Representation of China: A Case Study', Global Media Journal 5(9), pp. 1-14,2006

·       'Journalism as Politics: Reporting Hong Kong’s Handover in the Chinese Press', Journalism Studies 1(4), pp. 665-678, 2000

·       'China's political discourse towards the 21st century victimhood, identity, and political power,'(co-authored with Renwick, N), East Asia: an international quarterly 17(4), pp. 111-143,1999

·       'Signification of Hong Kong’s Handover: the Case of the British Press', Journal of International Communication 6(2), pp. 71, 1999

Book chapter

·       ‘Introduction: Continuities and Changes for an Alternative Modernity (co-authored with Wu, D & Tomaselli, K.G.), in Cao, Q, Wu, D & Tomaselli (eds) Brand China in the Media: Transformation of Identities, Routledge, 2019

·       'Identity discourse in modern China: Political and cultural construction of the Chinese nation', in Shei, Chris (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Discourse Analysis, Routledge, 2019

·       '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, 2017

·       '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, 2015

·       'China's Soft Power: Formulations, Contestations and Communication', in Cao, Q, Tian, H & Chilton, P (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, Q, Tian, H & Chilton, P (eds.), Discourse, Politics and Media in Contemporary China, John Benjamins, pp. 1-22, 2014

·       'From revolution to business: China's changing discourses on Africa', in Chan, S. (ed.), The morality of China in Africa: the middle kingdom and the dark continent, Zed Books, pp. 60-69, 2013

·       'China’s Evolving Human Security Discourse'(co-authored with Renwick, N.), in Iwatake, Mikako (ed.), New Perspectives from Japan and China, Renvall Institute Publications 27, University of Helsinki, pp. 27-50, 2010

·       'Journalism and Political Change: the Case of China', in Stuart, A (ed.), The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism, Routledge, pp. 138-148, 2009

·        'Western Representation of the ‘Other’', in Shi-xu (ed.), Discourse as Cultural Struggle, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, pp. 105-122, 2006

·       'Modern Political Communication in China'(co-authored with Renwick, N.), in Rawnsley, G & Rawnsley, M. (eds.), Political Communication in Greater China: The Construction and Reflection of Identity, Routledge, pp. 62-82, 2003

·       'Selling Culture: Ancient Chinese Conception of the ‘Other’ in Legends', in Chan, S., Mandeville, P. & Bleiker, R. (eds.), The Zen of International Relations: IR Theories from East to West, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 178-202, 2001