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Personal profile

Personal profile

Xiaoling Zhang has built up a research track record in the area of media, culture and society with a focus on China, especially in political communication, the advances of new information technologies and their political and social implications, and Chinas image building nationally and internationally. She has published widely on China’s creative industries, i.e., the film industry, the TV industry, new media technologies/social media, more recently focusing on their role in the nation’s attempt to refresh its image and to build international soft power. She researches on the evolving policies, the development of the industries as part of China’s economic development, the cultural market, and the wider social transformation as China develops towards a creative society. She has succeeded in winning research grants from the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Chiang-chin Guo Foundation, the British Council and the Chinese National Soft Science Fund. These projects not only enabled her to lead international collaboration of multidisciplinary scholars, but also to host international conferences, publish in internationally leading journals and book publishers. Before Xiaoling Zhang joined the Department of Media and Communication at XJTLU, she had worked for the University of Nottingham, UK, since 1999, and moved to its China campus in Ningbo as a Chair Professor in creative industries in the School of International Communications in 2018. She successfully won a bid from the Ningbo municipal government to set up an incubator Research Base titled Internationalizing Ningbos Screen Industries. She was also awarded Pan 3315 Talent Scheme on “Policies and Strategies in Creative Industries in Ningbo’. In the past two years, Xiaoling Zhang has also led an interdisciplinary team to work on a project on Chinas international communication and relationship building in the 21st century. Since she joined Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool in Suzhou, Xiaoling Zhang has committed herself to the communication of cultural heritage and the relationship between cultural heritage, identity shaping, community building and image construction. She brings together a dozen of multi-disciplinary scholars from within and without China to explore diverse narratives, actors, platforms, interactions in the communication of cultural heritage, and the multi-dimensional implications for identity shaping, community building and image building, ranging from local to international. They grapple with the potential and challenges of a nationally narrated and globally influenced heritage discourse in the hope of advancing the study of ‘heritagization’ as well as intercultural dialogue.Xiaoling Zhang is the co-editor (Zhang, X and Schultz Corey) for the Book Series Communicating China: past, present and future, She has brought many PhD candidates to successful completion. She welcomes applications in her research interest area.

Research interests

Political communication, propaganda, public diplomacy, traditional media (TV, print media, radio); film, new media (social media); culture and society; image building; soft power


03.1999 – 07.2008Lecturer, School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham, UK

08.2008 – 09.2012 Teaching Director, Associate Professor, SCCS, UoN, UK

09.2012 – 09.2015Head, Associate Professor, School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham Ningbo Chinaina

01.2018 - 06.2021 Chair Professor, School of International Communication, University of Nottingham, Ningbo China

10.2015 – 07.2016 PhD Programme Director, Associate Professor, School of Contemporary Chinese Studies (SCCS), University of Nottingham (UNNC), UK

08.2016 – 12.2017 Associate Professor, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham (UoN), UK

08.2021 - Present Professor, Head of Department, Media and Communication, Xian Jiaotong-Liverpool University


Current teaching: COM410 Dissertation

I have developed and (co-)convened the following modules

Global Media and Communication

Media and Communication in China

Shifting Culture in a Globalizing China

Hollywood and Chinese Cinema

Chinese Cinema

China and the World

I have contributed to the following courses

Reading Film and TV

Communication and Technology

Media management

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Nottingham, UK, 1998

Person Types

  • Staff


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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