Introduction: making a queer turn in contemporary Chinese-language media studies

Jamie J. Zhao*, Alvin K. Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The past decade has seen a surge in the scholarship of queer China and Sinophone studies, which has productively explored the geocultural travelling and transformation of Western-originated queer theories and identity politics as powerful, generative tools in both the social-political and scholarly dimensions of diverse Chinese-speaking contexts. Along this line, this article, as the introductory piece to the special issue ‘Making a queer turn in contemporary Chinese-language media studies’, proposes a radical queer theorization, reading and critique of today’s Chinese-language film, television, pop music and related celebrity and fan cultures. We connect queer China and Sinophone studies with (the too-often Western-centric) queer media studies to question the assumed absence or minoritarian position of queer media productions and fantasies in the Chinese and Sinophone worlds. Through unravelling various roots and routes in which visual-aural media forms, formats and imaginaries form discursive intervention into, if not close association with, the hetero-patriarchally structured societies and media industries, we show the research possibilities and directionalities opened up by recognizing the co-presence of and continual negotiation between queer and normative fantasies surrounding gender, sexuality, nationhood, ethnicity and class in Chinese-language media production, circulation and consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-483
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • China/Chineseness
  • film and television
  • media studies
  • music
  • queer theory


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