Selected Publications

Journal Articles & Book Chapters

Forthcoming  Zou, S. “Television and the Janus Face of Chinese Hip-Hop: Style, Ideology, and Precarious Syncretization in The Rap of China.” In R. Bramwell (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Global Rap. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 

2024  Zou, S. "Sublimated Machismo: Patriarchy, Hegemonic Masculinity, and Popular Nationalism in China’s Hip-hop Culture." In J. Zhao and H. Bao (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Gender and Sexuality in China. London, UK: Routledge. 

2023  Zou, S. “ ‘Hold on to the Green Horse’: Popular Imaginations of the Health Code and the Cultivation of Algocratic Attunement in China in the COVID Era.” Journal of Contemporary China. Online First.

2023  Zou, S.  Provincializing ‘Web Traffic’: Data Imaginaries and Vernacular Construction of Liuliang in China.Communication, Culture & Critique. Online First.

2023  Zou, S. "Mistranslation as Disinformation: COVID-19, Global Imaginaries, and Self-serving Cosmopolitanism." In John N. Erni and Ted Striphas (eds.), The Cultural Politics of COVID-19. Routledge. (Reprint as book chapter)

2022   Zou, S. "Curating a scopic contact zone: Short video, rural performativity, and the mediatization of socio-spatial order in China." Television & New Media. Online First.

2022   Zou, S. "Aesthetic Subjectification Through Ambivalent Play: Exploring a Ludic Theory of Popular Propaganda." Journal of Communication Inquiry. Online first.

2022   Zou, S. "When a Subculture Goes Pop: Platforms, Mavericks, and Capital in the Production of BL Web Series in China." Media Industries 9(1): 109-128.

2021    Zou, S. "Restyling propaganda: popularized party press and the making of soft propaganda in China." Information, Communication & Society. Online first. 

2021    Zou, S. "Mistranslation as Disinformation: COVID-19, Global Imaginaries, and Self-serving Cosmopolitanism." Cultural Studies 35 (2-3): 523-533.

2021     Zou, S. "Disenchanting Trust: Instrumental Reason, Algorithmic Governance, and China’s Emerging Social Credit System." Media and Communication 9 (2): 140–149. 

2021    Zou, S. “Performing Devotion: Revitalized ‘Red Songs,’ Choral Flash Mobs, and National Identity.” In S. Kehoe and G. Wielander (eds.), Cultural China: The Contemporary China Centre Review. London, UK: University of Westminster Press.

2020   Glasser, T. L., Zou, S. and A. Varma. “Native Advertising as Counterfeit News.” In M. Zimdars and K. McLeod (eds.), Fake News: Understanding Media and Misinformation in the Digital Age, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 

2020     Zou, S. “Beneath the Bitter Laughter: Youth Parodies, Structures of Feeling, and Cultural Citizenship in China.Global Media and Communication 16(2): 131–147.

2020     Zou, S. “Emotional News, Emotional Counterpublic: Unraveling the Construction of Fear in Chinese Diasporic Community Online.” Digital Journalism 8 (2): 229-248.

2019     Zou, S. “When Nationalism Meets Hip-Hop: Aestheticized Politics of Ideotainment in China.” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 16 (3): 178-195. (Featured in National Communication Association’s Communication Currents, Dec. 10).

2019     Glasser, T. L., Varma, A. and Zou, S. “Native Advertising and the Cultivation of Counterfeit News.” Journalism 20 (1): 150–153.

2018     Zou, S. “Producing Value Out of the Invaluable: A Critical/Cultural Perspective on the Live Streaming Industry in China.” TripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique 16 (2): 805-819.

2018     Zou, S. “Localization Between Negotiating Forces: A Case Study of a Chinese Radio Station in the United States.” Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 13 (1): 1–16.

2018     Zou, S. “From Inarticulacy to Care: Exploring Dialogical Approaches to Journalistic Representation of Ethnic Minorities.” Journalism Practice 12 (4): 382-399.

2015     Zou, S. “Restructuring the Terms of Debate on Cultural Identities: The Theoretical and Methodological Implications of Hall’s Cultural Legacy” (in Chinese). Global Media Journal: Chinese Edition 2(2): 99-112. [邹胜.重造文化身份讨论的措辞框架:霍尔理论遗产的学理性和方法论启示。《全球传媒学刊》2(2): 99-112.]

2014     Zou, S. “U.S.-based Chinese Diasporic Media and ‘Social Myth’: A Comparative Critical Discourse Analysis.Global Media Journal: Canadian Edition 7(2): 41-56.    

2014        Zou, S. & Lu, J. "On the Localization Practices of U.S.-based Multinational Media Conglomerates." (in Chinese). International Communications. [邹胜,卢嘉.美国跨国传媒本土化的内涵.《对外传播》5: 57-59.]


2013  Zou, S. "Immigrant Chinese media and 'social myth': A case study of the World Journal's news coverage." (in Chinese). Chinese Journal of Journalism & Communication. [邹胜. 华文移民媒体与“社会迷思”:以《世界日报》新闻报道为例. 《国际新闻界》35(7): 94-101.]

Invited Book/Film Reviews

2022    Zou, S. Review of Zoning China. Pacific Affairs.

2020    Zou, S. “Review of People’s Republic of Desire.” Pacific Affairs. 


On COVID-related Disinformation 

Disinformation narratives around COVID-19 are often "transnational and intertextual constructs, which involve the practices of (mis)translating and referencing foreign source texts to paradoxically delegitimate the foreign Other; they reinforce what I call self-serving cosmopolitanism, a narcissistic and locally conditioned sense of global consciousness that is oriented towards the consolidation of self-identity and pride."

"To combat global disinformation about COVID-19, we should foreground the politics of translation, enhance cross-cultural sensibility, and most importantly, mobilize a kind of counter-politics against the xenophobic nationalism that disinformation narratives often parasitize."

On China's Emerging Social Credit System

Although China's emerging social credit system (SCS) is "framed officially as an all-encompassing project aimed at building trust,"  it, in effect, "reduces the moral and relational dimension of trust in social interactions."  


"Algorithmic technologies, thriving on a moral economy characterized by impersonality, impede the formation of trust and trustworthiness as moral virtues. The algorithmic rationality underlying the SCS undermines the ontology of relational trust, forecloses its transformative power, and disrupts social and civic interactions that are non-instrumental in nature."

On Popular Music and National identity

"The revival of classical red songs has taken a participatory and performative turn...This fervent wave of choral flash mobs and singing competitions constitutes a re-emerging sonic infrastructure grounded in local and identity-based communities where music is circulated and practiced in the service of national cohesion."

"Characterized by liveness, embodiment, participation, and performance, choral flash mobs enable a spectacular and aesthetic representation of national identity, where top-down ideological governance coalesces with bottom-up nationalist sentiment."

On Propaganda/Ideotainment in China

There has been “a broader shifting trend of propaganda and thought work in China, where new technologies, sensibilities, formats, and actors are incorporated to make ideological persuasion more unobtrusive and appealing to the populace, especially the younger generations."

"[I]deotainment in China illuminates how politics is intricately intertwined with aesthetics and affects, and increasingly adapted to youth subcultures, popular tastes and contemporary lifestyles."

On Parody and Civic Culture

"To understand the potentials of digital cultural citizenship, we need to move beyond the traditional notion of public sphere – into the domain of the private, or the terrain of everyday life; we need to understand people’s feelings and motives that are relevant to their civic agency. The affective and cultural dimensions of egao [or online parody] should be given more adequate attention."

"The parodies could be interpreted as young people’s cultural response to the social changes in China, which heighten the ambivalence of their social identity. Internet technologies construct outlets for young people to vent and share their anxiety, anger, frustration and fear regarding social tensions and inequalities. In these virtual meeting spaces, personal reinterpretations of hot-button issues are exchanged and discussions on lifestyle politics take place. These spaces are hybrid terrains blurring entertainment and politics."


On Live Streaming in China

"[T]he capitalist logic encroaches on all aspects of personal and social life, including bodies and affects, intimate domains, and previously non-monetizable interactions and activities. Desire is...externalized and commodified in the most blatant forms; users are at once enticed and entrapped, while the platform becomes the only winner of the game."

"The capitalist colonization of the social sphere replaces other types of values with market value, or extracts value from the invaluable – such as emotions, affections and bodies – to which no price tag should be attached. The commercial economy is overwhelming other types of economies."


On Emotion and Digital Journalism

"At the core of the intersection between emotions/affects and digital media technology is the match between the sociality of emotions/affects and the animating logic of digital news processes—the norms of interactivity and participation that propel the circulation of news content among the networked audience."

On Dialogical Journalism and Ethics of Care

"This dialogical approach undergirded by the ethics of care discards the transmission model of communication and prompts journalists to reflect the heterogeneous voices by the utterers whom they call 'sources.' It stands in contrast with the monologue that privileges the author’s latent values and purposes."

"To care means to value the quality of the desires and motivations, of the worth and ends, sought after by oneself and by others; to care means to listen to other voices different from one’s own, and to actively understand others’ perspectives, experiences and their 'surplus of seeing,' so that one could rethink one’s own perspectives and actions in a novel light."

On Diasporic Journalism

"The discursive practice of the Chinese diasporic media…moves away from objectivist norms of representation, and remains in close and constant interaction with the ethnic group's perception of social expectation and inter-group relations.”