Networked China

Networked China

Global Dynamics of Digital Media and Civic Engagement

October 18-19, 2013

The Internet and digital media have become conduits and locales where hundreds of millions of Chinese share information and engage in creative expression and social participation. Yet, compared to their growing prevalence and significance, research on the contingent, non-linear, and sometimes paradoxical impacts of digital media and technologies in Chinese societies remain theoretically underdeveloped and empirically understudied. Departing from previous studies centered on censorship or online activism, this conference casts a wider net and explores how people navigate, negotiate, and transform social landscapes rooted in the Chinese context, revealing both the power and limitations of the Internet and other digital media and communication technologies.

This conference seeks to update prevailing theoretical frameworks and revisit the prosumption patterns of digital media and their implications for globalization, transnational networks and public life. Calling for theory-driven empirical research with scholarly and policy relevance, it gathers scholars from Asia, Europe, and North America to present and discuss diverse theoretical and methodological approaches, especially interdisciplinary and comparative research on digital media access and use, transnational/global networks, and civic engagement in China.


Wenhong Chen is an assistant professor in the Department of Radio-TV-Film, College of Communication, at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto and was a SSHRC postdoctoral research fellow at Duke University. Her research has been focused on the implications of digital media and communication technologies in entrepreneurial, organizational and multiethnic settings. Read more

Stephen D. Reese is Jesse H. Jones Professor of Journalism and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Communication at the University of Texas, where he has been on the faculty since graduate study at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he received his Ph.D. At Texas he served as director of the School of Journalism for seven years and has taught a wide range of courses. His research in political communication, press performance and globalization has been published in numerous book chapters and articles. Read more