PhD Defence: Min Xu – Getting Close to the Media World

9 April 2020 | Erasmus University Rotterdam
On Thursday 9 April 2020, Min Xu defended her PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Getting Close to the Media World: An ethnographic analysis of everyday encounters with the film industry in contemporary China’.
Promotor: Prof.dr. S.L. Reijnders | Co-promotor: Dr. S. Kim

This dissertation aims to provide a multi-sided perspective on encounters between ordinary people and the film industry, focusing in particular on media encounters in China. It poses the following main research question: What is the role and significance of ‘unmediated’ encounters with the media world in contemporary Chinese society? The dissertation investigates not only how these media encounters are organised and experienced, but also the wider impacts of this cultural phenomenon. Why focus on China? The Chinese film industry has experienced phenomenal growth in the last decade and is expected to become the world’s largest market in box office revenue and audience numbers by late 2020 (Deloitte, 2017). Likewise, opportunities for these Chinese audiences to encounter media people face-to-face have greatly increased in the past five years. However, despite the prevalence and popularity of such practices, media encounters remain an underexplored topic within Chinese media studies. Understanding the cultural phenomenon of media encounters in China can shed light on this booming film industry from a unique perspective.

Due to the coronavirus, Min Xu defended her thesis online. Here you’ll find a blogpost on How she expereinced it: Virtual defence and real memories: Doing academia in times of CODIV-19 pandemic