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Research Interests for Xuenan Cao

Research Interests: Critical and comparative studies

I am interested in forms of (im/inter-)mediation in the technology of communication, for instances, internet, television, and physical transportation. The theoretical difficulty I have encountered, and wish to overcome through my research, is that the phenomenological and subjective dimensions of these technology-saturated assemblages are often underspecified. My research centres around the affective and political implications of communication technologies in the post-socialist China, extending to studies of the economic undergirds of them in the processes of urbanization and technological modernization. My current project explores the logistical aspect of digital communication, which an attempt to explain the much-debated “post-modernism” in aesthetics in contemporary China. My tentative argument is that the concurrent aesthetic trend of data-based and fragmented cultural forms (such as Reality Television and online literature) is symptomatic of the desire-charged logistical networks. By the logistical aspect, I focus on the networks of connections which include physical distribution and information control, borrowing concepts from modern logistics. Logistics at the same time entails forms of control and mediation and prescribes logics of immediate affects. Both mediated and immediate, technological thresholds are points where flows of desire and economic-political interests meet, and where tensions between fractured subjectivities arise.

China, , Mediation , Affect , Global Capitalism, Urbanization, Mass Media, Mass Communication
Areas of Interest:

New Media Theories,
Critical Theories,
History of Technology,
Urban Studies

Recent Publications
  1. Cao, X, Village Worlds: Yan Lianke’s Villages and Matters of Life, Journal of Language, Literature and Culture (May, 2016), ISSN 2051-2864
  2. Cao, X, Mythorealism and Enchanted Time: Yan Lianke’s Explosion Chronicles, Frontiers of Literary Studies in China, vol. 10 no. 1 (2016), pp. 103-112, BRILL ACADEMIC PUBLISHERS, ISSN 1673-7423
  3. CAO, , Book Review: Verses Going Viral by Heather Inwood, Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, and Reviews., vol. 37 (December, 2015) [abs]

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