De-westernizing Media Studies

Tuesday, 22 February 2022, 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. on Zoom

Curran and Park first published De-Westernizing Media Studies in 2020. More than 20 years have now passed, and this volume has been joined by many others on the same theme, notably Daya Thussu’s 2009 collection Internationalizing Media Studies and Chen Kuan-Hsing’s Asia as Method. Despite these and many other efforts, and the obvious importance of the matter, the project is far from complete. This talk reviews some of the most important contributions to the field and asks why it has been so difficult to achieve such an obviously desirable goal. To this end, the talk considers four senses in which the term “de-westernizing” might be used: the definition of proper objects for scholarly investigation; the theoretical apparatus brought to bear on concrete analyses; the methods appropriate to conduct such studies; and the institutional settings within which such studies take place. It argues that “progress” has been uneven in and between these fields and that in at least one important dimension it is unclear that such “progress” is unidirectional.

COLIN SPARKS is Emeritus Chair Professor of Media Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University. He has written extensively on several aspects of the mass media, including tabloidization, globalization and media in transitional societies. His most recently published work, undertaken in collaboration with Chinese scholars, has been about the impact of digital technologies on mainland Chinese newspapers and journalism.

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Organized by Centre for Media and Communication Research and Research Postgraduate Studies Program, School of Communication and Film