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Globalisation and East Asian Cultures Research Group

Unit(s) of assessment: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management

School: School of Arts and Humanities


The Globalisation and East Asian Cultures research group is made up of scholars specialising in Asian Media and Cultural Studies in the School of Arts and Humanities at Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

The term 'East Asia' has often been associated with countries including China (including Hong Kong and Macau), South Korea, North Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Mongolia. The region has for a long time been imagined as a coherent geographical and cultural entity: despite their differences, the different countries in East Asia share many historical experiences in common, especially in their processes of modernisation in the nineteenth and twentieth century: colonialism, revolution, war, negotiation with communist and capitalist ideologies, economic liberalisation and cultural nationalism.

In recent decades, the region also celebrates rapid economic growth and its distinct East Asian cultural styles. In this sense, we can use Asia as Method (Kuan-Hsing Chen, 2010) to talk about these countries' shared experiences in colonialist and imperialist encounters and capitalist globalisations. We can also imagine the region as contact zones with borders and crossings, as dynamic networks with nodes, and as a thousand plateau with lines of flight. All these metaphors point to minor transnationalisms, alternative globalisations or other modernities which are intricately linked to, but also divergent from, the Eurocentric model of capitalist and neo-liberal globalisations.

The Globalisation and East Asian Cultures research group is made up of scholars specialising in Asian Media and Cultural Studies in School of Arts and Humanities at NTU. The scholars' research areas cover journalism and new media, gender, sexuality and identity in Asia, transnational Asian media and popular culture; globalisation and East Asian film and culture industries. The research group recognises the heterogeneity of the region and celebrates the cultural diversity of the region.

While it focuses on the impact of globalisation on the region, it also pays meticulous attention to the specific histories and cultural traditions of the divergent political and geographical entities in the region, together with their internal dynamics, interactions, relations, connections and transformations. In doing so, the group aims to produce intellectually-vigorous, theoretically-nuanced, methodologically-grounded, context-specific, historically-sensitive, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary scholarship in Asian Media and Cultural Studies.

Here for the epic thinkers

The School of Arts and Humanities is home to research in Modern Languages and Linguistics; English Language and Literature; History; and Communication, Cultural and Media Studies.

Related staff

Gary Needham's work in this area examines the cinemas of East-Asia with a particular emphasis on Japan and Hong Kong. He previously edited Asian Cinemas: A Reader and Guide in 2006.

Dr Nikki J. Y. Lee (이지연 李芝姸) is a Lecturer in English, Culture and Media at Nottingham Trent University. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. She taught at Yonsei University and Korea National University of Arts, in Seoul, before she moved back to the UK.

Dr. Lee’s research interests cover transnational stardom, genre-branding, auteur-branding, transnational film production and consumption, film tourism, film festivals, and globalisation with a focus on East Asian cinemas and popular culture, including Japanese and Korean TV dramas and K-pop. She has published several articles on East Asian films and directors in edited collections, as well as Cinema Journal and Transnational Cinemas. She is co-editor of a forthcoming volume, The Korean Cinema Book (with Dr. Julian Stringer, BFI, 2014).

Dr Tao Zhang is lecturer in International Cultural and Media Studies in the School of Arts and Humanities, Nottingham Trent University, UK. She is the author of The Origins of the Modern Chinese Press (2007: Routledge) and of several other articles on Chinese media and culture. She is currently researching into the cultural dimensions of new media technologies and practices in contemporary China.


Gary Needham

  • 2013 'Queer Korean Cinema' in Colette Balmain (ed) Directory of World Cinema: South Korea, Intellect.
  • 2012 'Hong Kong Action Cinema' in Gary Bettison (ed) Directory of World Cinema: China, Intellect.
  • 2009 'Sound and Music in Hong Kong Cinema' in Graeme Harper, Ruth Doughty, and Jochen Eisentraut (eds) Sound and Music in Film and Visual Media, New York, Continuum.
  • 2008 'Fashioning modernity: Hollywood and the Hong Kong Musical 1957-1964' in Leon Hunt and Wing-Fai Leung (eds) East Asian Cinemas: Exploring Transnational Connections on Film, London, I.B. Tauris.

Dr Nikki J.Y. Lee (이지연 李芝姸)

(In English) Books

  • The Korean Cinema Book (British Film Institute/Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2014): co-edited research collection
  • Japanese Cinema: Major Works (Routledge, forthcoming 2013): co-edited anthology.

Journal articles

Book chapters

  1. 'Film Noir in Asia: Historicising South Korean Crime Thrillers', in Andrew Spicer and Helen Hanson (eds.) Companion to Film Noir. London: Blackwell (forthcoming 2013).
  2. 'Apartment Horror: Sorum (2001) and Possessed (2009)', in Daniel Martin and Alison Peirse (eds.)Korean Horror Cinema. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (forthcoming 2013).
  3. 'Film Festivals', in Helmut K. Anheier and Mark Juergensmeyer (eds.) Encyclopedia of Global Studies. Sage (2012).
  4. 'Ports of Entry: Mapping Chinese Cinema's Multiple Trajectories at International Film Festivals', in Yingjin Zhang (ed.) A Companion to Chinese Cinema. London: Blackwell Publishing (2012).
  5. 'Remake, Repeat, Revive: Kim Ki Young's Housemaid Trilogies ', in Claire Perkins and Constantine Verevis (eds.) Film Trilogies: New Critical Approaches. New York: SUNY Press (2012).
  6. 'Questions of Cultural Proximity and the Asian Popular: South Korean Audiences Watching Zhang Yimou's Martial Arts Blockbusters', in Philippa Gates and Lisa Funnell (eds.) Transnational Asian Identities in Pan-Pacific Cinemas: The Reel Asian Exchange. London and New York: Routledge (2011).
  7. '"Asia" as Regional Signifier and Transnational Genre-Branding: The Asian Horror Omnibus MoviesThree (2002) and Three … Extremes (2004)', in Vivian P. Y. Lee (ed.) East Asian Cinemas: Regional Flows and Global Transformations. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (2011).
  8. 'Salute to Mr. Vengeance: Oldboy (2003) and the Making of a Transnational Auteur', in Leon Hunt and Leung Wing-fai (eds.) East Asian Cinemas: Exploring Transnational Connections on Film. London: I.B.Tauris (2008).

(In Korean)

  1. 'International Film Festival Circuit and a Certain Tendency of Contemporary Chinese Cinema', Cinema, 2012.
  2. 'Asian Film Studies as a Method', in Asian Cinema Studies Institute (ed.) Asian Cinema Studies, Seoul: Hanul Publishing Co., 2012.
  3. 'Transcultural Appropriation and Trans-media Transition of Contemporary Korean Cinema', Journal of Korean Communication Studies, Vol. 53 No. 2, April 2009.

Dr Tao Zhang