Thursday, February 25, 2016

"The Voice of a New China: Democratic Behavior in Chinese Reality Shows Super Girl and Happy Girls" at Pitt, February 26.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures will host MA in East Asian Studies candidate Wan Chun Huang and her colloquium "The Voice of a New China: Democratic Behavior in Chinese Reality Shows Super Girl and Happy Girls" on Friday, February 26. The synopsis:
China’s media have long served the Communist Party’s political purposes, and China’s television has always been under government censorship. One of China’s first reality shows, Super Girl, showed too much of the “democratic” idea according to the Communist Party, which then cancelled it in 2006. Nevertheless, the show, in effect, introduced “participatory audience,” and Chinese audiences became consumers who not only actively sought new information but also actively participated in a given show. Now, because of today’s new media technology, the relationship between producers and consumers has been both reshaped and consolidated, empowering the rights of the participatory audience and spurring democratic ideas in Chinese society. The Chinese consumers nowadays are thus able to participate in both creating media text while at the same time collectively making their own meaning in that text. Because of such an empowered audience, China’s reality shows have become a powerful platform and conduit that allow the voice of the Chinese people to be heard. Therefore, in this paper, I will examine four aspects of the Chinese reality shows’ use of new media platforms: first, the new relationship between China’s government and media producers in an era of new media convergence; second, the cooperation between Chinese new media producers and consumers; third, the public voice created by new Chinese audiences on the Internet; and fourth, the possibilities and limits of “digital democracy” in China.
The talk begins at 12:00 pm in 4130 Posvar (map) and is free and open to the public.