Ruoyun Bai

Associate Professor, Global Asia Studies, UTSC
Collaborative Master's Specialization in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies, Asian Institute




Room HW 415, 1265 Military Trail


Ruoyun Bai is a leading scholar in Chinese television studies. She published her monograph, Staging Corruption: Chinese Television and Politics in 2014 with the University of British Columbia Press, and co-edited two books on Chinese television, TV Drama in China (2009) and Chinese Television in the Twenty-First Century: Entertaining the Nation (2014). She studies Chinese television as a powerful cultural institution that constantly evolves as a result of interactions among forces of authoritarian politics, commercialization, media technologies, and societal power. Her current book project explores how the production, distribution and consumption of television are being reconstituted by digital technological capabilities on the one hand and political and economic powers to harness such technologies for purposes of control on the other. A different but related book project that Bai is working on concerns the question of digitally mediated visibility of politics and politicians. She pays close attention to the production and politics of the emerging cultural forms and genres on the Internet and social media where exposes of official corruption proliferate. From a focus on China, Bai is expanding her research agenda to study and compare political dramas in China and the United States.

research interests

North America
Television as digital media
Media industries and policies in China
Politics and popular media (television, film, the Internet, social media)


Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2007)

selected publications

Books:Staging Corruption: Chinese Television and Politics (University of British Columbia Press, 2014)
Edited books:
Chinese Television in the Twenty-First Century, co-edited (Routledge, 2014)
TV Drama in China, co-edited (Hong Kong University Press, 2009)
“Fubai, guanchang zhexue he xin ziyou zhuyi – jiedu Woju” (“Corruption in the ‘Realm of Officialdom’ Narrative and Neoliberalism: Making Sense of Song Siming, the Good Corrupt Official in Snail House”), Communication & Society, 23 (2013), pp. 177-199.
“Cultural Mediation and the Making of the Mainstream in Post-Socialist China,” Media, Culture and Society 34:4 (2012), pp. 391-406.


Undergraduate courses:
Media and Globalization
Theories and Methods in Media Studies
Chinese Media and Politics
Media and Popular Culture in East Asia
Scandals: Special Topics in Media and Society

Graduate courses:
Global Visual Culture (Centre for Comparative Literature)

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