Guobin Yang, Ph.D.

Portrait of Guobin Yang
Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Communication and Sociology
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies; Director, Center on Digital Culture and Society; Interim Director, Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication

Guobin Yang is the Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Communication and Sociology at the Annenberg School for Communication and Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication, Director of the Center on Digital Culture and Society, Interim Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication, and Deputy Director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China. He is also a faculty member in the Graduate Group in History, the Graduate Group in East Asian Languages and Cultures, the Graduate Group in International Studies (Lauder Institute), the Center for East Asian Studies, and an affiliated faculty in the Asian American Studies Program. He is the author of the award-winning The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online (2009) and The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China (2016). His 2-volume Dragon-Carving and the Literary Mind (2003) is an annotated English translation of the 6th-century Chinese classic of rhetoric and literary theory Wenxin Diaolong. His new book, entitled The Wuhan Lockdown, will be published in December 2021 by Columbia University Press. 

Yang is the editor or co-editor of five books, including Engaging Social Media in China: Platforms, Publics, and Production (with Wei Wang, 2021), Media Activism in the Digital Age (with Victor Pickard, 2017), China's Contested Internet (2015), The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China (with Jacques deLisle and Avery Goldstein, 2016), and Re-Envisioning the Chinese Revolution: The Politics and Poetics of Collective Memories in Reform China (with Ching-Kwan Lee, 2007). 

Yang is a Fellow of the International Communication Association. He is a member of the editorial team of Global Media and Communication. He serves on the editorial boards of Social Media + Society, The International Journal of Press/Politics, International Journal of Communication, Global Media and China, The China Quarterly, China Information: A Journal on Contemporary China StudiesChinese Journal of Sociology, Sociological Forum, the "Global Asia" book series and "China's Environment and Welfare" book series of the Amsterdam University Press, and on the advisory boards of Emotions and SocietyAsiascape: Digital Asia, and Critical Perspectives on Citizen Media. He is a former co-editor of Communication and the PublicHe received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Writing and Research Grant” (2003) and was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. (2003-2004).

Previously he taught as an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and as an associate professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College of Columbia University. He has a Ph.D. in English Literature with a specialty in Literary Translation from Beijing Foreign Studies University and a second Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University.

Yang tweets at @Yangguobin

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Courses Taught

COMM 203: Media, Culture and Society in Contemporary China

COMM 270: Global Digital Activism

COMM 665: Digital Media and Social Theory

COMM 815: Community, Network, and Crowd: Critical Perspectives on Forms of Human Togetherness (with Jessa Lingel)

COMM 523 Qualitative Ways of Knowing

COMM 860: Global Media Activism: The 1960s

COMM 867: Media and Social Movements (with Sandra González-Bailón and Victor Pickard)

COMM 888: Theories of Revolutions and Social Movements

COMM 889: Cultural Sociology

 Please note that all courses are crosslisted with Sociology.

Guobin Yang studies social movements, digital culture, and global communication. He takes historical and cultural approaches to the analysis of social and political practices, with a focus on the role of technologies, narratives, and emotions.

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Yang's Network

  • Activism, Communication, and Social Justice
  • Culture and Communication
  • Global and Comparative Communication
  • Media Institutions and Systems
  • Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication
  • Center for Media at Risk
  • Center on Digital Culture and Society
  • Media Activism Research Collective
  • Guobin Yang's Google Scholar page