Guobin Yang

Guobin Yang, Ph.D.

Guobin Yang
  • Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Communication and Sociology
  • Director, Center on Digital Culture and Society

Guobin Yang studies social movements, digital culture, global communication, and contemporary China. 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.

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 Director of the Center on Digital Culture and Society, 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 (Columbia University Press, 2009) and The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China (Columbia University Press, 2016). His 2-volume Dragon-Carving and the Literary Mind (Library of Chinese Classics, 2003) is an annotated English translation of the 6th-century Chinese classic of rhetoric and literary theory Wenxin Diaolong. His new book The Wuhan Lockdown has just been published by Columbia University Press. See here for a list of Professor Yang’s past and upcoming talks on The Wuhan Lockdown.

Yang is the editor or co-editor of five books, including Engaging Social Media in China: Platforms, Publics, and Production (with Wei Wang; Michigan State University Press, 2021), Media Activism in the Digital Age (with Victor Pickard; Routledge, 2017), China's Contested Internet (NIAS Press, 2015), The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China (with Jacques deLisle and Avery Goldstein; University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), and Re-Envisioning the Chinese Revolution: The Politics and Poetics of Collective Memories in Reform China (with Ching-Kwan Lee; Stanford University Press, 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 Journal of CommunicationThe International Journal of Press/PoliticsInternational Journal of CommunicationGlobal Media and ChinaThe China QuarterlyChina Information: A Journal on Contemporary China StudiesChinese Journal of SociologySociological Forumthe "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 Society, Asiascape: Digital Asia, and Critical Perspectives on Citizen Media. He is a former co-editor of Communication and the Public. He 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.


  • Ph.D., Beijing Foreign Studies University
  • Ph.D., New York University

Selected Publications