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 Director of the Center on Digital Culture and Society, and Deputy Director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China. He is the author of The Wuhan Lockdown (2022), The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China (2016), and the award-winning The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online (2009). His current work focuses on digital activism and pandemic storytelling.

Yang has edited or co-edited seven books, including Pandemic Crossings: Digital Technology, Everyday Experience, and Governance in the COVID-19 Crisis (with Bingchun Meng and Elaine Yuan, forthcoming, 2024), Engaging Social Media in China: Platforms, Publics, and Production (with Wei Wang, 2021), Media Activism in the Digital Age (with Victor Pickard, 2017), The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China (with Jacques deLisle and Avery Goldstein, 2016), China's Contested Internet (NIAS Press, 2015), and Re-Envisioning the Chinese Revolution: The Politics and Poetics of Collective Memories in Reform China (with Ching-Kwan Lee, 2007). 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.

An elected Fellow of the International Communication Association, Yang serves on the editorial boards of Social Media + Society, The International Journal of Press/Politics, International Journal of Communication, Global Media and China, China Information, Chinese Journal of Sociology, Sociological Forum, and on the advisory boards of Emotions and Society and Asiascape: Digital Asia. He is a former co-editor of Communication and the Public.

Yang 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 Yang 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.


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

Selected Publications