Academic Involvements

  • DF LSE Speaking Acad 2015 02 1000
  • DF-CUC-MA-201610-1000

As an academic, I’m here to explore and impart knowledge. It’s true that “some of us” are better known for at times “challenging academic-speak”, and I’m here to actually inform — it’s so much better when you head back home at the end of the day with fresh new knowledge.

I involve myself deeply with the communities I belong to, both in the “senior” academic circles, as well as in the wider world.
Catch up on my blog postings:
Academic life (general)
(Communication Uni of China, Uni Westminster)

Updates from Current Academic Involvements

I’m chairing a talk at the University of Westminster on 02 December 2015. This site will provide you with more details shortly.

Main Areas of Academic Research Interest

My main interests are both in social media in China as well as a general overview of China media. The former continues from my media and blogging involvements dating back to late 2007; the latter developed from a side interest to a main interest starting in mid-2014.

Social Media in China
Most of my research deals with the development of social media in the country, as well as a critical look at governing policies. I’ve been observing this since late 2007. My PhD dissertation is closely related to this.

A General Introduction to China Media
This is mainly aimed at an international audience, that I added in mid-2014 after teaching students from over 30 countries about a quick intro to China media. A series of lessons is currently being developed here.

  • Studio Cam Mic Vert

Other Research Interests
I keep asking myself these questions as I explore other topics of interest…

  • What are the messages Beijing is sending to the rest of the world?
  • How has the political message inside China evolved — in form and in content?
  • How are Chinese national railways harnessing social media?
  • Is Chinese prime-time TV undergoing visible changes — and if so, how?
  • How can we best make sense of the fabric of China’s online population?

More on my research
Principles and standards

Academic Publishing

I’m writing a lot on what I observe. I have been published in academic circles both in Asia and Europe. I am also involved in writing chapters on academic textbooks.

Here’s a sample of what I have been writing as of late:
Major differences between Facebook and WeChat applications
The challenges in social media communications brought by WeChat
Challenges of social media and cities

See also the following:
All papers published
All research projects participated

  • DF Academic Publications

Information about books not directly related to my current main areas of research are found on their own individual pages.

Academic Talks

I have actively spoken about my research to both “academic” and “general” audiences.

  • DF Speaking Caerdydd V800
My next speaking engagement is planned for early 2016.

See more about my academic talks

05 Feb 2015: Cardiff, Wales
03 Feb 2015: LSE, London

  • DF Speaking London V800

Research-Related Public Commentary

An academic is part of society like everyone else — and this means adding your own 2p to a public conversation! I often add my input in the form of columns and articles in mainstream media.

I generally offer my comments on my main research topics.

  • Most comments are about my main topic of research, media (especially social media) in China.
  • A number of these are also about China communicating its message to the outside world.
  • DF Academic Commentary
Recent Commentaries

20 Oct 2015
Talking to the BBC Live at College Green, Central London

Teaching in Universities

I’ve been teaching in one form or the other in universities since 2003, and the core of my teaching shifted to universities beginning in 2012. I am presently Associate Professor at the Communication University of China, but also have been involved in teaching at the University of Westminster.

More info

  • DF Westminster Speaking 2015 09
  • DF Acad Harbin 2011 11

General Teaching

I have also taught elsewhere in China. These included teaching railway crew, government officials, employees of government-funded companies, as well as the younger generation. These include primary and secondary school children.

More info

Pro Bono Involvements

I try to “un-chain” myself from the classroom or library whenever possible, because I believe that the teaching and learning happens outside university gates as well. See more »

My main pro bono involvement is drafting an entirely new set of railway English standards. These will not only get rid of Chinglish, but bring Chinese railways’ bilingual service “up to speed”. They will use one unified set of standards across all of China.

  • DF Acad SE China Rail 2013 08

I also work with the people at city bodies in Beijing tasked with standardising on the use of proper English. At times, I lead “woodpecker trips” into central Beijing to discover, live, cases of Chinglish and to mark it for improvement.