People / Faculty

Permanent Faculty

Weihong Bao

Associate Professor of Film & Media and East Asian Languages & Cultures

Joint Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies & East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Chicago



6214 Dwinelle Hall

Tuesday & Thursday 5:00pm-6:00pm



Weihong Bao, associate professor, works in the areas of film theory and history, media archaeology, and critical theory. Her teaching and research interests cover late nineteenth century visual and performance culture, Chinese language cinema of all periods and regions, historical screen and exhibition practice as well as transnational genre cinema, comparative media history and theory, and the intersection between film and media.

She is the author of Fiery Films: The Emergence of an Affective Medium in China, 1915-1945 (University of Minnesota Press, 2015). Her writings appear in such journals as Camera Obscura, New German Critique, Nineteenth Century Theater and Film, Opera Quarterly, The Journal of Chinese Cinemas, The Journal of Modern Chinese Literature, American Anthropologist, and Yingshi wenhua as well as The Blackwell Companion to Chinese Cinema.

She has held fellowships from UC Berkeley, Harvard University, and the Getty Research Institute. Most recently, she was a senior fellow at the Internationale Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM), Germany as well as a Macgeorge Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She serves on the editorial board for Feminist Media History and is co-editor for the “film theory in media history” book series published by Amsterdam University Press.

She is currently working on a few research projects, including the geopolitics of film theory, the historical interaction between cinema and theater, and cultural constructions of secrecy as media theory and history. She taught at Ohio State University and Columbia University before joining UC Berkeley. 


Fiery cinema cover

Select publications

“From Duration to Temporalization: Rethinking Time and Space for Durational Art,” Representations, 136, (2016) 132-137; 168-169

“The Art of Control: Hong Shen, Behavioral Psychology, and the Technics of Social Effects.” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 27:2 fall (2015), 249-297.

“The Trouble with Theater: Cinema and the Geopolitics of Medium Specificity” in the Special Issue on “The Geopolitical Contour of Film and Media Theory Today,” Framework 56:2 fall (2015), 350-367.

“Cinema, Propaganda, and Networks of Experience: Exhibiting Chongqing Cinema in New York” in American and Chinese Language Cinemas: Examining Cultural Flows. Routledge, 2014. 119-135. (co-author with Nathanial Brennan).

“Li Lishun’s Medium Ontology.” Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung (Journal of Media and Cultural Studies), 5:1 (2014), 63-71.


“A Vibrating Art in the Air: Cinema, Ether, and Propaganda Film Theory in Wartime Chongqing,” New German Critique 122, spring 2014. 175-192.


Homecoming Diaries: Inhabiting and Dis-inhabiting the Theatrical in Postwar Shanghai Cinema” A Companion to Chinese Cinema. Ed. Zhang Yingjin. London: Blackwell Publishing, 2012. 377-399.


“The Politics of Remediation: Mise-en-scėne and the Subjunctive Body in Chinese Opera Film,” Opera Quarterly 26:2-3 (2010), 256-291.


“In Search of a ‘Cinematic Esperanto’: Exhibiting Wartime Chongqing Cinema in the Global Context,” Journal of Chinese Cinemas 3:2 (2009), 135-147.


“Biomechanics of Love: Reinventing the Avant-Garde in Tsai Ming-liang’s Wayward ‘Pornographic Musical.’” Journal of Chinese Cinemas 1: 2 (2007), 139-160.


“From Pearl White to White Rose Woo: Tracing The Vernacular Body of Nüxia in Chinese Silent Cinema, 1927-1931.” Camera Obscura 60 (2005), 193-231


— (Revised version). Exporting Perilous Pauline: Pearl White and the Serial Film Craze. Ed.Marina Dalhquist, University of Illinois Press, 2013. 187-221.

“A Panoramic Worldview: Probing the Visuality of Dianshizhai huabao.” Journal of Modern Chinese Literature 32 (2005), 405-46.