Guobin Yang, Ph.D.

Guobin Yang

Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Sociology and Communication

Research Interests

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, 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

Yang's 2009 book The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online (Best Book Award of the ASA Communication and Information Technologies Section, 2010), offers a multi-institutional analysis of the origins, cultural forms, and impact of internet activism in China. His 2016 book The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China develops a performance theory to explain Red Guard factional violence while analyzing the transformation of the Red Guard generation and Chinese political culture as a ritual process. His 2-volume Dragon-Carving and the Literary Mind (2003), an annotated English translation of the 6th-century Chinese classic of rhetoric and literary theory Wenxin Diaolong, is an exemplary text in literary translation studies in China.

In addition, Yang is the editor or co-editor of four books, including 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). 

Professor Yang is a co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Communication and the Public. He serves on the editorial boards of Sociological Forum, Social Media + Society, The International Journal of Press/Politics, International Journal of Communication, Global Media and China, The China Quarterly, Chinese Journal of Sociology, China Information: A Journal on Contemporary China Studies, the "Asian Cultural Studies: Transnational and Dialogic Approaches" book series, the "Global Asia" book series of the Amsterdam University Press, and on the advisory boards of Asiascape: Digital Asia and Critical Perspectives on Citizen Media. 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.

Yang tweets at @Yangguobin.

Courses Taught

Cultural Sociology

Global Digital Activism 

Media and Social Movements

Community, Network, Multitude

Digital Media and Social Theory

Theories of Revolutions and Social Movements

Media, Culture & Society in Contemporary China 

CV (file)