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Dr Ruby Cheung 

Associate Professor in Film Studies, PGT Director of Programmes, MA Film and Cultural Management Convenor, EDI & Athena SWAN Rep

Dr Ruby Cheung's photo

Dr Ruby Cheung is Associate Professor in Film Studies at the University of Southampton.

I hold a BSc in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA, and an MA in Mass Communications from the University of Leicester, UK. After a career in corporate communications in my native Hong Kong, I pursued further studies and completed my PhD in Film Studies at the University of St Andrews, UK, in 2008. In 2015, I joined the Film Department at the University of Southampton as Lecturer. Currently, I provide subject leadership in international film industry studies at undergraduate, postgraduate (taught) and PhD levels.

Before joining Southampton, I worked as Visiting Lecturer in Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK (2015), Assistant Professor in Culture, Creativity and Management at the United International College in Zhuhai, the PRC (2011-13), Research Associate in Film Studies at the University of St Andrews (2008-11; this subsequently led to an appointment as Honorary Research Fellow in Film Studies at St Andrews for 2011-14), part-time Lecturer in Visual Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong (2008). In addition to my academic positions, I have served as E-marketing and Publicity Consultant for UK-based film festivals, and film distributors and exhibitors.

In May 2016, I received the recognition as Fellow (FHEA) of the Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE) for my attainment against the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and learning support in higher education.

My research and publications focus primarily on East Asian cinemas. I am an internationally recognised specialist in the study of contemporary Hong Kong cinema, Chinese-language film industries and film festivals. I have published widely in peer-reviewed and internationally-focused academic publications. My major, single-authored monograph New Hong Kong Cinema: Transitions to Becoming Chinese in 21st-century East Asia (2015) analyses the relationships between Hong Kong-related Chinese-language films made since the 1980s and the effects of the sovereignty transfer of Hong Kong on the city, its inhabitants, Hong Kong filmmakers, the audiences of relevant Hong Kong films, as well as Hong Kong cinema’s situation in East Asia’s film landscape at large in the early 21st century. This book has gained a significant, and still growing, reputation nationally and internationally. I have also made significant contributions to film festival scholarship through publishing a number of single-authored essays and co-editing two volumes of the field-defining Film Festival Yearbook series, Film Festival Yearbook 2: Film Festivals and Imagined Communities (2010) and Film Festival Yearbook 3: Film Festivals and East Asia (2011), both with Dina Iordanova. I am the main editor of Cinemas, Identities and Beyond (2009).

I am currently working on four new books: 1) single-authored monograph New Hong Kong Independent Cinema (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan); 2) co-edited volume Global Film Policies: New Perspectives (with John Hill, Nobuko Kawashima and Paul McDonald; forthcoming, Routledge); 3) co-edited volume on Chinese-language audio-visual media and music (with Kevin Donnelly); 4) co-edited volume on Hong Kong filmmaker Ann Hui (with Victor Fan).

I have built significant global research networks involving scholars with similar research interests, and am one of the co-founders of the East Asian Screen Cultures special interest group at the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS). I have frequently been approached by mainstream media outlets to comment on developments in Chinese-language cinemas and film industries. My comments on overseas Chinese actors’ stardom in the mainland Chinese film industry are quoted here.

Please click here for my review article on Johnnie To’s Sparrow in The Guardian’s ‘Education’ Section (16 October 2017).

New Hong Kong Cinema: Transitions to Becoming Chinese in 21st Century East Asia by Ruby Cheung
New Hong Kong Cinema
Film Festival Yearbook 3: Film Festivals and East Asia edited by Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung
Film Festival Yearbook 3
Film Festival Yearbook 2: Film Festivals and Imagined Communities edited by Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung
Film Festival Yearbook 2
Cinemas, Identities and Beyond edited by Ruby Cheung with D.H. Fleming
Cinemas, Identities and Beyond

Research interests

My research interests include East Asian cinemas, in particular all types of Chinese-language cinemas (diasporic Chinese, Hong Kong, mainland Chinese and Taiwan cinemas) and film industries. Further interests include film festivals (international, national, regional and local); film audience and reception; transnational film production, distribution and exhibition; film policy.

I am a member of the Centre for International Film Research at the University of Southampton.

I am a member of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) and am affiliated to several of its special interest groups:

I am also a member of the following international academic associations related to film and media studies:

  • Network for European Cinema and Media Studies (NECS)
  • Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS)

My roles in past research and public engagement whole-day events held at the University of Southampton included:

  • Organiser, ‘Contemporary Chinese-language Independent Cinemas and their Future’ film screening and discussion event, 21 September 2019
  • Advisor, ‘Mediating “China”: Postgraduate Symposium of Visual Representation of the People, Traditions and Spaces of Chinese-speaking Communities’, 4 May 2019
  • Co-organiser, ‘Screening Chinese Cuisine: Day Event’, 11 November 2017

I welcome enquiries for PhD research project supervision. Topics of PhD research projects under my supervision include:

  • Multilingualism in New Taiwan Cinema
  • Participatory documentary of ethnic minorities in Yunnan, the PRC
  • Rurality in British films and film policy (2000-2020)
  • Sino-US film co-productions
  • South Korean art cinema since the 1990s
  • The cinema of US-educated Thai arthouse directors
  • The Middle East and film distribution
  • Tibetan films and film market
  • YouTube Stardom

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Dr Ruby Cheung
University of Southampton
Avenue Campus
SO17 1BF
United Kingdom


Room Number : 65/1073

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