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Dr. Hongmei Li (B.A., Peking University, China, 1997; M.A, University of Southern California, 2003; Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2006) is an Assistant Professor, whose research focuses on globalization, consumer culture, identity, public diplomacy and culture of the Internet, with an emphasis on Contemporary China in particular and Asian countries in general. Her dissertation investigates the rise of advertising as a profession in China over the last few decades. The central question asked in this project is: How is the global produced locally and how is the local produced globally in Chinese advertising? The dissertation compares and contrasts how advertising agencies, transnational and Chinese, have historically and contemporarily negotiated and responded to the complex relationship between the local and the global, tradition and modernity, and China and the West. It examines the globalization strategies of Chinese advertising agencies and the localization strategies of transnational advertising agencies in China. Her current research involves a comparative study of public diplomacy through the Olympics and international cultural exchange programs.
Another line of her research is to continue her research on contemporary Chinese society. She has a broad research interest that lies in examining how the power relationship between the state, the corporations and the citizens/consumers has changed, is changing or will change because of the increasing advances and proliferation of information and communication technologies. She plans to investigate China as a case study to see how the Internet is transforming Chinese politics and civic involvement in the context of the continuing macro-forces of globalization, consumer capitalism, ideological changes, and the emergence of a new middle class.
Before she came to the U.S. to pursue her graduate studies in 2000, she had worked in a Chinese publishing house as an editor and a copyright manager for three years.
She has accepted the Gerbner Postdoctoral Fellowship from Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, for the academic year of 2008-9. She was a recipient of Top Student Paper Award, the Instructional and Developmental Division, the 52nd Conference of the International Communication Association, 2002. She was also a second-prize winner of the student paper competition of 2004 hosted by the Chinese Communication Association.