Erika Wang, PhD candidate at CMCI, has published an article on Chinese fandom of Squid Game in the journal of Communication, Culture and Critique. The essay discusses Chinese fan reception of Squid Game, focusing on the “fandom nationalism” phenomenon. In the post-COVID era, the attitudes of Chinese netizens towards Squid Game are related to the interactive relations between fan culture and party-state governance, Sino-Korean relations, and the grand narratives of nationalism. Chinese fans have two distinct attitudes toward Squid Game: Some nationalist netizens are dedicated to accusing Squid Game of plagiarism or dismissing it as a “cultural invasion,” while another group of fans, due to the ever-tightening Chinese Internet governance, use fandom nationalism as a disguise to protect themselves against cyberbullying by declaring an anti-Korean political stance before posting positive comments about Squid Game. The “disguised” nationalist ideology has, to some extent, fueled the flames of cyber-nationalism and made the Internet ecology increasingly extremist, leaving fan culture more vulnerable and marginalized.
Erika has also been elected as the ICA (International Communication Association) Student & Early Career representative in the division of Popular Media and Culture. She will serve a two-year term beginning Monday, 29 May 2023 (the last day of the 73rd annual ICA conference in Toronto, Canada) and ending with the conclusion of the 2025 conference in Denver, Colorado, USA. She attended the 2022 ICA Paris Annual Conference in the PMC division and presented her research on the interaction between fans collective action and censorship.
She is concerned about students’ welfare and has been a PGR student representative in the CMCI department from 2020 to 2022, actively seeking feedback on pressing issues faced by PGR students and difficulties encountered in their lives, especially during the tough time of Covid-19. She hopes to devote herself to communicating with students and early career scholars, gathering opinions and feedback, providing social support, and helping welcome new members of the division. All students and colleagues in media and cultural studies are welcome to register as members of this division.