Gaoheng Zhang is Assistant Professor of Italian Studies at the University of British Columbia. He is a humanities scholar of migration, mobilities, multiculturalism, media, rhetoric, ethics, masculinity, and meaning-making. His most recent research seeks to provide a road map for analyzing how movements and communications created networks with enough cultural resources to frame non-fiction and fiction narratives about entrepreneurship, politics, and gender. His case studies pertain to Italy’s global networks, which are created through migration, colonialism, and business and leisure travel during the 19th-21th centuries.

Gaoheng is a leading cultural critic of Chinese migration to Italy, which has generated considerable debate in the Italian, Chinese migrant, and international media because of migrants’ economic clout. This is the subject of his forthcoming book from University of Toronto Press in spring 2019, titled Migration and the Media: Debating Chinese Migration to Italy, 1992-2012, which is the first detailed media and cultural study of the Chinese migration from both Italian and Chinese migrant perspectives, as well as one of the few book-length analyses of migration and culture. Previously he has published several key articles on gender and ethics in cinematic and literary depictions of migrants, and of men, in Italy. His new book project, tentatively titled “Mobilities and Communications Between Italy and China Since the 20th Century,” will offer an innovative critical framework to address Italian-Chinese relationships, —the longest-standing European-Chinese exchanges in written record—, by analyzing the mobile and discursive methods and effects of exiles, colonizers, (political) pilgrims, tourists, and migrants in cultural production.

Gaoheng serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies (2014-Present) and on the Publications Committee of the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program for Canada’s Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2017-20).

Before joining UBC, Gaoheng held positions as Assistant Professor of Italian Cinema at the University of Toronto and as a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities (now the USC Society of Fellows) at the University of Southern California. He was educated at Beijing Foreign Studies University (B.A.) and at New York University (M.A., Ph.D.).

To learn more about Gaoheng’s publications, visit

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