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Teaching Faculty

Faculty & Staff - Teaching Faculty

Prof. Katrien JACOBS

Prof. Katrien JACOBS

Associate Professor

Ph.D. (University of Maryland, College Park)

Katrien Jacobs is Associate Professor in Cultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Program Director of the MA in Visual Culture Studies. She has lectured and published widely about sexuality and gender in and around digital media, contemporary arts and media activism. She moved to Hong Kong in 2005 and devotes most of her research to contemporary Chinese, Japanese and trans-Asian arts and media platforms.


She received two Hong Kong government-funded GRF grants; one to research the impact of Japanese animation cultures on social media and gender in Greater China (2010-2013), and one to research Chinese women’s cultural identities and affect around sexually explicit media (2014-2017).


Jacobs has authored three books about Internet culture and sexuality. Her first book Netporn: DIY Web Culture and Sexual Politics (Rowman and Littlefield, 2007) received critical claim amongst media scholars as a pioneering study of emerging web cultures that challenge government regulations and the aims of corporate expansionism. Her book People’s Pornography: Sex and Surveillance on the Chinese Internet (Intellect Books, 2012) investigates mainland China’s immersion in new trends in sexually explicit media. It was widely commented on in academia and the news media as a pioneering study of China’s unwieldy sex entertainment and surveillance society. A summary and reviews can be found here,id=4813


Her most recent book The Afterglow of Women’s Pornography in Post-Digital China (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) focuses on feminist and queer media cultures of sexuality and activism that have defined Chinese gender controversies in the social media age.


Her work can be found


Her full CV can be found here

Research Interests

Digital Media and Culture, Gender/Sexuality, Chinese and East- Asian Media, Contemporary Art, Social Movements

Recent Publications


2015 The Afterglow of Chinese Women’s Pornography in Post-Digital China (New York: Palgrave Macmillan)

Reviews forthcoming in Sexualities, Porn Studies, Screen Bodies. Reviewed in Time Out Shanghai

2012 People’s Pornography: Sex and Surveillance on the Chinese Internet (Bristol: Intellect Books)

Reviewed in Chronicle of Higher EducationChina Review, China Information, Participations,, Global Voices Online, CNNgo, Voice of America.

2007 NetPorn: DIY Web Culture and Sexual Politics (Boulder: Rowman and Littlefield)

Journal articles

(Forthcoming) 2016 ’Out of Thousands and Thousands of Thoughts: Wandering the Streets of Occupied Hong Kong. Submitted to Educational Philosophy and Theory, Taylor and Francis.


(Forthcoming) 2016 ‘Disorderly Conduct: Feminist Nudity in Chinese Protest Movements,’ Submitted toSexualities: Studies in Culture and Society, Sage Publications.


(Forthcoming) 2016 ‘Hong Kong Women’s Queer Porn Tastes and Twink Bodies,’ In Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture 16.1, Spring 2016


2014 ‘Internationalizing Porn Studies,’ In Porn Studies, Vol. 1-2, Routledge, pp. 114-119.


2013 ‘Impersonating and Performing Sexuality in the Cosplay Zone.’ In Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 10.2, Aberystwyth University


2012 (With Wan-Yin Lin and Ven-hwei Lo) ’To View or Not to View: Exploring the Influence of Social Networks and Subjective Norms on Online Porn Consumption,’ In Journal of Cybersociety and Education, 5.1, pp. 81-84.


2010 ‘Lizzy Kinsey and the Adult FriendFinders: An Ethnographic Case Study about Internet Sex and Pornographic Self-Representation in Hong Kong,’ Culture, Health and Sexuality, 12. 6, pp. 691 – 703.

Book chapters

(Forthcoming) 2016 ‘Hong Kong Women’s Boys’ Love Protest and the Drifting Gaze’ In Women’s Manga in Asia: Uniting Different Cultures and Identities, Eds. Fusami Ogi, Kazumi Nagaike and Rebecca Suter (New York: Palgrave MacMillan) [Forthcoming]


(Forthcoming) 2016 ‘Male and Female Idols of the Chinese Pornosphere,’ In Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture, Eds. Koichi Iwabuchi, Chris Berry and Eva Tsai (London: Routledge, 2016)


(Forthcoming) 2015 ‘Mainland Chinese Women’s Home-erotic Databases and the Art of Failure,’ In Handbook of New Media in Asia, Eds. Larissa Hjorth and Olivia Khoo, (London: Routledge, 2015)


2014 ‘Netporn: The Promise of Radical Obscenities,’ In Enrico Biasin, Giovanna Maina and Federico Zecca eds. Porn After Porn. Contemporary Alternative Pornographies, (Rome: Mimesis, 2014),pp.121-141.


2014 ‘Drifting Eyeballs: Trans-Asian Feminine Porn Tastes and Experiences,’ In Brian Bergen-Aurand, Mary Mazzilli & Hee Wai Siam eds. Transnational Chinese Cinemas, Embodiment, Corporeality, and Desire, (New York: Bridge21, 2014)


2014 ‘Undisciplining Porn Studies,’ In Lindsay Coleman and Jacob Held eds. The Philosophy of Pornography(London: IB Tauris, 2014), 209-223.


2013 ‘Sexual Bodies and Surveillance Excess on the Chinese Internet.’ In Miyase Christensen and Andre Jansson eds ‘Media, Surveillance and Identity: A Social Perspective’ (New York: Peter Lang, September 2013),pp. 201-218.


2011 Book review, Elizabeth Heineman, Before Porn was Legal: The Erotica Empire of Beate Uhse, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011) In Gender Studies, 21.1.


2011 ‘On Isaac Leung, Cyber Sex as Pseudo Science; The Artist’s Search for Sex Spaces in Hong Kong (and Beyond) In Esther Cheung, Gina Marchetti and Tan See-Kam eds. Hong Kong Screenscapes: From The New Wave to the Digital Frontier (Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, 2011).


2009 ‘The Chinese New World Dream and the Female Itch: Sex Bloggers and Lolita Costume Play,’ In Fiona Attwood ed. Making Sense of Online Pornography (New York: Peter Lang, 2009)pp. 186-202.

Recent Grants

2015-2018 General Research Fund (GRF) ‘Trans-Asian Women's Forum on Erotic/Pornographic Media and Cultural Affect’ (PI) USD 35.000


2009-2012 General Research Fund (GRF) ‘Gothic Lolita Unchained: The Appropriation of Japanese Animation Narratives and Aesthetics in Chinese Digital Media Contexts’ (PI) USD 30.000


2008-2010 General Research Fund (GRF) and Strategic Research Grant (SRG), City University of Hong Kong, ‘Cosplay and the Dressing-up Box in the Spectacular Presentation of Selves in Hong Kong’ (Co-Investigator with PI Anne Peirson-Smith), USD 35.000


2013-2014 Hong Kong Arts Development Council, ‘Wandering Scholars,’ USD 15000


2008-2009 Hong Kong Arts Development Council, ‘Extra/Ordinary Dress Code, Costuming and the Second Skin in Asia,’ 2008-2009, USD 15000