The Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts is pleased to announce the publication of Junior Fellow Wei LEI's monograph, Radio and Social Transformation in China. The study will become the primary reference for those who look to understand the past and present of radio on the Chinese landscape. “Turning the simple interest in listening to radio broadcasting into a serious academic exploration is something that I did not foresee until I have had my first book published,” says Wei LEI. “The entire project has taken almost ten years from the conceiving of the original idea in my PhD study to the formation of the final monograph.”
Since the arrival of television, radio has largely been an under-appreciated and understudied medium, and China is no exception. In comparison with Chinese television and the internet, ‘radio in China’ has been a poor cousin, invisible and largely unheard of in English-language scholarship. Featuring a historical timeline from the early twentieth century to the present, Radio and Social Transformation in China is the first systematic, comprehensive and critical English-language study, which makes an important contribution to radio history internationally.
“In addition to its academic significance, the completion of this book has given me a chance to rethink on the good and difficult times my family has experienced,” says Wei LEI. "The ups and downs in my family are largely influenced by the massive transformations that have taken place in post-Mao China. The extensive research i have done in understanding China and Chinese people has enabled me to better appreciate the desperation and determination that my parents – a humble but decent couple – have experienced.”