CFP for Special Issue on Television Studies: Is Confucius still on TV? Confucian Values and East Asian Television

Kai Khiun Liew 's picture
Call for Papers
February 26, 2018 to April 30, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Communication, Cultural History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies


CFP for Special Issue on Television Studies: Is Confucius still on TV? Confucian Values and East Asian Television


 Once accused for the inertia of Chinese feudalism in responding to Western modernity, Confucianism has been attributed to the the resurgence of East Asian economies a century later. From the proposition of “Asian Values” by then Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in the 1990s to the establishment of Confucius Institutes globally by ironically the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the notions of deference to paternal authority, educational emphasis and family values, have been coined under the term of Confucianism.  Within the mediascapes, such notions are often used casually to explain the differences between “Asian” and “Western” media. This topic has been receiving scattered scholarly attention with discussions on the ideological relevance and presence of the discourses of Confucianism within the dramatic television texts (Zhu, 2008; Kang & Kim, 2011; Liew 2011; Dissanayake; 2012; Deppman, 2017). Such culturalist explanations still pervades despite the evolution of more complex media industries, communicative technologies and diverse audiences. The television dramas involving Confucianism has been categorised into two groups: the “post-Confucian television dramas” stage the problems of Confucian patriarchal authority, in contrast to those that articulate Confucian moral and ethical codes (Lai, forthcoming). In this respect, this proposed special issue seeks to look into the case of television dramas and its related programmes in the East Asia societies (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and other transnational arrangements). We seek original papers for publication in a relevant indexed peer-reviewed scholarly journal by 2020.



 Topics, not limited to, but include



1.      Explorations of changing televisual treatment of hierarchy, deference, in/subordinaton in the region’s television texts.


2.      Television dramas and the changing portrayals of the ethical codes of Confucianism, the “Family” and “Filial Piety” in particular.


3.      The presence/absence of “Confucianism” invention or reinvention of traditions and histories in historical dramas.


4.      Confucianism, and the treatment of social categories of class, gender, generation, religion etc in Eat Asian television.


5.      De-Confucianization or Confucianization in the localization of Western television genres.


From these papers, the guest editors hope to present a more current and nuance treatment of the culturalist notions of Confucianism in East Asian television. Such can add to the otherwise Eurocentric notions of utopian-dystopian discourses an additional layer of the neo-Confucianism and Post-Confucianism narratives that may be of greater relevance to East Asian societies. Interested participants in this special issue should submit their abstracts to Dr Liew Kai Khiun (Assistant Professor, Wee Kim Wee School of Communications and Information, Nanyang Technological University) at and Dr Lai Yi-Hsuan Lecturer of Advertizing, Fujian University of Technology, Fuzhou, P.R. China  at by 30 April 2018. We will notified the accepted abstracts a month later, and deadline for submission of full papers is at 31 October 2018.







Contact Info: 

Dr Liew Kai Khiun

Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University


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