In the Clouds: COVID-19, Dystopian Reality and Online Carnival—Cloud Panel on Zoom

Kaiyang Xu's picture
March 26, 2020
United States
Subject Fields: 
Asian American History / Studies, Chinese History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Communication

In the Clouds: COVID-19, Dystopian Reality and Online Carnival

March 26, 2020

4pm PST / 7pm EST

Cloud Panel on Zoom

In light of the global spread of COVID-19, we invite colleagues from all disciplines to join us for this pop-up cloud panel. Bringing expertise in biopolitics, media studies, visual ethnography, urban studies, diaspora studies and Chinese cultural studies, this panel is an experimental endeavor to discuss digital media and societal fears in the online clouds - Zoom, that is. Speakers will gather on Zoom from four universities and explore a collaborative model of virtual conferencing with all audiences. We draw inspiration from “cloud clubbing,” a creative practice engaged by self-quarantined Chinese web users to create sociality and boost online economies amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. We will discuss comparatively Chinese and American media infrastructures and emergent forms of online sociality that respond to the epidemic spread, government control, infrastructural breakdowns, splintered transnational media and shared vulnerability. In a time of global crisis, we invite all interested to gather together for solidarity, playfulness, mutual care and collective thinking. 

If you are interested in joining us or have panel-related questions, please feel free to email Shiqi Lin ( and Kaiyang Xu ( We look forward to seeing you at our “cloud clubbing”!



  • Belinda Kong, Associate Professor of Asian Studies and English, Bowdoin College

  • Shiqi Lin, PhD student in Comparative Literature, UC Irvine

  • Carlos Rojas, Professor in Chinese Cultural Studies; Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies; and Arts of the Moving Image, Duke University; and Co-Director of the DKU Humanities Research Center

  • Kaiyang Xu, PhD student in East Asian Languages and Cultures, USC

Moderator: Jenny Chio, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, USC


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