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Dr Paola Voci

Professor in Chinese and Asian Studies
Global Studies Director

Office Arts 3S1
Tel +64 3 479 5994

Brief Bio

Postgraduate Supervision
Research Publications

Professor Paola Voci completed a B.A. Honours in Chinese Language and Literature, Venice University, a Diploma in Film Theory and Practice, Beijing Film Academy, a MA in East Asian Studies, Indiana University, and a PhD in Chinese, Indiana University. She has served as The New Zealand Asian Studies Society, President (2015–2017).

Her area of study combines East Asian Studies (in particular, Chinese language and culture), film and media studies, visual culture, and digital culture. In particular, her research has focused on documentary, animation, and other hybrid digital video practices in contemporary China. Her current research on handmade cinema, shadow play and animation expands from her conceptualisation of light amateur, vernacular creative practices to rethink the past of digital cultures.

She is the author of China on Video (Routledge 2010, 2012), a book that analyses and theorises light movies made for and viewed on computer and mobile screens, and the co-editor of Screening China's Soft Power (Routledge, 2017), a book focusing on the role played by film and media in shaping China's global image.

She has published in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture,Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Screening the Past, Senses of Cinema,New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies, and Bianco e Nero. Her work also appears in several edited collections of essays, such as The New Chinese Documentary Movement and The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas.


Paola teaches and coordinates:


Paola welcomes applications from research students with a disciplinary focus in film & media studies, a regional focus on Chinese/Sinophone contexts, and an interdisciplinary interest in global perspectives.

Chinese Studies:

  • Chinese cinemas (Hong Kong, PRC, Taiwan, and the Chinese diasporas)
  • Chinese documentary
  • Chinese animation
  • Chinese digital cultures

Film and Media Studies

  • Animation, Handmade cinema
  • Documentary, docuanimation
  • Screen cultures and soft power
  • Small-screen cinema (digital movie-making practices, DYI movies, microcinema)

Recently Completed Honours Theses:

  • Imogen Walker, "Bromance: Re-mediating gender and sexuality in contemporary Chinese culture and society”, November 2017
  • Samantha Steel, “The Adventures of Children in the May Fourth Movement: “The Child” in Early 20th Century China”, June 2015
  • Ishbel McLachlan, From Tianshu to Dishu: How “Chinese is Chinese Contemporary Art? A Case Study of Xu Bing”, November 2012
  • Lucy Morris, “Disaster Strikes: China and Japan's Media response to Catastrophe: a Comparative Analysis”, November 2012
  • Sajini Jesudason, Non-government organisations in contemporary China: an Overview, November 2009
  • Tenzin Mullin, A Study of Education and English Training Programme in Tibetan regions of modern China: A case Study, November 2009

PhD Supervision:

  • Massimilian Urbano, "Radical politics, social media and the subaltern question in contemporary Italy" with Brett Nichols and Rosemary Overell (MFCO). Degree Awarded, 2017
  • Li-jiun Shen, "Re-writing Women in Qingshi". Degree Awarded, 2015
  • Weijun Ma, "Political TV drama in China". Degree awarded 2012


Voci, P. (2010). China on video: Smaller-screen realities. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 259p. doi: 10.4324/9780203850107 Authored Book - Research

Voci, P., & Hui, L. (Eds.). (2018). Screening China's soft power. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 266p. doi: 10.4324/9781315617930 Edited Book - Research

Voci, P. (2023). Para-animation in practice and theory: The animateur, the embodied gesture and enchantment. Animation, 18(1), 23-41. doi: 10.1177/17468477231155543 Journal - Research Article

Voci, P. (2022). This is not reality (Ceci n’est pas la réalité): Capturing the imagination of the people creativity, the Chinese subaltern, and documentary storytelling. Global Storytelling, 1(2), 41-75. doi: 10.3998/gs.1701 Journal - Research Article

Voci, P. (2017). Electric shadows reloaded: The post-digital animateur, shadow play and handmade cinema. Journal of Chinese Cinemas, 11(3), 192-209. doi: 10.1080/17508061.2017.1376551 Journal - Research Article

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