tracyyzh


Tracy Ying Zhang

Photo of Tracy Ying Zhang

Department of Communication & Media Studies

Assistant Professor

Email: tracyyzh@yorku.ca


For over fifteen years, Dr. Zhang has been conducting multilingual, multi-sited research that explores the intersections of gender, race, labor migration, body politics, and cultural policy in global creative industries. Her interdisciplinary approaches to research and teaching are informed by intersectional feminist perspectives, postcolonial theories, and international political economy analyses. Before joining York, she was a Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Researcher at Concordia University, where she conducted a research project on gendered and racial barriers in film production education. Previously, she also held postdoctoral fellowships at Université de Montréal and Queen’s University.

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Degrees

Ph.D., School of Communication, Simon Fraser University
M.A., International Development Studies, Dalhousie University
B.A., joint-major Honors in Economics and Cultural Studies, Trent University

Professional Leadership

I have been a board member of CPE la Mère L’Oie for two years (2019-2021).
I am currently a founding member of the new journal, Circus Arts, Life & Sciences.

Research Interests

, Cultural Policy Studies; Labor and Cultural Industries; Intersectional Feminisms; Global Politics and Cultural Economy; Media and Performance; Qualitative Research Methodologies.

Current Research Projects

The making of ‘valuable’ carpets in Lhasa

    Summary:

    Dr. Zhang’s first major project is an ethnographic and historical study of artisanal labor in Tibetan capital city Lhasa, where handmade wool carpets are marketed as indigenous cultural exports. One of the main contributions of this project is its nuanced analysis of the linkages between gendered labor processes and the marketing of indigenous cultural goods under shifting political regimes. Research results have appeared in three peer-reviewed journals, one book chapter, and many academic talks. A forthcoming publication will appear in a book, called “The Tibetan Cultural Boom in the People’s Republic of China” (Lexington Books).

    See more
From China to the Big Top: Chinese Acrobats and the Politics of Aesthetic Labor, 1950–2010

    Summary:

    Dr. Zhang’s second major project uses “acrobatics” as an entry point to investigate the body as both a subject of labor and a cultural medium in the processes of nation-state building, international diplomacy, and cultural trade. This research has produced multiple presentations, two book chapters, and articles in academic journals, such as “The Journal of Early Popular Visual Culture”, “The Journal of International Labor and Working-Class History”, “The International Journal of Cultural Policy”, and “Feminist Media Studies”. Currently, she is working on a book project, investigating the intertwined politics of gender, race, precarious labor, and performing bodies by tracing the global circulations of “Chinese circus” across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

    See more
Take Us Seriously: Gender, Equality, and Inclusion in Film Production Education

    Summary:

    Dr. Zhang’s Mitacs-funded study on gender and film production education has generated a virtual exhibition called “Women in Film Education: Participatory Photography at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema” and a policy report, entitled “Take Us Seriously: Gender, Equality, and Inclusion in Film Production Education”. This project directly contributes to equity, diversity and inclusion in Canadian higher education by exposing female students’ challenges as well as their experiences of empowerment in film school.

    See more
"Women in Film Education: Participatory Photography at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema"

    Summary:

    (2019) "Women in Film Education: Participatory Photography at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema". I produced and curated this digital exhibition in collaboration with ten women students from the film production program. https://www.concordia.ca/finearts/cinema/research/tracy-ying-zhang/women-in-film-education.html

    See more
"The Flip Side: A Global Circus Story"

    Summary:

    (2018) "The Flip Side: A Global Circus Story". I co-produced this film with Val Wang and participated in the planning and shooting. Winner of “Best Short Documentary” at the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival. Facebook @thefilpsidedoc

    Film Festival Screenings
    · The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival 2018, New York City, USA
    · Asian American International Film Festival 2018, New York City, USA
    · Boston Asian American Film Festival 2018, Boston, USA
    · DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival 2018, Washington, DC, USA
    · DisOrient Asian American Film Festival 2018, Oregon, USA
    · Seattle Asian American Film Festival 2018, Seattle, USA
    · Thunder Bay Vox Popular Media Arts Festival 2018, Thunder Bay, Canada

    Conference and University Screenings
    · Canadian Association for Theatre Research, Queens University, Kingston, ON, Canada (2018)
    · Circus and Its Others, CIRQUEON – Centre for Contemporary Circus, Prague, Czech Republic
    (2018)
    · Circus Histories and Theories, Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, University of the
    Witwatersrand, South Africa (2018)
    · The Global Circus,
Social Science Festival, Vanier College, Montreal, Canada (2018)
    · Bentley University International Film Series (Fall 2018)
    · Tufts University Asian American Studies Series “Expression Across Boundaries: Asian American Women and the Multimedia” (2019)

    See more
"Talking to You with Mouth Full"

    Summary:

    (2006) "Talking to You with Mouth Full". Co-produced with Shanti Macfronton, Cassandra Savage, Benjamin Woo. Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia. I participated in planning the documentary, shooting, and editing.

    See more
"Fiddling with the Arts"

    Summary:

    (2001) "Fiddling with the Arts". I wrote, directed, shot and edited this video with the support from the Centre for Art Tapes, Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was screened at the CFAT scholarship award evening.

    See more
"Return"

    Summary:

    (2000) "Return". I wrote, directed, shot, and edited this film with the support from the Atlantic Filmmakers’ Cooperative, Halifax, Nova Scotia. This short was screened at the AFCOO’s one-minute film award evening.

    See more
Book Chapters

Publication
Year

(2016, reprint) “Bending the Body for China: The Uses of Acrobatics in Sino-US Diplomacy during the Cold War.” In Katie Lavers and Peta Tait (Eds.) The Routledge Circus Studies Reader. UK: Routledge.

2016

“The Chinese Connection: The Transnational Origins of Quebecois Circus Arts.” In Patrick Louis Leroux and Charles Batson (Eds.) Cirque Global: Quebec’s Expanding Circus Boundaries. Canada, Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 202-219.

2016

(2014) “Carpet Worlds: The Construction of a Commodity Hierarchy and Politics of Difference in Lhasa.” In Trine Brox and Ildiko Beller-Hann (Eds.) On the Fringes of the Harmonious Society: Tibetans and Uyghurs in Socialist China. Denmark, Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 98-126.

2014

“On the Fringe of the Canadian State: Grassroots Film and Video in Halifax, 1970-1980.” In Darrell Varga (Ed.) Rain, Drizzle, and Fog: Essays on Atlantic Canadian Film and Video. Canada, Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 171-198.

2009

Book Reviews

Publication
Year

“Fu Ping.” Book review, Literary Review of Canada, 12(6), 20.

2004

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

“Enchanted Masculinities: Gender, Modern Magic and Nationalism in Early Twentieth Century China,” The Journal of Early Popular Visual Culture, In Matthew Solomon & Joe Culpepper (Eds.) Special issue on “The Golden Age of Stage Conjuring, 1880-1930,” 16(2), 172-187.

2019

“Bending the Body for China: The Uses of Acrobatics in Sino-US Diplomacy during the Cold War,” International Journal of Cultural Policy, 22 (2), 123-146. (first published online in October, 2014. This article won the 2015 award from Les Fonds de Recherché du Québec for best original research paper).

2016

“From China to the Big Top in North America: Chinese Acrobats and the Politics of Aesthetic Labor, 1980s-2000s,” The Journal of International Labor and Working-Class History, In Joel Stillerman, Chris Tilly, and Sarah Mosoetsa (Eds.) Special issue on “Precarious Labor in Global Perspective,” 89, 40-63.

2016

“Factory Nuns: The Ethnicization of Migrant Labor in the Making of Tibetan Carpets,” Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 20(6), 754-772.

2013

“The Making of Valuable Carpets in Lhasa,” Journal of Material Culture, 17(1): 83-101.

2012

“Deaf-mutes, Illiterates, and Women: Ethnicity, Gender, and Labor Policy in a Tibetan Carpet Factory,” Feminist Media Studies, 7(4): 381-396.

2007

Professional Journal Articles

Publication
Year

“Beyond vice & vertu: Gender, performance body, and precarious labor at 375e de Montréal.” Commentary & Criticism, Feminist Media Studies, 19(2): 291-293.

2019

“Enchanted masculinity: Modern magic and gender politics in early twentieth century China.” Commentary & Criticism, WAGIC: Women and Gender in China (Issue 8). Published on May 7, 2018.

2018

Policy Papers

Publication
Year

“Take us seriously: Gender, equality, and inclusion in film production education”. Policy paper (79 pages), I submitted this document to Femmes du cinéma, de la télévision et des médias numériques (FCTMN), Concordia University, Telefilm, and Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC)

2021

(2012, March) L’économie créative et les communauté anglophones au Québec (CAQ). Policy paper (53 pages), Industry Canada Permanent Web link (French version): https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/com-com.nsf/fra/h_01260.html

2012

"The creative economy and English-speaking communities in Quebec". Policy paper (53 pages), Industry Canada.

2012

Other

Publication
Year

“The arrangement of fate in the land of fantasy.” Blog post, World Circus and Stories Mapping Project.

2020

“Teaching anti-racist feminist media.” Essay, Centre for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence.

2015

“Voix des femmes du monde à côte-des-neiges.” I co-wrote this article with women from femmes du monde, Le Jumelé, (Hiver). Table de Concertation des Organismes au Service des Personnes Réfugiées et Immigrantes.

2010

“Culture matters: The making of AFCOOP, 1974-2004.” Essay, the 30th anniversary program of the Atlantic Filmmakers’ Cooperative (p. 19-21), Halifax, Nova Scotia.

2004


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/COMN4217 6.0 A Governing Culture: Cultural Policy REMT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/COMN2200 6.0 A Politics, Policy and the Media LECT
Fall 2021 AP/COMN3213 3.0 A Labour in Communication and Culture REMT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2022 AP/COMN4270 3.0 M Cultural Industries and Work REMT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/COMN4217 6.0 A Governing Culture: Cultural Policy REMT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/COMN2200 6.0 A Politics, Policy and the Media LECT


For over fifteen years, Dr. Zhang has been conducting multilingual, multi-sited research that explores the intersections of gender, race, labor migration, body politics, and cultural policy in global creative industries. Her interdisciplinary approaches to research and teaching are informed by intersectional feminist perspectives, postcolonial theories, and international political economy analyses. Before joining York, she was a Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Researcher at Concordia University, where she conducted a research project on gendered and racial barriers in film production education. Previously, she also held postdoctoral fellowships at Université de Montréal and Queen’s University.

Degrees

Ph.D., School of Communication, Simon Fraser University
M.A., International Development Studies, Dalhousie University
B.A., joint-major Honors in Economics and Cultural Studies, Trent University

Professional Leadership

I have been a board member of CPE la Mère L’Oie for two years (2019-2021).
I am currently a founding member of the new journal, Circus Arts, Life & Sciences.

Research Interests

, Cultural Policy Studies; Labor and Cultural Industries; Intersectional Feminisms; Global Politics and Cultural Economy; Media and Performance; Qualitative Research Methodologies.

Current Research Projects

The making of ‘valuable’ carpets in Lhasa

    Summary:

    Dr. Zhang’s first major project is an ethnographic and historical study of artisanal labor in Tibetan capital city Lhasa, where handmade wool carpets are marketed as indigenous cultural exports. One of the main contributions of this project is its nuanced analysis of the linkages between gendered labor processes and the marketing of indigenous cultural goods under shifting political regimes. Research results have appeared in three peer-reviewed journals, one book chapter, and many academic talks. A forthcoming publication will appear in a book, called “The Tibetan Cultural Boom in the People’s Republic of China” (Lexington Books).

From China to the Big Top: Chinese Acrobats and the Politics of Aesthetic Labor, 1950–2010

    Summary:

    Dr. Zhang’s second major project uses “acrobatics” as an entry point to investigate the body as both a subject of labor and a cultural medium in the processes of nation-state building, international diplomacy, and cultural trade. This research has produced multiple presentations, two book chapters, and articles in academic journals, such as “The Journal of Early Popular Visual Culture”, “The Journal of International Labor and Working-Class History”, “The International Journal of Cultural Policy”, and “Feminist Media Studies”. Currently, she is working on a book project, investigating the intertwined politics of gender, race, precarious labor, and performing bodies by tracing the global circulations of “Chinese circus” across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Take Us Seriously: Gender, Equality, and Inclusion in Film Production Education

    Summary:

    Dr. Zhang’s Mitacs-funded study on gender and film production education has generated a virtual exhibition called “Women in Film Education: Participatory Photography at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema” and a policy report, entitled “Take Us Seriously: Gender, Equality, and Inclusion in Film Production Education”. This project directly contributes to equity, diversity and inclusion in Canadian higher education by exposing female students’ challenges as well as their experiences of empowerment in film school.

"Women in Film Education: Participatory Photography at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema"

    Summary:

    (2019) "Women in Film Education: Participatory Photography at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema". I produced and curated this digital exhibition in collaboration with ten women students from the film production program. https://www.concordia.ca/finearts/cinema/research/tracy-ying-zhang/women-in-film-education.html

"The Flip Side: A Global Circus Story"

    Summary:

    (2018) "The Flip Side: A Global Circus Story". I co-produced this film with Val Wang and participated in the planning and shooting. Winner of “Best Short Documentary” at the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival. Facebook @thefilpsidedoc

    Film Festival Screenings
    · The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival 2018, New York City, USA
    · Asian American International Film Festival 2018, New York City, USA
    · Boston Asian American Film Festival 2018, Boston, USA
    · DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival 2018, Washington, DC, USA
    · DisOrient Asian American Film Festival 2018, Oregon, USA
    · Seattle Asian American Film Festival 2018, Seattle, USA
    · Thunder Bay Vox Popular Media Arts Festival 2018, Thunder Bay, Canada

    Conference and University Screenings
    · Canadian Association for Theatre Research, Queens University, Kingston, ON, Canada (2018)
    · Circus and Its Others, CIRQUEON – Centre for Contemporary Circus, Prague, Czech Republic
    (2018)
    · Circus Histories and Theories, Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, University of the
    Witwatersrand, South Africa (2018)
    · The Global Circus,
Social Science Festival, Vanier College, Montreal, Canada (2018)
    · Bentley University International Film Series (Fall 2018)
    · Tufts University Asian American Studies Series “Expression Across Boundaries: Asian American Women and the Multimedia” (2019)

"Talking to You with Mouth Full"

    Summary:

    (2006) "Talking to You with Mouth Full". Co-produced with Shanti Macfronton, Cassandra Savage, Benjamin Woo. Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia. I participated in planning the documentary, shooting, and editing.

"Fiddling with the Arts"

    Summary:

    (2001) "Fiddling with the Arts". I wrote, directed, shot and edited this video with the support from the Centre for Art Tapes, Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was screened at the CFAT scholarship award evening.

"Return"

    Summary:

    (2000) "Return". I wrote, directed, shot, and edited this film with the support from the Atlantic Filmmakers’ Cooperative, Halifax, Nova Scotia. This short was screened at the AFCOO’s one-minute film award evening.

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

(2016, reprint) “Bending the Body for China: The Uses of Acrobatics in Sino-US Diplomacy during the Cold War.” In Katie Lavers and Peta Tait (Eds.) The Routledge Circus Studies Reader. UK: Routledge.

2016

“The Chinese Connection: The Transnational Origins of Quebecois Circus Arts.” In Patrick Louis Leroux and Charles Batson (Eds.) Cirque Global: Quebec’s Expanding Circus Boundaries. Canada, Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 202-219.

2016

(2014) “Carpet Worlds: The Construction of a Commodity Hierarchy and Politics of Difference in Lhasa.” In Trine Brox and Ildiko Beller-Hann (Eds.) On the Fringes of the Harmonious Society: Tibetans and Uyghurs in Socialist China. Denmark, Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 98-126.

2014

“On the Fringe of the Canadian State: Grassroots Film and Video in Halifax, 1970-1980.” In Darrell Varga (Ed.) Rain, Drizzle, and Fog: Essays on Atlantic Canadian Film and Video. Canada, Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 171-198.

2009

Book Reviews

Publication
Year

“Fu Ping.” Book review, Literary Review of Canada, 12(6), 20.

2004

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

“Enchanted Masculinities: Gender, Modern Magic and Nationalism in Early Twentieth Century China,” The Journal of Early Popular Visual Culture, In Matthew Solomon & Joe Culpepper (Eds.) Special issue on “The Golden Age of Stage Conjuring, 1880-1930,” 16(2), 172-187.

2019

“Bending the Body for China: The Uses of Acrobatics in Sino-US Diplomacy during the Cold War,” International Journal of Cultural Policy, 22 (2), 123-146. (first published online in October, 2014. This article won the 2015 award from Les Fonds de Recherché du Québec for best original research paper).

2016

“From China to the Big Top in North America: Chinese Acrobats and the Politics of Aesthetic Labor, 1980s-2000s,” The Journal of International Labor and Working-Class History, In Joel Stillerman, Chris Tilly, and Sarah Mosoetsa (Eds.) Special issue on “Precarious Labor in Global Perspective,” 89, 40-63.

2016

“Factory Nuns: The Ethnicization of Migrant Labor in the Making of Tibetan Carpets,” Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 20(6), 754-772.

2013

“The Making of Valuable Carpets in Lhasa,” Journal of Material Culture, 17(1): 83-101.

2012

“Deaf-mutes, Illiterates, and Women: Ethnicity, Gender, and Labor Policy in a Tibetan Carpet Factory,” Feminist Media Studies, 7(4): 381-396.

2007

Professional Journal Articles

Publication
Year

“Beyond vice & vertu: Gender, performance body, and precarious labor at 375e de Montréal.” Commentary & Criticism, Feminist Media Studies, 19(2): 291-293.

2019

“Enchanted masculinity: Modern magic and gender politics in early twentieth century China.” Commentary & Criticism, WAGIC: Women and Gender in China (Issue 8). Published on May 7, 2018.

2018

Policy Papers

Publication
Year

“Take us seriously: Gender, equality, and inclusion in film production education”. Policy paper (79 pages), I submitted this document to Femmes du cinéma, de la télévision et des médias numériques (FCTMN), Concordia University, Telefilm, and Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC)

2021

(2012, March) L’économie créative et les communauté anglophones au Québec (CAQ). Policy paper (53 pages), Industry Canada Permanent Web link (French version): https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/com-com.nsf/fra/h_01260.html

2012

"The creative economy and English-speaking communities in Quebec". Policy paper (53 pages), Industry Canada.

2012

Other

Publication
Year

“The arrangement of fate in the land of fantasy.” Blog post, World Circus and Stories Mapping Project.

2020

“Teaching anti-racist feminist media.” Essay, Centre for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence.

2015

“Voix des femmes du monde à côte-des-neiges.” I co-wrote this article with women from femmes du monde, Le Jumelé, (Hiver). Table de Concertation des Organismes au Service des Personnes Réfugiées et Immigrantes.

2010

“Culture matters: The making of AFCOOP, 1974-2004.” Essay, the 30th anniversary program of the Atlantic Filmmakers’ Cooperative (p. 19-21), Halifax, Nova Scotia.

2004


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/COMN4217 6.0 A Governing Culture: Cultural Policy REMT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/COMN2200 6.0 A Politics, Policy and the Media LECT
Fall 2021 AP/COMN3213 3.0 A Labour in Communication and Culture REMT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2022 AP/COMN4270 3.0 M Cultural Industries and Work REMT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/COMN4217 6.0 A Governing Culture: Cultural Policy REMT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/COMN2200 6.0 A Politics, Policy and the Media LECT