Photo of Katherine Morrow

Katherine Morrow

Assistant Professor

Degrees:B.A (Cornell University), M.A. (University of Iowa), PhD (University of Washington)

Katherine is interested in supervising graduate students and postdocs interested in Chinese film and media, as well as documentary and nonfiction genres.

Morrow’s research focuses on Chinese film and media, understood from a global perspective that emphasizes the transnational circulation of genres and formats. Her primary research project engages with Mainland Chinese documentary and reality television, through the lens of domestic divisions between rural and urban.  How popular television programs and documentaries reflect and construct the differences between rural and urban spaces and populations directly responds to the influence of Western forms of documentary or reality television. Yet, these programs also reflect Maoist narratives about the rural and urban and testify to a contemporary industrial structure that continues to be restricted by state-mandated political and moral standards. In this context, the tension between media’s educational purpose and profit-driven entertainment objectives, as well as between nonfictional social representation and first-person experience, take on particular importance.

Morrow’s other research project considers the emerging industrial genre of ‘internet features’ on Chinese streaming sites like iQiyi. Although these films are often maligned as tasteless copycats of theatrical releases, close attention to ‘internet features’ will expand understandings of the PRC media industry and how digital and streaming technology is developing in a global context.


“Living in hot topics: interactions of social media and cinema in Glass Children (Rong Guangrong, 2019) and Better Days (Derek Tsang, 2019).”  (under review, special issue of Journal of Chinese Cinemas)

Fei Cheng Wu Rao (非诚勿扰): Staging Global China through International Format Television and Overseas Special Episodes.” New Global Studies 8.3 (2014): 259-77.


Gui Qinghshan. “Going with the Flow: Apprehending Genre Theory and Trends.” Completed September 2017, publication forthcoming.

Glass Children (Rong Guangrong, 2019), documentary short, translated. 

I, Man-Yi (Rong Guangrong, 2019), experimental short, translated. 

The Cold Raising the Cold (Rong Guangrong, 2019), narrative, translated.