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Zhuo Ban

Title: Assistant Professor
Office: 119C McMicken Hall
Tel: 513-556-4544
Email: banzu@ucmail.uc.edu

Dr. Zhuo Ban studies processes of neoliberal globalization and marginalization from a Public Relations perspective. Her recent work explores how industrial workers in offshore manufacturing units in Southern China construct their identities as marginalized publics in the global diffusion of production. She is also interested in the study of global-local dialectics of sweatshop activism; from consumer-based activism in the US to grassroots organizing in sweatshop sites in China.


  • PhD, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 2012 (Communication).
  • MA, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 2008 (Communication).

Research Information

Research Interests

Activism and Resistance: As a Public Relations scholar, my research seeks to further theoretical understanding of activism in contemporary globalized contexts. My research offers a critical evaluation of existing theoretical models of activism, and takes a culture-centered approach to re-invigorating dominant understandings of activism and resistance.
Globalization and Marginalization: Challenging the functional rationality prevalent in the understanding of globalization in Public Relations scholarship, my research interrogates the process of globalization vis-à-vis the process of marginalization, and attempts to theorize public relations from the margin.    
Offshoring and the US-China Relationship: A related line of my research looks at the complex relationship between China and the West in the context of China’s emergence as a major offshore production destination. Some of my current work looks at how US companies construct China’s business environment in documents like the Chamber of Commerce’s Commercial Guide for Companies; another effort look at how the rising economic clout of China is constructed in mainstream US public discourse.


Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Ban, Z., & Dutta, M. J. (2012). Minding their business: Discourses of Colonialism and Neoliberalism in the Commercial Guide for U.S. Companies in China. Public Relations Inquiry, 1, 197-220. doi: 10.1177/2046147X11435079
  • Dutta, M. J., Ban, Z. & Pal, M. (2012). Engaging worldviews, cultures, and structures through dialogue: The culture-centered approach to public relations. PRism 9(2)
  • Ban, Z., Sastry, S., & Dutta, M. (2013). “Shoppers' Republic of China”: Orientalism in Neoliberal U.S. News Discourse. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication. doi: 10.1080/17513057.2013.792941

Book Chapter

  • Ban, Z. “Good mums use American formula”: Online discourses on breastfeeding as an infant health risk in urban China. To appear in S. Hartnett, L. Keranen, and D. Conley (eds). The Dilemmas and Opportunities of U.S.-China Communication in an Age of Globalization. Edited collection in review

In Press

  • Ban, Z. (in press). Delineating Responsibility, Decisions and Compromises:
    A Frame Analysis of Fast Food Industry’s Online CSR Communication. Journal of Applied Communication Research.

Under Review

  • Ban, Z. (2016). Religion, Corporate & Marginalized Labor: An Analysis of Discursive Tension and Identity in the Context of a Chinese House Church. Manuscript submitted for publication.
  • Ban, Z. (2016). Framing Labor (Mal)practices: An Analysis of Garment Corporates' CSR Messages about Supply Chain. Manuscript submitted for publication.
  • Molony, S., Ban, Z. (2016). Of The Mothers, by The Mothers And for The Mothers: A Frame Analysis of Motherhood Discourse in Female Politicians’ Speeches. Manuscript submitted for publication. 
  • Ban, Z. (2016). Negotiating Oppressive Structure and Resistive Impulse: A Cultural-Centered Ethnography of A House Church in China. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Work in Progress

  • From slave labor to illegal immigrants: a discourse analysis of labor in-sourcing in Prato, Italy.

Presentations & Lectures

Paper Presentations

  • Ban, Z., Dillard, S.Jones, C., Kumar, R. & Sastry, S. (11-2012). Community, Culture, and Power: Culture-centered approaches to communication and social change., Orlando, FL.
  • Ban, Zhuo (02-2014). “Good mums use American formula”: Online discourses on breastfeeding as an infant health risk in urban China. P, Anaheim, CA.
  • Ban, Zhuo (03-2014). Towards an emic understanding of labor retention —A culture-centered approach to measurement development., Miami, FL.
  • Zhuo Ban (11-2014). Negotiating Oppressive Structure and Resistive Impulse: An Ethnography of A House Church in China, Chicago, IL.
  • Zhuo Ban, Shaunak Sastry (05-2015). Delineating Responsibility, Decisions and Compromises: A Frame Analysis of QSR’s Online Communication about Nutrition, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Zhuo Ban (11-15-2015). Religion, Corporate & Marginalized Labor: Discursive Tensions and Identity in a Chinese House Church, Las Vegas, NV.

Experience & Service


  • Reviewer, National Communication Association Public Relations Division, 2013 to To Present
  • Reviewer, Communication, Culture and Critique 2012 to To Present
  • Reviewer, Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture 2012 to To Present
  • Reviewer, Health Communication 2014
  • Member, Research Working Group, 2013 to To Present
  • Department of Communication LEAF team,
  • Committee Member, Department of Communication Graduate Admission Committee,
  • Committee Member, Department of Communication Educator Faculty Search Committee,
  • Committee Member, Department of Communication Diversity and Inclusion Committee, 03-2016
  • Peer Review/Referee, Health Communication 2014
  • Peer Review/Referee, Journal of Applied Communication Research 2016

Other Experience and Professional Memberships

  • 2009 to To Present ,Member, National Communication Association
  • 2009 to To Present ,Member, International Communication Association

Courses Taught

    Level: Undergraduate

  • Level: Graduate

    Level: Undergraduate
    Term: 14SS

    Term: 14FS

  • Level: Graduate
    Term: 14SS

    Level: Undergraduate

    Level: Undergraduate