Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Kristina Karvelyte

Visiting scholar, National Taiwan University


BA Sinology (Vilnius), MA International Communication (Vilnius), MA Communications Management (Ming Chuan), PhD Media and Communication (Leeds)

In June 2017, Kristina was awarded a PhD for her thesis on “Making a Creative City with Chinese Characteristics: Perspectives from Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei”. Her work looked at cultural policy within these three cities and particularly at the use of large-scale cultural events as part of the reworking of the ‘creative city’ discourse in East Asia. Kristina’s supervisors were Professor Kate Oakley and Dr Giorgia Aiello and her examiners were Dr Hye-Kyung Lee of Kings College London and Professor David Hesmondhalgh. Kristina is currently a visiting scholar on a Taiwan Fellowship at the Research Institute for the Humanities and Social SciencesNational Taiwan University


Kristina was a postgraduate research student in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds, where she also worked as a teaching and research assistant. In her PhD thesis, Kristina examined the role of culture as ‘display’ and its transformations in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei. Her research contributed to the developing field of policy mobility and the understanding of shifting approaches to cultural policy in the Chinese-speaking world, and East Asia more generally. Kristina also holds a MA in Communications Management from Ming Chuan University (Taiwan) and a MA in International Communication from Vilnius University (Lithuania). Her first degree was a BA in Sinology (Vilnius University).

Currently Kristina is a visiting scholar in the National Taiwan University. She continues to focus on Chinese cities, urban cultural policy, culture-led urban development, and policy transfer.

Kristina can be reached via karvelyte.k@gmail.com


Peer-reviewed publications           

Karvelyte, K. and Chiu, J.H. 2012. Planning, development and coordination of city brands: the experience of Taipei city. Journal of Communications Management. 12(1), pp. 49-80.

Karvelyte, K. and Chiu, J.H. 2011. Planning process of city brands: A case study of Taipei city. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy. 7(4), pp. 257–270.

Book chapter(s)           

Karvelyte, K. (forthcoming, 2018). Probing the cultural turn in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei: the moments of triumph and despair. In: Lee, H.K and Lim. L. (eds). The Routledge Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in Asia. London: Routledge.

Karvelyte, K. 2017. From arts desert to global cultural metropolis: the (re)branding of Shanghai and Hong Kong. In: O’Brien, D., Miller, T., and Durrer, V. (eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Global Cultural Policy. London: Routledge, pp. 247-264.

Karvelyte, K. (2014). All equal, but some more equal than others? Exploring the differentiation within cultural and creative industries in Chinese cities. In: Schramme, A., Kooyman, R. (ed.), and Hagoort, G. Beyond Frames: Dynamics Between the Creative industries, Knowledge Institutions and the Urban Context. Delft: Eburon Academic Press, pp. 157-165.

Working papers

Edwards, L., Moss, G. and Karvelyte, K. 2017. Living with(in) copyright law: what is it, how does it work, how could it change? Project report. [Online]. CREATe Working Paper Series. Available from: http://www.create.ac.uk/publications/

Selected conference presentations/papers           

Karvelyte, K. 2016. Path dependence of the ‘cultural turn’: A comparative study of Taipei, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Paper presented at the 2016 International Conference on Cultural Policy Research (ICCPR 2016), 5-9 July, Seoul, Korea.

Karvelyte, K. 2015. Probing into urban cultural policy narratives: A role of large-scale cultural events in Shanghai. Paper presented at the inaugural UK-China Media and Cultural Studies Association Conference ‘Chinese Media and Cultural Studies: Consumption, Content and Crisis’, 6 February 2015, Cardiff, UK.

Karvelyte, K. 2015. Jiegou wenhua zhanshi yu chengshi zhengzhi zhijian de guangxi: yi taibei wei li [Deconstructing the relationship between the display of culture and urban politics: lessons from Taipei]. 18 December 2015, National Taiwan Library, Taipei, Taiwan.

Karvelyte, K. 2014. Taipei’s public diplomacy in action: towards Cultural and Creative Capital? Paper presented at the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS) conference ‘Taiwan: Self vs. Other’, 30 April – 2 May 2014, Portsmouth, UK.

Karvelyte, K. 2013. A Creative approach to representing Taipei. Paper presented at the international conference ‘Communication and the City: Voices, Spaces, Media’, 14/15 June 2013, Leeds, UK.

Karvelyte, K. 2013. Screening Taipei: embodied identities of the city. Paper presented at the international conference ‘The Creation and Circulation of Chinese Identities in and through Cinema’, 29/30 January 2013, Chinese Film Forum, Manchester, UK.


Research Interests

  • Cultural policy in East Asia
  • Urban cultural policy
  • Policy transfer/mobility
  • Cities
  • Place/city branding
  • Large-scale cultural events
  • Greater China
  • Cultural (and) creative industries



COMM1230      Introduction to Media and Communication Research (Semester 1, Module Leader Dr Anna Zoellner)

COMM2350      TV News Journalism (Semester 2, Module Leader Dr Jairo Lugo-Ocando)



COMM1205       Introduction to Communications Research (Semester 1, Module Leader Dr Anna Zoellner)

COMM1940       Sociology of Media Practices (Semester 2, Module Leader Dr Katherine Nash)




COMM2940       Introduction to Public Relations (Semester 1, Module Leader Dr Lee Edwards)

COMM1940       Sociology of Media Practices (Semester 2, Module Leader Dr Julie Firmstone)

Research Projects & Grants

Research assistant in the research project entitled “Living With(in) Copyright Law: What is it, how does it work, how could it change?”, University of Leeds, UK, Aug 2016 – Jan 2017. This research project was supported by a grant from CREATe (Grant reference AHRC AH/K000179/1). Project report is available from: http://www.create.ac.uk/publications/

Research Grant from the Center for Chinese Studies, Taiwan, Jun-Oct 2014

SMaC PhD Scholarship, University of Leeds, UK, 2012-2015

Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, MA Degree Scholarship, Taiwan, 2007-2010

Research Centres & Groups

International Communication Research Group

Cultural Production, Policy and Place Research Group


PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

Professor Kate Oakley

Dr Giorgia Aiello

PhD Thesis

Title. Making a Creative City with Chinese Characteristics: Perspectives from Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei

Abstract. The global appeal of culture-led urban development is commonly attributed to the increased inter-city competition for foreign investment, talents and tourists. But this reason alone is insufficient in explaining the ‘cultural turn’ in East Asian cities, which do not fit into the framework of the post-industrial ‘entrepreneurial’ city. Urban cultural policies and the meanings attached to them transform as they move from one site to another, and it is therefore imperative to consider the historical, cultural and political specificities and complexities that shape and define them. This research aims to explore the context and continuous transformation of the creative city policy discourse in three Chinese cities. Specifically, it examines the understandings that urban policymakers attach to the ‘display’ (Williams, 1984) role of the creative city in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei, interrogating the reasons behind the adoption of ‘imported’ templates of large-scale cultural events and the decision to promote cities as creative. Drawing on thematic analysis of policy documents and semi-structured elite interviews, this study found that in all three cities, policies have been adopted primarily as a political rather than as an entrepreneurial strategy. The findings reveal mutation as a two-way process: the ‘imported’ cultural policies not only are transformed by the city, but they also transform the city’s approach to culture and the arts, which has both positive and negative implications. This research contributes to the developing field of policy mobility and the understanding of urban cultural policy in Chinese cities.




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