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Aynne Kokas

Wilson China Fellow

Professional affiliation

Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia and Senior Faculty Fellow, Miller Center for Public Affairs.

Wilson Center Projects

2021-2022: “A Tense Triangle: Japanese Data Security Amidst the U.S.-China Tech War.”

2017-2018: "Border Control on the Digital Frontier: China, the United States, and the Global Battle for Data Security"

Full Biography

Aynne Kokas is the C.K. Yen Professor at the Miller Center and an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. Kokas’ research examines Sino-U.S. media and technology relations. Her book Trafficking Data: How China is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty (Oxford University Press, October 2022) argues that exploitative Silicon Valley data governance practices help China build infrastructures for global control. Her award-winning first book Hollywood Made in China (University of California Press, 2017) argues that Chinese investment and regulations have transformed the U.S. commercial media industry, most prominently in the case of media conglomerates’ leverage of global commercial brands. 

Kokas is a non-resident scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow in the National Committee on United States-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program.

She has received fellowships from the Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, Mellon Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Japan’s Abe Fellowship, and other international organizations. Her writing and commentary have appeared globally in more than 50 countries and 15 languages. In the United States, her research and writing appear regularly in media outlets including CNBC, NPR’s Marketplace, The Washington Post, and Wired. She has testified before the Senate Finance Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Major Publications

  • Hollywood Made in China (University of California Press, 2017)
  • Kokas, Aynne, Chuck Tryon, Hugh Gusterson and Josh Braun. “The Freedom Edition: Considering Sony Pictures and ‘The Interview.’” Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 60, no. 4 (2016).
  • Tao, Zhu, Aynne Kokas, Rui Zhang, Daniel S. Cohan, and Dan Wallach. "Inferring Atmospheric Particulate Matter Concentrations from Chinese Social Media Data." PLOS ONE 11, no. 9 (2016), 1-15.

Previous Terms

Fellow: 09/05/2017 - 08/24/2018