A Public Policy major with a minor in Cinematic Arts, Eva is very passionate about the intersection between storytelling and social justice/international relations. She has since further cultivated these interests through a fellowship at Democracy NC, where she utilized her multimedia production skills to promote voter advocacy right before the 2020 election, as well as a 6-month internship at Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), where she focused on raising awareness around gender equality through communications with parliamentarians around the world and partnerships with UN agencies. At Duke, she has participated in DukeEnage Rwanda and studied abroad in Paris, France. She is also the Campus Arts Editor at The Chronicle and has written and directed several short videos as a member of Freewater Productions. Graduating in December 2021 after having taken a gap semester, Eva plans on continuing to explore her variety of interests during her remaining time at Duke and hopes to pursue a career that can combine her passions for both storytelling and social justice.
Who’s ‘the King of the World’: The US, France, and China Competing for Cultural Dominance Through Cinema in a Globalized Context
Faculty Advisor: Professor Phil Michael Napoli
Abstract: As media content becomes more readily accessible and ubiquitous, our perceptions of ourselves, our communities, and the world in general are increasingly being influenced by the images we consume, especially moving images. To understand how this mediation both shapes and is shaped by international relations, this thesis sets out to explore how film can act as a form of cultural diplomacy and contribute to achieving a country’s aspiration for soft power. My geographic areas of focus are the US, France, and China since they offer a set of different yet interrelated models. Specifically, I conducted a survey study as well as expert interviews to illuminate the interplay between cinema and international relations at the institutional, industry, and audience levels. The findings demonstrate that the international network of culture has become very integrated due to globalization, as any change at any level in any of the three countries could have ripple effects across the world. The global media landscape is also going through major changes due to the rise of streaming. Although Hollywood is still the dominant player, other film industries are constantly innovating in efforts to better connect with diverse audiences. And from the audiences’ standpoint, films do have the potential to shape their perspectives on international relations, though the influence is usually gradual, accumulative, and even imperceptible.