Prof. Saskia Witteborn

Bild: Saskia Witteborn

University of Hong Kong - School of Journalism and Communication

Visiting Professor (2013)



  • 2010-now Associate Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of Journalism and Communication
  • 2010-now Director of MA program Global Communication
  • 2010-now Research Associate, University of Washington Center for Local Strategies Research, Seattle, USA
  • 2005-2010 Assistant Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • 2005 PhD, University of Washington, Department of Communication
  • 1997 MA, University of Mannheim, English Philology


Service and Membership

  • Former Chair, Communication as Social Construction Division, National Communication Association (NCA), USA, 2009-2010

  • Associate Editor, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication (since 2006)

  • Associate Editor, Chinese Journal of Communication (since 2012)


  • Member of the International Communication Association (ICA)

  • National Communication Association (NCA, United States)

  • European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA)

  • International Association of Mass Communication Research (IAMCR)


Research Interests

I examine the virtual and embodied communicative practices through which transnational migrants enact their collective identities. Specifically, I am interested in the cultural ways of communicating of migrants and the spatial matrixes of ethnopolitical mobilization, socioeconomic relations, cultural identities, and global mobility. My research areas can be summarized as follows:

  • Transnational migration, collective identity, and communicative practice (virtual & embodied communication)
  • New technologies and (forced) migration
  • Cultural ways of communicating in a mobile age
  • Global citizenship and globalization of communication practices



  • New technologies and forced migration (General Research Fund Hong Kong, 2010/2013) Space and place-making: The role of media and information and communication technologies in forced migrants’ lives (PI) (RGC Ref. No.: CUHK456010)
  • Globalization of communication practices and the case of the Uyghurs in China, Europe, and the US (book project)


Publications (selected)

Journal Articles

  • Witteborn, S. (2012). Testimonio and spaces of risk: A forced migrant perspective. Cultural Studies, 26(4), 421-441.
  • Witteborn, S. (2012). Social construction research as cultural and critical inquiry. Special Issue, The Electronic Journal of Communication, 22(3&4).
  • Li L., & Witteborn, S. (2012). Confucianism in the Chinese media: An analysis of the revolutionary history TV drama In Those Passionate Days. Chinese Journal of Communication, 5(2), 160-177.
  • Witteborn, S. (2011). Constructing the forced migrant and the politics of space and place-making. Journal of Communication, 61(6),1142–1160.
  • Witteborn, S., (2011). Discursive grouping in a virtual forum: Dialogue, difference, and the “Intercultural”. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication. Special Issue, 4(2), 109-126.
  • Witteborn, S. (2010). The role of transnational NGOs in promoting global citizenship and globalizing communication practices. Language and Intercultural Communication, 10(4), 358-372.
  • Witteborn, S. (2008). Identity mobilization practices of refugees: The case of Iraqis in the United States and the War in Iraq. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 1, 202-220.
  • Witteborn, S. (2007). The situated expression of Arab collective identities in the United States. Journal of Communication, 57, 556-575.
  • Witteborn, S. (2007). The expression of Palestinian identity in narratives about personal experiences: Implications for the study of narrative, identity, and social interaction. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 40, 145-170.
  • Witteborn, S. (2004). Of being an Arab woman before and after September 11: The enactment of communal identities in talk. The Howard Journal of Communications, 15, 83-98.
  • Witteborn, S. (2003). Communicative competence revisited: An emic approach to studying intercultural communicative competence. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 32, 187-203.


  • Stewart, J., Zediker, K., & Witteborn, S. (2005). Together: Communicating interpersonally. A social construction approach (6th ed.). New York: Oxford Press.

 Book Chapters

  • Witteborn, S. (2012). Forced migrants, new media practices, and the creation of locality. In I. Volkmer (Ed.), The Handbook of global media research (pp. 312-330).  Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • Witteborn, S. (2011). Gendering cyberspace: Transnational mappings and Uyghur diasporic politics. In R. S. Hegde (Ed.), Circuits of visibility: Gender and transnational media cultures (pp. 268-283). New York: NYU Press.
  • Stewart, J., Zediker, K., & Witteborn, S. (2005). Constructing identities. In J. Stewart (Ed.), Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication (9th ed., pp. 64-74). New York: McGraw-Hill College Publishers.


Media Contributions