About Anthony Kao

Anthony Kao is a writer focused on international affairs (especially East Asian geopolitics), media studies, and cultural criticism. He founded/edits Cinema Escapist, a publication that explores the sociopolitical context behind international film and television. He's also written for The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Diplomat, Eater, ChinaFile, etc.
Anthony Kao is the founder of Cinema Escapist and a writer who focuses on the intersection of international affairs and cultural criticism.
Anthony's website

NBN Episodes hosted by Anthony:

Niki J. P. Alsford, "Taiwan Lives: A Social and Political History" (U Washington Press, 2024)

March 19, 2024

Taiwan Lives

Niki J. P. Alsford
Hosted by Anthony Kao

As Taiwan gains prominence on international headlines, often framed in terms of conflict with China, it’s easy to neglect the island nation’s human st…

Jinying Li, "Anime's Knowledge Cultures: Geek, Otaku, Zhai" (U Minnesota Press, 2024)

March 3, 2024

Anime's Knowledge Cultures

Jinying Li
Hosted by Anthony Kao

With comics franchises getting turned into multi-billion dollar revenue opportunities and consumer technology companies dominating daily headlines — t…

Hieyoon Kim, "Celluloid Democracy: Cinema and Politics in Cold War South Korea" (U California Press, 2023)

September 27, 2023

Celluloid Democracy

Hieyoon Kim
Hosted by Anthony Kao

Before South Korea became the democracy and media powerhouse that it is today, it underwent several decades of authoritarian rule during the Cold War …

Scott E. Simon, "Truly Human: Indigeneity and Indigenous Resurgence on Formosa" (U Toronto Press, 2023)

July 20, 2023

Truly Human

Scott E. Simon
Hosted by Anthony Kao

Similar to countries like the US and Canada, Taiwan also has indigenous peoples who've existed before the arrival of colonizers, and continue to grapp…

Markus Virgil Höhne, "Between Somaliland and Puntland: Marginalization, Militarization and Conflicting Political Vision" (Rift Valley Institute, 2023)

June 28, 2023

Between Somaliland and Puntland

Markus Virgil Höhne
Hosted by Anthony Kao

On February 6, 2023, fighting erupted around Las Anod, a city in the eastern parts of the de facto independent state of Somaliland. This still-ongoing…

Aram Hur, "Narratives of Civic Duty: How National Stories Shape Democracy in Asia" (Cornell UP, 2022)

March 3, 2023

Narratives of Civic Duty

Aram Hur
Hosted by Anthony Kao

Especially within the last decade, the word "nationalism" often evokes images of bombastic demagogues and democratic backsliding. But does nationalism…

Ying Zhu, "Hollywood in China: Behind the Scenes of the World's Largest Movie Market" (New Press, 2022)

February 18, 2023

Hollywood in China

Ying Zhu
Hosted by Anthony Kao

With her book Hollywood in China: Behind the Scenes of the World's Largest Movie Market (New Press, 2022), media scholar Ying Zhu explores the 100+ ye…

Natasha Lance Rogoff, "Muppets in Moscow: The Unexpected Crazy True Story of Making Sesame Street in Russia" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022)

February 10, 2023

Muppets in Moscow

Natasha Lance Rogoff
Hosted by Anthony Kao

It’s the early 1990s, and the USSR is no more. An intrepid young American TV producer has been given a seemingly foolhardy task: bringing the beloved …