I am an assistant professor in the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore. I received my Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Southern California. Since then, my research has revolved around labor, affect, technology, and capitalism. I am currently working on two book-length projects on compromised existence – the states of hopefulness that sustain us in a milieu where optimism runs thin.

The first project Passionate Work, published in 2022 (Duke University Press), examines how passionate work has come to reconfigure ideas of the good life, reframing what workers can hope for to stretch their capacities of tolerance. I navigate between the two typical ways of thinking about passion – its celebration by career coaches and celebrities, and its denouncement by critics who describe it as a form of exploitation – highlighting the purpose that passionate work plays in enabling forms of compromised life after the Great Recession.

The second project, Bearability, delves into media and networked forms of resilience; showcasing how twenty-first-century media is increasingly envisioned as a cure for our existential instability.  Media helps us to bear more by showing new horizons of possibilities, and by unloading the pressures involved in the demand to optimize our lives. And in doing this, media also makes us more resilient. But what is the price of this turn to bearability? Visiting different trends around work/life transformation, I highlight how this endless stretch to our states of bearing leads us to a chronic state of weariness.  

You can learn more about my research and contact me at renyihong [at] nus [beep] edu [boop] sg