LGBTQ+ Community Media Ecology & Public Scholarship

The ecological approach to communication studies highlights the interactions, networks, and hierarchies that structure information flows in a communication system. I use this approach to guide many of my academic works and add a queer twist to better account for the power dynamics shaping the ecology.

My dissertation is a multi-site case study of queer media ecology in Beijing, China, and Wisconsin, USA. I worked with local LGBTQ+ organizations to conduct participant observation and in-depth interviews. I took the banner picture of an art project raising awareness of illegal conversion therapy when doing fieldwork in Beijing in 2019. 

Informed by ethnographic work, I develop "queer media ecology" as an analytical framework to map not only the connections, but also the disconnections in a media system with power disparities. I presented preliminary results at the 2020 ICA conference and published a book chapter on the self-media queer counterpublic in China.

Meanwhile, I practice public-engaged scholarship and am an organizer rooted in the LGBTQ+ community. I co-founded MadRainbow, a queer social group for Chinese people in Madison. I was on the Planning Committee for the 2021 Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference.

As a Public Exchange Scholar and Humanities Responder, I led a coalition of queer organizations in Madison to promote community trust and facilitate collaboration. We launched a media campaign addressing health inequity during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In continuation of this line of work, I am now a co-principal investigator of Stories for All, an initiative to rediscover marginalized histories and cultures through digital storytelling. Working with over 50 community partners, I intermediate between academic knowledge making and community needs and develop metrics to assess the community impact of partner projects.