Lori Kido Lopez

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Lori Kido Lopez
"Asian American Networks on Twitter: Building a Backstage Movement"

Lori Kido Lopez is Assistant Professor of Media and Cultural Studies in the Communication Arts department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also affiliate faculty in the Asian American Studies Program and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. Dr. Lopez is the author of Asian American Media Activism: Fighting for Cultural Citizenship with NYU Press and a co-editor of the Routledge Companion to Asian American Media with Vincent Pham.  Her work examines race and ethnicity in the media through a feminist/cultural studies lens. She is particularly interested in examining the way that Asian Americans and other minority groups use media in the fight for social justice. Her newest research examines Hmong Americans and the culturally specific ways that they are participating in the production and consumption of digital media, particularly considering the gendered dimensions of Hmong media cultures.

Asian American Networks on Twitter:  Building a Backstage Movement

Despite the fact that Asian Americans are statistically overrepresented on Twitter, the existence of an “Asian American Twitter” and its potential impact are rarely discussed.  In this presentation I assess the way that Asian American communities deploy Twitter hashtags in order to coalesce and rise to visibility surrounding social justice issues, as well as the ways in which these forms of Asian American activism are triangulated in relation to the oft-discussed collective of users known as “Black Twitter.”  Through interviews with prominent Twitter users whose work largely plays out behind the scenes, we can better understand the role that Twitter plays in shaping cross-racial relationships and Asian American activism.  This research also reveals the sustained centrality of representational issues and media activism to Asian Americans, even as their digital networks open up new possibilities for movement growth and development.