Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lori Kido Lopez Biography

Lori Kido Lopez Picture
Lori Kido Lopez 

            Lori Kido Lopez is an assistant professor here at UW-Madison’s Department of Communication Arts, teaching her first course in Fall of 2012. An interview from the university about her starting at the UW can be read here. She earned her BA in Asian Studies and Media Studies from Pomona College,  MA in Mass Communication at Indiana University and PhD from the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. “Asian American media activism: Past, present, and digital futures” was the title of her dissertation written in 2012. She tweets @kidolopez and was the Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) for LGBT Equality – LA Division December Activist of the Month in 2010. More information about here activism can be read here.

            On her website, it states that her research areas focus on media studies, Asian American studies, race/gender/sexuality, intercultural communication and social justice. She has published three papers; “The Yellow Press: Asian American Radicalism and Conflict in Gidra,” which won the Top Paper Award for Ethnicity and Race in Communication (ERIC) Division, “Eating a Meal with the Other: The Ethical Challenges of Travel Food Shows” and “The Radical Act of Mommy Blogging: Redefining Motherhood Through the Blogosphere”.  “The Radical Act of Mommy Blogging” is the only article which appears in the Web of Knowledge database and was cited nine times. This does not include the citation in the book “Confronting Postmaternal Thinking: Feminism, Memory, and Care” by Julie Stephens. Citations counts are a difficult metric to use in determining the impact of an article, but the nine other articles shed insight onto the diversity Lopez brings to the mass communication field. 

Actors from The Last Airbender

Original Animated Characters
     Lopez’s mixture of communication and activism make it apparent that the transformation of publishing, such as blogging, also transforms identities, cultures and communities. She states on her UW Madison website, “In my work I am dedicated to the blending of scholarship and activism, and highly value collaborations between community organizations and academics.” (2012). She has several dozen presentations on her websites which includes many presentations about Asian American’s portrayal in the media and how fans become activists. Most notable was the discussion of the actors cast in M. Night Shyamalan’s adaptation of “Avatar, the Last Airbender” in 2010 and the fan’s backlash of the apparent whitewashing of characters. The website was started to challenge the film itself but also to make the struggle for minority characters in Hollywood more known. Lopez wrote an article about Racebending, for which she was a co-founder of, for the website “From Participatory Culture to Public Participation” which can read here.

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