My research examines the way that minority groups such as women, racial minorities, and queer communities use media in the fight for social justice. I am interested in struggles to improve the representation of disenfranchised groups within mainstream media, as well as the different ways that grassroots/activist media, digital media, and consumer culture all can play a role in transforming identities and communities. My book Asian American Media Activism: Fighting for Cultural Citizenship (2016, NYU Press) examines the efforts of Asian Americans to impact the way that their community has been represented. Using ethnography, interviews, and archival research, it examines the work of traditional activists who have worked since the 1960s to protest and reform imagery, but also contextualizes the kinds of media activism undertaken by advertising agencies, fans, YouTube artists, and bloggers.
In my work I am dedicated to the blending of scholarship and activism, and highly value collaborations between community organizations and academics. My 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.