Hey there! I am an assistant professor of communication and media studies at the University of New Hampshire. I graduated from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, with a PhD in Communication, and MA from NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. I am the author of The Labor of Reinvention: Entrepreneurship in the New Chinese Digital Economy (Columbia University Press, 2023), one of the first multi-sited ethnographic accounts of the rising entrepreneurial labor in urban, rural, and transnational China since tech innovation had accelerated in the country after 2008.
My research centers on critical innovation studies, information/platform capitalism, and intersectionality, focusing on China and ethnic Asian people in a global, comparative context and in spaces of transnational encounters. A communication scholar by training, my interdisciplinary research engages Asian/Asian American Studies, Science and Technology Studies (STS), Economic Geography, and Anthropology. By conceptualizing technologies in terms of global capitalism, I emphasize the mutual imbrication of economy, culture, and politics in digital technologies, and also highlight the historical continuities and ruptures of information capitalism as an uneven world system.
As a scholar, I ask how could we make innovation more equitable and beneficial for more people? How does the shifting dynamics caused by the rise of nations in the Global South, particularly China, is reshaping global information justice, and how countries in the Global North, especially the US, are responding to these opportunities and challenges? How do transnational, and particularly ethnically Asian workers navigate these shifting geopolitical currents in work and life? How do questions of social equity and justice look different if, instead of centering on the US, we decolonize our discipline and center our perspective on the Global South? To answer these questions, I adopt anthropological, sociological, historical, and critical cultural perspectives, combining a variety of methods in my research, such as ethnographic participant observation, interviews, historical research, and discourse analysis.
Currently, I am pursuing two inter-related and interdisciplinary lines of research and teaching, one revolves around platform capitalism and social justice with a focus on digital labor and institutional transformations from a non-Western and comparative perspective, and the other concerns issues of innovation and racialized transnational knowledge work in relation to global equity and geopolitics.
I also write about visual culture, video games, online spoofing culture, and debates on race in cyberspace. You could find my work in the Journal of Consumer Culture, New Media and Society, Economic and Labor Relations Review, International Journal of Cultural Studies, International Journal of Communication, Feminist Media Studies, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, and China Information etc. I also write (occasionally) for non-academic audience. You could find some of my writings here https://zhanglin-1858.medium.com/
You can reach me via email at Lin.zhang [at] unh [dot] edu.