Keynote Speakers

Lori Kido Lopez

Lori Kido Lopez is Associate Professor in Media and Cultural Studies in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Her research examines the way that minority groups such as women, racial minorities, and queer communities use media in the fight for social justice. She is 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. Her 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. She is dedicated to the blending of scholarship and activism, and highly value collaborations between community organizations and academics. 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.

Keidra Chaney

Keidra Chaney is the co-founder and publisher of pop culture web publication The Learned Fangirl, which has amplified marginalized voices in fandom critical writing and scholarship since 2008. She has written about pop culture, fan culture and social technology issues for the Chicago Sun Times, Paste, Bitch Media,The Organization for Transformative Works, and Uncanny Magazine. Her independent scholarship has been published in Teaching Artist Journal, Pace Law Review and the book The Good Life in Asia’s Digital 21st Century (2016), published by Digital Asia Hub. Keidra previously worked as a writer and strategist for Cultural Pulse, a project of the Culture Lab that connects progressive organizers with fan communities and tools for pop culture storytelling for social change. Keidra has been interviewed about media and pop culture for Chicago Public Radio, WGN Radio – Chicago and  KPCC Radio – Southern California and spoken at conferences including  Pop Culture Association of the South Annual Conference, Experience Music Project Pop Conference, Experience Music Project Pop Conference, and the Media in Transition conference at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.