The University of Texas at Austin

Ph.D., Media Studies (2015)
Dissertation Title: “Sensuous Participation: Queer Youth of Color, Affect, and Social Media.” Supervisor: Dr. Shanti Kumar.
Inaugural recipient, Outstanding Dissertation Award. Department of Radio-TV-Film, The University of Texas at Austin.

The University of Texas at Austin

M.A., Media Studies (2009)

Pomona college

B.A., Media Studies, Film/Video Concentration (2001)

Research Keywords

Digital/social media and cultural studies. Media and cultural anthropology. Digital design-based research. Ethnography. Tumblr. Queer of color critique. Gender and sexuality studies. Critical race theory. Asian American Studies. Latinx Studies. Internet cultures.

Research Appointments

Jan 2016-present

Postdoctoral Scholar. Digital Media and Learning Hub, University of California Humanities Research Institute

How can we use digital media to connect under-resourced families with meaningful extracurricular opportunities for their young learners? I am leading a comprehensive design research process to develop novel digital tool(s) to address this question. Capabilities include: design and conduct large-scale ethnographic research, qualitative data analysis, lead all-team strategy meetings, persona generation, scenario writing, storyboard generation, concept validation, community outreach and brokering organization partnerships. Supervising PI: Dr. Mimi Ito.

 Aug 2011-Dec 2015

Graduate Research Assistant. The University of Texas at Austin

What is keeping highly-motivated first-generation high-school graduates from crafting meaningful next steps to postsecondary ed? Our team spent over a year embedded in an Austin-area public high school to help answer this question. One big hint: social and cultural capitals are as important as digital media interventions in school. Capabilities included: creating coding schemes and organizing all qualitative data analysis, intensive long-time-on-task ethnographic interviewing with youth (100+ hours), writing internal reports. Supervising PI: Dr. S. Craig Watkins.

Honors and Awards


Fully-Funded Participant, Inside/Outside: Queer Networks in Transnational Perspective Summer School. Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany.


Inaugural recipient, Outstanding Dissertation Award. Department of Radio-TV-Film, The University of Texas at Austin.


Jesse H. Jones Fellowship in Communication. Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin (declined).


Summer Fellow, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Summer Institute. Convened at Microsoft Research New England, Cambridge, MA.


Invited Fully-Funded Participant, International School for Digital Transformation. Universidade do Porto, Portugal.



Alexander Cho. The Passionate Terrain: Queer Youth of Color and Social Media. In preparation.

Allison McCracken, Alexander Cho, Louisa Stein & Indira Neill Hoch, Eds. a tumblr book: Platform and Culture. Under contract, The University of Iowa Press.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Alexander Cho. “Default Publicness: Queer Youth of Color, Social Media, and Being Outed by the Machine.” New Media & Society. Dec. 12, 2017.

Book Chapters

Alexander Cho. “Disruptive Joy: #BlackOutDay’s Affirmative Resonances.” In A Networked Self: Love. Ed. Zizi Papacharissi. New York: Routledge. Forthcoming, 2018.

Alexander Cho, Vivian Shaw & S. Craig Watkins. “Dissonant Futures.” In The Digital Edge: The Evolving World of Social, Educational, and Digital Inequality (working title). Ed. S. Craig Watkins. New York: NYU Press / John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Forthcoming, 2017.

Alexander Cho. “Queer Reverb: Tumblr, Affect, Time.” In Networked Affect. Eds. Paasonen, Susanna & Ken Hillis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. In press, February 2015.

Alexander Cho. “Social Media,” “Hapa,” & “Eurasian” encyclopedia entries. In Multicultural America: A Multimedia Encyclopedia. Ed. Cortés, Carlos E. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2013.

Spence, J.; Straubhaar, J.; Cho, A., & Graber, D. “Structuring Race in the Cultural Geography of Austin.” In The Persistence of Inequality in the Technopolis: Race, Class, and the Digital Divide in Austin, Texas. Spence, J. and Straubhaar, J. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Invited Articles

Alexander Cho. “Ethnography and the Geography of Learning.” Ethnography Matters, July 25, 2013.

Alexander Cho. “Dissonant Futures: The Importance of Aligning Digital Media and Learning Environments with Future Orientation in Schools.” Connected Learning Research Network Blog, MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Initiative. November 26, 2012.

Alexander Cho. “Lady Gaga, Balls Out: Recuperating Queer Performativity.”, 10.5, August.

Alexander Cho. “The Big Sell.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. Moving Image Review. Theme: Queer in Media Studies. 15(4): 618-619.

Alexander Cho. “Silence is Golden: Erasing Gay Olympic Champion Matthew Mitcham.”, 8.07, September.

Book Reviews

Alexander Cho. Review of Muslim Cool: Race, Religion, and Hip Hop in the United States. Cinema Journal, vol. 57, no. 1.

Alexander Cho. Review of Media Queered, ed. Kevin J. Barnhurst. E3W Review of Books, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin.

Invited Presentations and Lectures

Invited Guest Speaker. “Staying Afloat: What It’s Like to Be a Queer of Color Student on Social Media.” NAFSA: Association of International Educators Annual Conference and Expo. Los Angeles, CA. May 2017.

Invited Speaker. “Who is Asian American? Multiracial Identity and the Changing Face of Asian America.” The Strake Foundation / Asian Pacific American Heritage Association Distinguished Speakers’ Series. Houston, TX. September 2014.

Invited Instructor. “Race Relations and the Media.” Anti-Defamation League Austin Summer Educators’ Institute, St. Edward’s University Professional Education Center. June 2013.

Invited Lead Discussant. “Cheese and Other Oddities: A Night of Asian American Theater and Film.” Lucky Chaos Theater Project. Austin, TX. April 2012.

Invited Speaker. “Asian and Asian American Images in US Media.” Asian American Leadership Institute, UT-Austin. November.

Invited Speaker/Poet. PEN Center USA: The Many Faces of the Korean-American Storyteller. The New L.A. Theater Center, Los Angeles, CA. August 2.

Invited Speaker. Queer Stories: Intersections of Culture and Sexuality, produced by UT-Austin’s Queer People of Color Student Association. University of Texas at Austin. April 24.

Refereed Conference Panels and Papers

“Prurient Participatory Politics: Tumblr’s CTRL+W33D and Vivian Fu.” Accepted, Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Toronto. March 2018.

“Tumblr and its Pedagogies of Dissent.” Roundtable. American Studies Association Annual Meeting. November 2017.

“‘Tumblr is a Place to Express Myself’: Digital Design Considerations for Queer Youth of Color Activism.” Digital Media and Learning Conference, Irvine. October 2016.

“Forum: What’s in a Platform? Tumblr’s Feminist and Queer Spaces as New Sites of Scholarly Inquiry.” Roundtable. Console-ing Passions, Notre Dame, Indiana. June 2016.

“Selfie Politics: #BlackOutDay’s Affirmative Resonances.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Atlanta. March 2016.

Panel Chair, “Queer Media Affect: Locations and Mobilities of Feeling.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Montreal. March 2015.

“Liberté, Égalité, Beyoncé”: Queer Youth of Color and Territories of Insurgence.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Montreal. March 2015.

“Digital Vocations: Race, Capital, and Creativity in the Information Economy.” Co-Author with Vivian Shaw. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Media Sociology Preconference. August 2014. (In absentia)

Panel Originator and Chair, “The Remediation of Race: New Media, Selective Memory, and the Politics of Resistance.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Chicago. March 2013.

“On the Intimate Refrain: Mixed-Race Asian Americans and” Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Chicago. March 2013.

“Teaching Digital Media Production in a High School: Exploring Porous Classroom Boundaries, Blurring Formal/Informal Learning, and Examining Entrepreneurship.” Co-Author with Jennifer Noble and Andres Lombana-Bermudez. American Educational Research Association, San Francisco. April 2013.

“Touching for Longing: Gay Male Affective Networks on” Association of Internet Researchers Conference. Seattle, Washington. October 2011.

“Queer Tumblrs, Networked Counterpublics.” International Communications Association. Boston, Massachusetts. May 2011.

“Mixed-race mimic meme: Magibon’s impossible referent.” Critical Ethnic Studies Conference. University of California, Riverside. March 2011.

“Negotiated Revelations: Asian-Descent Multiracial Identities,, and the Politics of Online Embodiment.” Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference. De Paul University, Chicago. November 2010.

“Queer Temporality, Sexy Machines, and the Closet: Public Anonymity and Self-Exposure on and” Future/NO Future: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference on the Future of Gender and Sexuality Studies. University of Pennsylvania. September 2010.

Whiteness, Masculinity, and Hyperlinked Scopophilia:’s Straight Boys Gone Wild.” Association of Internet Researchers Conference. Milwaukee, WI. October 2009.

“‘Is There Anyone Else Like Me???’ The Hapa Project on MySpace: Social Networking and Multiracial Identity.” Mongrel America: American Studies Graduate Student Conference. Austin, TX. October 2008.

“The Queerest of the Queer: YouTube, Chris Crocker, and Discourses of Heteronormativity” Emerging Scholarship in Women’s and Gender Studies Conference, Austin, TX. April 2008.

Conference Roundtables


Roundtable Moderator. “The Pitfalls of Positive Representation II.” Flow Conference 2010, Austin, TX. October 1.

Roundtable Participant. “Media Studies and Asian American Studies: Issues and Intersections.” Association for Asian American Studies Annual Conference, Austin, TX. April 9.


Roundtable Organizer and Moderator. “Hacking the Ivory Tower: The Intersections of New Media, Academic Scholarship, and Pedagogy.” 5th Anniversary Colloquium, The University of Texas at Austin. October 30.


Roundtable Moderator. “The Long Laugh: Asian American Television and Comedy.” Flow Conference 2008. The University of Texas at Austin. October 10.

Roundtable Moderator. “More Failure” (on failures of gender and race representation in television). Flow Conference 2008. The University of Texas at Austin. October 10.

Academic Service


Elected Officer, Department of Radio-TV-Film Graduate Student Organization, University of Texas at Austin.


Graduate Student Representative. TV Studies Tenure-Track Faculty Search Committee. (Successful hire.) Department of Radio-TV-Film, University of Texas at Austin.


Co-Coordinating Editor. (Graduate student online journal, Department of Radio-TV-Film, University of Texas at Austin.)


Senior Editor, Special Features.

Editorial Shepherd. The Velvet Light Trap. (Graduate student print journal, Department of Radio-TV-Film, University of Texas at Austin.)

Member, Organizing Committee. Flow Conference 2008.


Column Editor.

Selected Popular Press Publications

“Change in the Lone Star State.” The Advocate. September, 2009.

“Sidestepping the SXSW Scene: Corporate sponsors? Big buzz? These homegrown Texas queers say “No thanks” to the South by Southwest hype machine.” March 24, 2009.

“Our Own Private Auteur: Vanguard Filmmaker Gus Van Sant Tackles Harvey Milk’s Story.” Interview with filmmaker Gus Van Sant. Frontiers, October 8, 2008.

“(S)he Bop!: An unlikely Texas queer rock fest draws hipster gender-benders of all persuasions.”, April 11, 2008.

“More Human than Truman: Infamous Reassembles the Gay Love Story Between the Lines of In Cold Blood.” The Advocate, October 24, 2006.

“Passion Play: Star Trek’s George Takei Comes Out in an Exclusive Interview.” Frontiers, October 18, 2005.

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