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Zizi Li

Ph.D. Student, Cinema Media Studies

Zizi Li is an educator and researcher of media studies and digital cultures. Her primary research revolves around influencer media, infrastructural labor, supply chain capitalism, and feminist media studies. Li’s ongoing dissertation project is a critical qualitative study of fashion and lifestyle influencer industries, unpacking various interdependent labor and infrastructure supporting the influencer industries. They propose the influencer ecosystem as a relational materialist framework to study the ensemble of processes, systems, operation, and wastes that make possible the influencer industries. This research shed lights on how gendered, racialized labor is embedded as infrastructure in the everyday operation of digital platforms and commodity networks. Li shares an interest in transnational media production and circulation, Sinophone mediasphere, critical geography and media/space. She pays particular attention to entangled colonialisms, transnational solidarity praxis, and abolitionist and decolonial care. Li has published in Television and New MediaWide ScreenFlow TV, and the 2022 Bloomsbury anthology Sustainable Varda. Li also co-organizes the Crises of Vectorial Ecosystem Network (COVEN) with Suryansu Guha. 

Research Interests

Influencer media; critical digital studies; labor and infrastructures; feminist media theory/praxis; supply chain capitalism; decolonial methods; critical geography and media/space


M.A., Film, Television and Digital Media, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, 2018
B.A., Cinema and Media Studies, Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., 2017
B.A., Political Science, Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., 2017

Selected Publications

“Digital Domestic (Im)material Labor: Managing Waste and Self while Producing Closet Decluttering Videos.” Television and New Media (2023)

“Indigenous (Re)mapping of LA: On Diné Mediamaker Pamela J. Peters.” Wide Screen 9.1 (2022)

“Women Directors on the Edge of Hollywood: Agnès Varda/Shirley Clarke in and beyond Lions Love (1969)” in The Sustainable Legacy of Agnès Varda: Feminist Practice and Pedagogy in Cinema and Visual Arts, edited by Colleen Kennedy-Karpat and Feride Çiçekoğlu. Bloomsbury (forthcoming).

“Shudu and Her ‘Muses’: Stand-in Labor in Virtual Influencer Production.” Flow: A Critical Forum on Media and Culture 29.5 (2023) 

“Imma with Her Im/material Boxes.” Flow: A Critical Forum on Media and Culture 29.1 (2022)

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