Assistant Professor Lori Kido Lopez joins the Department of Communication Arts as a freshly-minted PhD from University of Southern California. She’s a runner, a gastronome, and a media expert. Thanks to the generosity of alumnus George Hamel (BA ’80, Communication Arts) and family, Communication Arts — one of the largest departments in the College of Letters & Science — is able to attract faculty like Lopez whose work is on the cutting edge of media and cultural studies.
Welcome, Lori! Tell us about your research interests.
I research the way that minority groups, particularly Asian Americans, use media in the fight for social justice.
What courses will you teach?
Race/Ethnicity in the Media, Gender/Sexuality in the Media, Asian Americans in the Media.
What can students expect in your classroom this year?
We will be discussing and dissecting all sorts of fun things – episodes of Jersey Shore and Teen Mom, stand-up comedy, hip hop culture, President Obama, Tyra Banks. Any aspect of pop culture is fair game in my classroom!
What are you most looking forward to at UW-Madison?
I am so excited to be working alongside Michele Hilmes and Jonathan Gray (both professors of media and cultural studies) in my department. I am also thrilled to work with folks in Asian American Studies– programs like this exist thanks to the hard work of community members and activists, and we are lucky to benefit from that history.
How do you unwind?
I think about food pretty much all day long, so I get pretty excited around dinner time to put plans into action, cook up a feast. (Most thumbed-books on her shelf? “My Jeffrey Steingarten gastronomical lit.”)
What’s the best thing you’ve done in Madison so far?
My husband and I ran in a 5K that ended with beers at the terrace and high fives from Bucky. I was so excited – I am obsessed with Bucky! Also I have already eaten far too much cheese.