Cindy Ma

Cindy Ma


I am a Lecturer in Race and Media at the School of Media and Communication, as well as a faculty affiliate at the University of North Carolina’s Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP). My research examines how sociotechnical systems, political discourse, and racial inequity intersect. In my work, I employ qualitative and critical methods to advance conversations taking place within the fields of political communication, critical race and digital studies, and cultural studies. I received my PhD in 2023 from the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute. 

Research interests

My primary research interests include:

  • discourses on race and racism, especially in US and Canadian contexts
  • critical approaches to studying disinformation
  • digital politics in Asian diasporic communities
  • platform affordances and online political mobilization
  • “Alternative” epistemologies and ways of knowing in online environments

My doctoral project looked at the rhetoric of reactionary YouTube personalities and their audiences, with an emphasis on figures that straddle and complicate the mainstream-extreme divide. Currently, I am developing a research strand on political mobilization in East and Southeast Asian diasporic communities within the context of the covid-19 pandemic and increased visibility of anti-Asian violence, especially on social media.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Professional memberships

  • International Communication Association
  • Association of Internet Researchers