Zhiqiu Benson Zhou is an Assistant Professor of Global China Studies at New York University Shanghai. He is affiliated with NYUSH's Center for Global Asia and NYU's Department of Anthropology. His research investigates topics that lie at the intersection of digital media, queer, gender, and race in transnational contexts.
His current work focuses on three themes: sexual norms in digital and physical queer spaces, how marginalized communities deploy media technologies to negotiate spaces in China, and discriminatory discourses on social media. He is currently working on a book project that examines the emergence of sexual norms and sexual hierarchies within Chinese queer communities. This ethnographic work analyzes how transnational media cultures, global capital, and China’s political cultures have jointly shaped perceptions of ideal gayness in China over the past decade.
His interdisciplinary work has been published in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Sexualities, Information, Communication & Society, Media, Culture & Society, Feminist Media Studies, and the Journal of Asian Studies. He is the recipient of the Dissertation of the Year Award in the GLBTQ Studies Division and the Outstanding Dissertation Award in the Asian/Pacific American Communication Studies Division and Caucus at the National Communication Association (2021). He has also won various awards and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Anthropological Association, and the Association for Asian Studies.
Prior to joining NYUSH, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Contemporary China at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD in Communication Studies (Rhetoric and Public Culture Program) with a certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies from Northwestern University.