Lewis College of Human Sciences and the Department of Humanities welcomed Xiaoqian Li, assistant professor of communication and media studies, during the Fall 2018 semester. Learn more about the department's newest digital humanities scholar.
Lewis College: Tell us a little bit about your career path. What were the deciding factors that brought you to Illinois Tech?
Xiaoqian Li: My research and teaching interests focus on social effects of information and communication technologies (ICTs), I am excited to be a faculty member at a technology-focused university and look forward to collaborating with other scholars in different disciplines who share common interests in research on social effects of ICTs.
LC: Tell us about your area of research in digital humanities. Why did you decide to dedicate your research career to this particular field?
XL: My research centers on social and health effects of information and communication technologies, especially social media, as well as digital inequalities and inclusion. Social networks have huge impacts on our lives. As ICTs are a crucial aspect of how we maintain or even form social networks, I became interested in studying the implications of ICTs, especially social media, for social networks. Gradually, I expanded my research to include other social effects and health effects of ICTs. I am also interested in digital inequalities and inclusion. As digital inequalities and social inequalities go hand in hand, it is important to study how to bridge the gaps caused by digital inequalities to make the world better.
LC: What do you find most rewarding about working in this field?
I find helping both other people and myself know more about how we are connected with each other via technologies very rewarding. I hope that my research can help people of different backgrounds gain benefits from using digital technologies.
LC: You moved to Chicago from Texas. How are you liking Chicago? Is there anything on your Chicago bucket list that you are looking forward to seeing/doing?
XL: Chicago is a city with diverse culture and has many interesting places. I am excited to explore the city much more.
LC: When you’re not on campus, what do you like to do for fun?
XL: I like walking around and exploring the city. I like enjoying good food with friends. I also like watching movies and shows.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the Lewis College community?
As a new faculty member, I look forward to working with my colleagues to grow the department, the college, and Illinois Tech as a whole.