The central focus of my work is the dynamic interactions of politics and infrastructures of knowledge production. Combining humanities and social science methods, from oral and archival histories to quantitative analyses of web traffic and social media traces, I work at the intersection of media and communication, science and technology studies (STS), and China studies.

My existing research follows two paths. First, I study Chinese media and politics beyond the oppression-resistance binary in political communication--such as tracing the emergence of online dissent, post-socialist gender politics, and popular political belief systems.

Second, I study macro-patterns of media use in relation to technological environments--such as analyzing global web visitation logs to correct the prevailing "iron-curtain" imaginary of China's Great Firewall, challenge the discourse on generation gaps in digital news consumption, and expose the impact of corporate traffic herding via web design.

My recent work joins these paths by examining cultures, practices, and implications of data-driven knowledge projects, such as social science's repurposing of platform data. I am writing a book that charts the first original history of "systems thinking" in Chinese media governance and how it shapes public culture.

Data-driven Knowledge Production
"Big data" analytics and speech systems governance

Wu, A. X. (2022). Data Science and the PhD Question: The Assetization of the Doctoral Habitus. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 41(4), 54-62. doi:10.1109/MTS.2022.3215880

Wu, A. X. (2022). Journalism via systems cybernetics: The birth of Chinese communication discipline and post-Mao press reforms. History of Media Studies, 2. doi:10.32376/d895a0ea.182c7595

Wu, A. X. (2022). The ambient politics of affective computing. Public Culture, 34(1), 21-45.

Wu, A.X. & Li, L. (2021). Localism in Internet governance: The rise of China's provincial web. China Information.

Wu, A.X. & Taneja, H. (2020). Platform Enclosure of Human Behavior and its Measurement: Using Behavioral Trace Data against Platform Episteme. New Media & Society.

Wu, A.X.E, Taneja, H.E, boyd, d., Donato, P., Hindman, M., Napoli, P., & Webster, J. (2020). Computational social science: On measurement. Science, 370(6521): 1174-1175. doi:10.1126/science.abe8308

Wu, A.X. (2020). Chinese Computing and Computing China as Global Knowledge Production. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, and Technoscience, 6(2).

Media Use
How sociopolitical and technological environments shape audience-formation

Wu, A.X.E, Taneja, H.E, & Webster, J. (2020). Going with the flow: Nudging audiences online. New Media & Society.

Wu, A.X.E & Taneja, H.E (2019). How did the data extraction business model come to dominate? Changes in the web use ecosystem before mobiles surpassed personal computers. The Information Society, 35(5): 272-285.

Taneja, H.E & Wu, A.X.E (2019). Web infrastructures and online attention ecology. International Journal of Communication, 13, 736-756.

Taneja, H.E & Wu, A.X.E (2018). Pathways to fragmentation: User flows and web distribution infrastructures. Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Web Science (WebSci'18), 255-259.

Taneja, H.E, Wu, A.X.E, & Edgerly, S. (2017). Rethinking the generational gap in online news use: An infrastructural perspective. New Media & Society. OnlineFirst

Wu, A.X.E & Taneja, H.E (2016). Reimagining Internet geographies: A user-centric ethnological mapping of the World Wide Web. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 21(3), 230-246. (Open Access)

Taneja, H.E & Wu, A.X.E (2014). Does the Great Firewall really isolate the Chinese? Integrating access blockage with cultural factors to explain web user behavior. The Information Society, 30(5), 297-309. (Equal authorship)

Wu, A.X. (2012). Broadening the scope of cultural preferences: Movie talk and Chinese pirate film consumption from the mid-1980s to 2005. International Journal of Communication, 6, 501-529. (Open Access)

Political Communication
Chinese media and politics beyond state-society opposition

Wu, A.X. (2020). The evolution of regime imaginaries on the Chinese internet. Journal of Political Ideologies 25(2): 139-161.

Wu, A.X. & Dong, Y. (2019). What is made-in-China feminism(s)? Gender discontent and class friction in post-socialist China. Critical Asian Studies, 51(4): 471-492.

Wu, A.X. (2017). Brainwashing paranoia and lay media theories in China: The phenomenological dimension of media use (and the self) in digital environments. Media, Culture & Society. OnlineFirst

Wu, A.X. (2015). Historicizing Internet use in China and the problem of the user figure. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 37(4), 2-4. (Open Access)

Wu, A.X. (2014). Ideological polarization over a China-as-superpower mindset: An exploratory charting of belief systems among Chinese Internet users, 2008-2011. International Journal of Communication, 8, 2243-2272. (Open Access)

Wu, A.X. (2014). The shared pasts of solitary readers in China: Connecting web use and changing political understanding through reading histories. Media, Culture & Society, 36(8), 1168-1185.

Wu, A.X. (2012). Hail the independent thinker: The emergence of public debate culture on the Chinese Internet. International Journal of Communication, 6, 2220-2244. (Open Access)