Author Archives: Zihao Lin

Zihao Lin is a doctoral student in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. He is interested in anthropological inquiries of urban life, access, and design, and extends them to engage with questions of disability citizenship in contemporary China. Following state officials, tech entrepreneurs, and disability rights activists, he explores the ethical and material transformations brought by the concepts of “barrier-free” and “access” and related objects (i.e., screen readers, remote sign language interpreting, or voice recognition applications), investigates what visions are enacted by the state and market when such concepts are claimed and articulated, and how a pan-Chinese network of disability activists negotiate meanings of “barrier-free city” in generative ways. He is also an editor of TyingKnots (结绳志), an open-access anthropology platform run by young academics dedicated to spreading progressive scholarship to Chinese readers.
Orange Platypus with black headphones

Platypod, Episode One: Technologies and Politics of Accessibility

In its opening episode, Platypod presents a conversation between Cassandra Hartblay (University of Toronto) and Zihao Lin (University of Chicago). They discuss their research on accessibility cultures, politics, and technologies. This episode was created with the participation of Cassandra Hartblay (the University of Toronto, speaker) and Zihao Lin (the University of Chicago, speaker), Kim Fernandes (University of Pennsylvania, host), Svetlana Borodina (Columbia University, host), Gebby Keny (Rice University, sound editor), and Angela VandenBroek (Texas State University, CASTAC web producer). The transcript of their conversation is accessible below. (read more...)