Crystal Lee (she/她)

research & speaking

You can also find my papers on my Google Scholar and ORCID profiles. Full links to all paper PDFs can also be found on my CV.

Recent(ish) talks


Recent research

Terms of use: crip legibility in information systems, First Monday

Centering disabled voices and leveraging disability studies as methodology within the construction of information systems can sharpen analyses of the design of information systems, algorithmic decision making, and their impacts. In this article, we put forth three main points: (1) thinking at the intersection of information and disability studies is productive and sharpens analyses about technology, bodyminds, and identity; (2) disabled people render themselves legible or illegible in information systems by creatively adapting to or resisting them; and (3) analyses of crip legibility are crucial to re-imagining the future of information systems. Together, these facets illustrate a move we call crip legibility: how disabled people flexibly respond to, contort, or collectively organize themselves to fit within (or be understood by) existing information systems while building new systems of resistance and care.

Rich Screen Reader Experiences for Accessible Data Visualization, Computer Graphics Forum

We present a set of rich screen reader experiences for accessible data visualization and exploration. Through an iterative co-design process, we identify three key design dimensions for expressive screen reader accessibility: structure, or how chart entities should be organized for a screen reader to traverse; navigation, or the structural, spatial, and targeted operations a user might perform to step through the structure; and, description, or the semantic content, composition, and verbosity of the screen reader's narration. We operationalize these dimensions to prototype screen-reader-accessible visualizations that cover a diverse range of chart types and combinations of our design dimensions.

Let’s Go, Baby Forklift!: Fandom Governance and the Political Power of Cuteness in China, Social Media + Society

This article describes how the Chinese state borrows from the culture of celebrity fandom to implement a novel strategy of governing that we term “fandom governance.” Combining social media studies with cultural and linguistic anthropology, we offer a processual account of the semiotic mediations involved in turning vehicles into memes, memes into idols, and citizens into fans. We show how, by embedding cute memes within modules of fandom management such as celebrity ranking lists, state social media rendered them artificially vulnerable to a fall in status. We analyze fandom governance as a new development in the Chinese state’s long history of governing citizens through the management of emotion.

Viral Visualizations: How Coronavirus Skeptics Use Orthodox Data Practices to Promote Unorthodox Science Online, Human Factors in Computing Systems

This paper investigates how pandemic visualizations circulated on social media, and shows that people who mistrust the scientific establishment often deploy the same rhetorics of data-driven decision-making used by experts, but to advocate for radical policy changes. Using a quantitative analysis of how visualizations spread on Twitter and an ethnographic approach to analyzing conversations about COVID data on Facebook, we document an epistemological gap that leads pro- and anti-mask groups to draw drastically different inferences from similar data. Ultimately, we argue that the deployment of COVID data visualizations reflect a deeper sociopolitical rift regarding the place of science in public life.