Tweeting Feminism: African Feminisms, Digital Counterpublics and The Politics of Gendered Violence

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2019-05

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Abstract

Tweeting feminism is a digital ethnographic and archival study of the ways in which Kenyan feminists appropriate Twitter as a site for community building. Firstly, I explore the mutually enabling modes of gendered violence that have been deeply engrained in Kenya’s public sphere for the duration of its existence as a nation-state – what I call a continuum of patriarchal violence. These modes of harm ultimately short-circuit women’s engagement in mainstream politics and therefore the use of public political space to contend with harm exacted on women. In the wake of this violence, I then contend that a “digital feminist counterpublic sphere” emerges – a term which I use to describe the alternative publics that radical Kenyan feminists have developed to survive their exclusion from formal public sphere engagement. I argue that in this online space, radical Kenyan feminists use disrespectability, care, solidarity practices and archival practices – what I call digital ululations – to generate and strengthen feminist community.

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Kanyogo, Mumbi (2019). Tweeting Feminism: African Feminisms, Digital Counterpublics and The Politics of Gendered Violence. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21195.


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.