Digital Activism against Gendered Violence in Post-Apartheid South Africa


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Political Studies


This project seeks to analyze the understudied topic of women’s digital activism against gendered violence and the policing of women’s bodies. In South Africa, women are increasingly using digital platforms to galvanize debates on rape and femicide and to challenge dominant discourses about women. Employing a digital ethnographic approach, this project will focus on women’s online activism in response to three forms of violence: rape at university, violent attacks (rape and murder) on lesbians, and xenophobic violence against South African women married to/ partnered with men from other African countries. By following online articulations about these forms of violence on social media and websites, this project will map out what is being said, when it is being said, and whose voices are dominant and visible posing the question: how does women’s activism re-center their inclusion in the body of the nation?