My new article is out in Globalizations - "Facebook Bras and #digitalharems: Fantasies of Mimesis and the Transgressions of Aliaa Elmahdy and Amina Sboui"
I have a new article out in the journal Globalizations, titled "Facebook Bras and #digitalharems: Fantasies of Mimesis and the Transgressions of Aliaa Elmahdy and Amina Sboui." In it I discuss the gendered politics of content filtering and moderation on social media after the Arab uprisings, as read through the corporeal transgressions of Aliaa Elmahdy and Amina Sboui. Here is the abstract:
This article presents a horizontal reading of Aliaa Elmahdy’s and Amina Sboui’s corporeal interventions alongside the efficacy of digital platforms in order to consider how algorithmic and normative protocols related to content filtering on social media amplify certain forms of political communication while prohibiting others. I argue that readings of Elmahdy’s and Sboui’s bodily politics through the lens of liberal feminism rely on what I call discourses of mimetic networking, where particular mediated events become reterritorialized as part of an archival knowledge of ‘Arabness’. This is done through the organization of data via hashtagging and content moderation, and through rhetorics of techno-optimism that mirror ‘first contact’ narratives which gender, racialize, and flatten complex and fluid engagements with new media in non-US/European contexts. The article concludes with a consideration of how the persistence of their corporeality relays with both normative and programmatic parameters online to make alternative visions of communication possible.
The article is part of a special issue on Insurrectional Politics edited by Nevzat Soguk, with additional contributions by Michael Shapiro, Sankaran Krishna, Sam Opondo, Tim Luke, Irena Velicu, Lorenzo Rinelli, Itty Abraham, and Alina Sajed.