Five College Event: New Media in Feminist Scholarship, Teaching, and Activism


The FCWSRC, 83 College Street, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley

Her Zimbabwe: Exploring the Heterogeneity of the Female Zimbabwean Experience through a New Women's Web-Based Platform
Fungai Machirori  focuses on findings from a three-month pilot of Her Zimbabwe, a web-based platform that has encouraged Zimbabwean women to explore, celebrate and articulate the heterogeneity of their lives and identities. The platform has played in an important role in fostering lateral communication between Zimbabwean women in Zimbabwe, and those in the diaspora. It will locate Her Zimbabwe within the dominant discourse of gender and linear definitions of development and empowerment prevalent in the country. Are new media-based initiatives in Zimbabwe elitist? If so, how can such elitism be overcome? Do women who are already "developed" and "empowered" (as the target audience of Her Zimbabwe is thought to be) need their own platforms for articulation, or should the focus be on "grassroots" women? 
Feminist Cloud Protesting
Sophie Toupin explores the ways in which feminist activists of the occupy phenomenon have helped shape what appear to be new social practices using online and face to face (F2F) interactions, or what Toupin terms "feminist cloud protesting." The project seeks to establish the emergence of a feminist cloud protesting approach through collected data on new media by academics and activists. Toupin's investigation includes on-line and face-to-face (F2F) interviews with feminists who have and/or are taking part in the occupy phenomenon.