Dr Akane Kanai

Dr Akane Kanai

Lecturer

School of Humanities and Social Science

Career Summary

Biography

Expertise

My work is interdisciplinary, drawing on feminist cultural studies and feminist sociological theory. My recent doctoral research explores how young women negotiate contemporary social demands to be 'individuals' through a set of blogs of Tumblr. I am strongly interested in media and popular culture in all its forms, and how it shapes identity and the way people are able to relate to others. As such, key research interests include:

  • gender;
  • race;
  • youth;
  • affect and emotion;
  • how people work on their identity through media;
  • how social movements like feminism are translated through media and interpreted by audiences;
  • negotiations of celebrity and popular culture by young people.

Current research

I have been funded by the Faculty of Education and Arts SNaPP scheme to carry out a pilot project on movements in digital feminism. The project investigates how digital feminism is offering new modes of sociality and forms of selfhood.

Teaching expertise
I have taught across social science and humanities disciplines, including subjects in sociology, gender theory and introductory media and communications.

Collaborations
I am a member of the Newcastle Youth Studies Group.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Monash University
  • Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws, University of Melbourne
  • Master of Science, London School of Economics and Political Science

Keywords

  • celebrity
  • digital media
  • feminisms
  • gender
  • popular culture
  • postfeminism
  • race

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
169901 Gender Specific Studies 40
190299 Film, Television and Digital Media not elsewhere classified 30
160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified 30

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia

Teaching appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
15/07/2014 - 1/12/2015 Teaching Associate Monash University
Political and Social Inquiry
Australia

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
SOCA3230 Identity and Culture
University of Newcastle - School of Humanities and Social Science
Lecturer 15/02/2016 - 31/12/2016
SOCS2200 Social analysis: Key perspectives in the Social Sciences
University of Newcastle - School of Humanities and Social Science
Lecturer 15/02/2016 - 31/12/2016
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Kanai A, Dobson A, 'Gender and digital media', The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Gender and Sexuality, Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken (2016)
DOI 10.1002/9781118663219.wbegss653
2015 Kanai A, 'Thinking Beyond the Internet as a Tool: Girl's Online Spaces as Post feminist structures of surveillance', eGirls, eCitizens, University of Ottawa Press, Ottawa 83-106 (2015)

Journal article (6 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Kanai A, 'Girlfriendship and sameness: affective belonging in a digital intimate public', Journal of Gender Studies, 26 293-306 (2017) [C1]

© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article draws on Lauren Berlant¿s conceptualization of an intimate public to explain how the culture of ... [more]

© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article draws on Lauren Berlant¿s conceptualization of an intimate public to explain how the culture of postfeminist girlfriendship in a set of blogs on Tumblr invites particular pleasures based on desires for normativity and commonality. This digital intimate public is based on the circulation, adaptation and readership of a central popular blog named WhatShouldWeCallMe authored by two ¿best friends¿ narrating humorous, everyday moments of youthful feminine experience through blog posts made up of GIFs and captions. This blog has also inspired other self-representative adaptations of its format authored by other young women, capturing funny, self-deprecating and intimate snapshots of life. Through an affective-discursive analysis of WhatShouldCallMe and five of its adaptations, I find that the intimacy of this public is based on the fantasies of feminine sameness that Berlant identifies, but there are distinctive practices through which this intimate generality may be achieved in a digital setting. Knowledge, labor and skill are required to craft generic selves through which attachments to a normative girlfriend sameness may be fostered.

DOI 10.1080/09589236.2017.1281108
Citations Scopus - 1
2017 Kanai A, 'On not taking the self seriously: Resilience, relatability and humour in young women¿s Tumblr blogs', European Journal of Cultural Studies, 136754941772209-136754941772209 (2017)
DOI 10.1177/1367549417722092
2017 Kanai A, 'The best friend, the boyfriend, other girls, hot guys, and creeps: the relational production of self on Tumblr', Feminist Media Studies, 1-15 (2017)

© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This article interrogates how youthful feminine selves are relationally articulated by reference to post-femini... [more]

© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This article interrogates how youthful feminine selves are relationally articulated by reference to post-feminist economies of value on the blogging platform Tumblr. I examine a public on Tumblr in which everyday experiences in young women¿s lives are narrated through reaction-GIF blog posts. Combining GIFs and captions, the posts capture moments ranging from the rage ¿when I see some chick getting all flirty with my crush¿ to the self-satisfaction ¿when my bestie and I congratulate each other on being the most attractive betches in the room.¿ In this context, post-feminist individuality is relationally made in two principal ways: through implicit assumptions of the reader as ¿spectatorial girlfriend¿ who is able to understand and ¿get¿ the references in the posts; and through the key social figures of the best friend, Other girls, hot guys, creeps, and the boyfriend, who are reconfigured as resources through which to tell a normative post-feminist self. Such techniques of conversion and use demonstrate not only that young women are labouring to demonstrate selfhood within frameworks of post-feminist normativity, but that post-feminist cultures also construct social knowledges which young women use to connect with imagined others.

DOI 10.1080/14680777.2017.1298647
Citations Scopus - 1
2016 Kanai A, 'Sociality and Classification: Reading Gender, Race, and Class in a Humorous Meme', Social Media + Society, 2 205630511667288-205630511667288 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/2056305116672884
2015 Kanai A, 'Jennifer Lawrence, remixed: approaching celebrity through DIY digital culture', CELEBRITY STUDIES, 6 322-340 (2015)
DOI 10.1080/19392397.2015.1062644
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
2015 Kanai A, 'WhatShouldWeCallMe? Self-Branding, Individuality and Belonging in Youthful Femininities on Tumblr', M/C Journal, 18 (2015) [C1]
Show 3 more journal articles

Other (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Sharp ML, Renaud E, Kanai A, 'Questions of everyday feeling: Gender and Media', (2017) [O1]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 2
Total funding $7,000

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20171 grants / $5,000

The personalisation of the political: mapping digital movements in Feminist identity$5,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Scheme Pilot Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20161 grants / $2,000

Console-ing Passions Conference, Notre Dame, IN, 16-18 June 2016$2,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N
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News

Mentor program supports Early Career Researchers

October 6, 2017

The Centre for 21st Century Humanities has kicked off a program to nurture early career researchers (ECR’s). Five ECRs have been selected to participate in the program that will see them mentored by senior academics and up-skilled in the growing area of digital humanities.

Dr Trisha Pender

New network creates cross-disciplinary fusion of gender, generation and culture

April 5, 2017

The Gender, Generation and Culture research network is a new initiative of the Centre for 21st Century Humanities at the University of Newcastle, led by Centre member Dr Patricia Pender (pictured - English and Writing) with Dr Akane Kanai (Sociology) and Dr Sara Motta (Politics).  The new network, which was established in January is designed to link scholars actively engaged with issues of gender, generation, and culture across the university.

Ms Akane Kanai

Mentoring spot awarded to UON researcher

August 25, 2016

Early career sociologist and new member of staff in the Faculty of Education and Arts, Akane Kanai has been selected for the 2016 Australian Feminist Studies mentoring program for new academic writers.

Dr Akane Kanai

Positions

Lecturer
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Lecturer
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Contact Details

Email akane.kanai@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4033 9154

Office

Room W325b
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