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Akane Kanai

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Dr Akane Kanai is an Australian Lecturer in Communications and Media Studies and Researcher at Monash University. Her research interests include gender, self-representation through media, popular culture and personal branding.[1] Recently, in 2018, Kanai released her first book titled Gender and Relatability in Digital Culture: Managing Affect, Intimacy and Value which explores the ways in which young girls and women connect through digital culture mediums such as the micro-blog Tumblr.[2]

Life and Career[edit | edit source]

Kanai attended high school at St Margaret's Anglican Girls School and completed a Bachelor of Arts/Law at the University of Melbourne. She has also attended Université Panthéon-Assas as apart of her Law degree and the London School of Economics and Political Sciences to complete her Master of Science in Gender, Media and Culture. Kanai completed a PhD at the Centre for Women's Studies and Gender Research at Monash University.[3]

She currently holds a post at Monash University as a Researcher and Lecturer of Communication and Media Studies[1], and in the recent past, held a position as Associate Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle.[4]

Between 2009 and 2011, Kanai worked as a lawyer and volunteered at a center for asylum seekers.[3]

Major Contributions[edit | edit source]

Gender and Digital Media Culture[edit | edit source]

In her 2018 book Gender and Relatability in Digital Culture: Managing Affect, Intimacy and Value, Kanai looks at the ways in which young women and girls link with each other through digital culture notably through micro blogging website Tumblr. Through analysing GIF graphics on Tumblr, Kanai explores how young women construct "relatability" through amusing representations of the everyday situations (such as resilience, frustration and embarrassment) which creates a sense of "sameness" and friendship between young women. However, according to Kanai, in order for young women to achieve this, they need to navigate themselves through the "feeling rules" that preside over "youthful femininity". Drawing from postfeminist theory, Kanai looks at the intersections and "neoliberal imperatives" that govern feelings of adequacy.[2]

Publications[edit | edit source]

Books, Chapters and Journal Articles
Year Title Publisher
2018 Gender and Relatability in Digital Culture: Managing Affect, Intimacy and Value Palgrave
2018 Mediating Neoliberal Capitalism: Affect, Subjectivity and Inequality Journal of Communication
2018 On not taking the self seriously: Resilience, relatability and humour in young women’s Tumblr blogs European Journal of Cultural Studies
2017 Beyond Repudiation: The Affective Instrumentalisation of Feminism in Girlfriendly Spaces Australian Feminist Studies
2017 DIY Culture in Keywords in Remix Studies Routledge
2017 Girlfriendship and sameness: affective belonging in a digital intimate public Journal of Gender Studies
2017 The best friend, the boyfriend, other girls, hot guys, and creeps: the relational production of self on Tumblr Feminist Media Studies
2017 The girl in the GIF: Reading the self into girlfriendship Girlhood Studies
2016 Digital Media and Gender in The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies Wiley-Blackwell
2016 Sociality and classification: Reading gender, race, and class in a humorous meme Social Media and Society
2015 Jennifer Lawrence, remixed: Approaching celebrity through DIY digital culture Celebrity Studies
2015 Thinking beyond the internet as a tool: Girls’ online spaces as postfeminist structures of surveillance in EGirls, ECitizens University of Ottawa Press
2015 WhatShouldWeCallMe? Self-branding, individuality and belonging in youthful femininities on Tumblr M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Profiles". Monash University.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Gender and Relatability in Digital Culture". Palgrave.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Linkedin".
  4. "Sociology and Anthropology Seminar: Akane Kanai". University of Newcastle.


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