Research team

Akane Kanai


Hi! I’m Akane and this is my beautiful Staffy, Lina. Since I was a child, I have always been interested in feminism, and feminism has really shaped the way I see and experience the world. Now, as a researcher, I’m curious to know how digital culture shapes feminism’s impact in the everyday world. Online culture is now such a crucial means for people to learn about gender, power, and real ongoing issues of inequality, but I’ve found through my earlier work that there’s a lot of anxiety, stress, and fatigue for people who participate in online feminist spaces… as well as hopes for feminist change. This project can hopefully start to answer some of my questions about where that leaves us. 

I am extremely fortunate to be able to devote my teaching and research to thinking through these issues, including how we can use feminism in the classroom and beyond. Before embarking on this project, I developed a unit on Gender, Race and Media Practices at Monash University in the Bachelor of Arts for the Communications and Media Studies major. I also co-convene two research groups: the Gender and Media Lab, and the Digital Cultures Research Group, at Monash. To read my work, just email me or have a look at this open access article on Gender, in social media + society.

Recent projects include partnering with Gender Equity Victoria to produce guidelines on feminist discussion in online spaces – accessible here.

Natasha Zeng
Research Assistant


Hello, my name is Natasha (or Tash!) and that little pup is my best friend Willem! Not to be hyperbolic, but I’ve definitely spent a large proportion of my 24 years of life intensely online. As someone who grew up deeply interested in social justice and politics, I have always been attentive to the ways politics is practiced online. The cultural dimensions of digital culture and its impact on antiracist and feminist activism is particularly interesting to me, so I feel very lucky to be working with Akane on this project as well as being able to base my own research around this.

I am currently in my second year of my PhD at Monash University, where I am researching how social media culture has shaped understandings and practices of contemporary antiracist activism. I am interested in the ways everyday social media users participate politically online through digital practices and knowledge cultures informed by self-branding and therapeutic doctrines.