Carrie Rentschler is Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar of Feminist Media Studies in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. She is the author of Second Wounds: Victims’ Rights and the Media in the U.S. (Duke UP, 2011), and co-editor of Girlhood Studies and the Politics of Place (Berghahn Press, 2016). Her current research examines how the media-enabled bystander has become a key target of social change efforts, the role humour plays in feminist social media responses to rape culture, and the work media infrastructures and distribution do across a range of social movement activism.
“Feminist Media Activism and the Magnitude of Small Interventions”
Contemporary feminist media activism against sexual and racial violence — from hashtags and Tumblr feminisms to new mobile apps for reporting sexual harassment — network feminist claims-making via small packages of hardware and software. By focusing on a hashtag campaign and a series of mobile apps that articulate different models of feminist bystander justice, I ask: what does feminist intervention look like via the tools that aggregate, amplify, and network feminist response mechanisms? What models of gender and racial justice do they provide for survivors and their communities? And how does their relatively small scale constitute the meaning and practice of “making an intervention” in violence at the level of the everyday?