Florida State University
Dissolving Transnational Boundaries: Interfaces and Invitations to Embody.
Degree: PhD, English, 2014, Florida State University
While social media has garnered attention for its entertainment and market value, it has received less consideration for its contribution to transnational activism. In particular, we have yet to examine the practices of individual users away from the fun and lighthearted contexts with which social media is generally connected. This dissertation seeks to fill this gap through an examination that addresses the following question: How do protestors' uses of social media facilitate the garnering of transnational support in the context of a social protest movement? I answer this question through a fine-grained analysis of the use of social media by Egyptian protestor Gigi Ibrahim during the Egyptian Revolution that occurred between January 25 and February 11 of 2011, exploring four sub-questions. First, I ask: How do activists represent their local experiences of protest across digital social media interfaces? Then, I address the question: How does a digital social media interface facilitate connections between protestors' local experiences and their digital presence in a transnational context of social activism? This is followed by an examination led by the question: How are transnational audiences invited to participate in digital events of social protest? And, finally, this project acknowledges the limitations of the supportive relationships that Ibrahim forged across social media interfaces by asking: When transnational audiences take up protestors' invitations to participate, how do these protestors maintain transnational relationships with these audiences across a digital social media interface? The data set for this project examines Ibrahim's use of Twitter from January 15, ten days before the protests began, until the evening of February 11, when President Hosni Mubarak stepped down. This focus was chosen because of the highly visible use of social media by protestors during this Revolution and the explicit ways in which many of them, including Ibrahim, used these platforms to build supportive ties with transnational audiences. Beginning this data set 10 days before the protests began enables this dissertation to examine not only how protestors used social media during a transnational protest, but also how they used social media to prepare for these protests as well. This data was organized and filtered using an archive that I constructed using the OMEKA platform. This archive allows for a robust and multifaceted analysis of Ibrahim's tweets that acknowledges the many facets of these pieces of digital ephemera. My analysis of Ibrahim's nearly 900 tweets yields four key insights into social media and transnational protest. First, to secure transnational attention, Ibrahim created digital representations of her local, physically embodied experiences and then connected these representations across the digital social media interface to a mediatized context that she shared with transnational audiences who were also using Twitter. Second, Twitter's digital interface enabled Ibrahim to maintain key connections between…
Advisors/Committee Members: Kristie Fleckenstein (professor directing dissertation), Sean Ehrlich (university representative), Kathleen Yancey (committee member), Tarez Graban (committee member).
Subjects/Keywords: English literature; English language
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Bridgman, K. (2014). Dissolving Transnational Boundaries: Interfaces and Invitations to Embody. (Doctoral Dissertation). Florida State University. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_etd-8946 ;
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Bridgman, Katherine. “Dissolving Transnational Boundaries: Interfaces and Invitations to Embody.” 2014. Doctoral Dissertation, Florida State University. Accessed March 18, 2019.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Bridgman, Katherine. “Dissolving Transnational Boundaries: Interfaces and Invitations to Embody.” 2014. Web. 18 Mar 2019.
Bridgman K. Dissolving Transnational Boundaries: Interfaces and Invitations to Embody. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Florida State University; 2014. [cited 2019 Mar 18].
Available from: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_etd-8946 ;.
Council of Science Editors:
Bridgman K. Dissolving Transnational Boundaries: Interfaces and Invitations to Embody. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Florida State University; 2014. Available from: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_etd-8946 ;