Contentious politics : digital media and transnational feminist activism

Streaming Media


Centre for Cultural Research and Development, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Centre for Inter-Asian Research, Ahmedabad University, India

Event Title

Digital Intimacy: Young Women and Social Transformation in Asia

Document Type





8:30 p.m.


Online Session via Zoom


Contemporary Chinese feminist activism has involved substantive use of digital technologies and social media for racial and gender justice. This talk focuses on feminist activism, digital media, and contentious politics by critically engaging with how Chinese feminists’ use of digital media for civic engagement and political participation to advance their agendas in the transnational public arena. Liao particularly pays attention to the practices and experiences of Chinese feminists both in mainland China and in the US by investigating cases of cross-national organization, mobilization, and activism fighting against racial injustice and misogyny. In those cases, Chinese feminist networks are largely based on social media platforms such as Weibo and WeChat—the two such platforms most used by Chinese nationals—both in China and abroad. Their networks have also quickly expanded to include English-language sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and, increasingly, the multi-lingual live discussion app Clubhouse. In these contexts, Liao explores how these feminists use digital media to influence transnational and local politics and advance feminist causes and racial justice.



Additional Information


Sara Liao is a media scholar and feminist. She works as an assistant professor of Media Studies in the Bellisario College of Communications, and is an affiliated faculty of WGSS and Asian Studies. Her research interests intersect digital labor, feminist studies, globalization, and East Asian popular culture. Her book Fashioning China (Pluto, 2020) investigates gendered digital labor in China’s maker culture and fashion industry, highlighting how social media commerce has transformed creative industries, and produced new forms of creativity, identity, and precarity in work and life. She has published in renowned academic journals such as Journal of Communication, Signs: Journal of women in Culture and Society, Communication, Culture & Critique, and Convergence. She currently works on researching and writing about the tangled relationship between digital culture of misogyny and popular nationalism in China.

Recommended Citation

Liao, S. (2022, June 22). Contentious politics: Digital media and transnational feminist activism [Video podcast]. Retrieved from https://commons.ln.edu.hk/videos/953