The Global Studies Seminar presents Caitlin Miles.

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The Global Studies Seminar presents “Could this be #MeToo?: Transnational Reflections on Hashtag Feminism” by Visiting Assistant Professor Caitlin Miles.

Examining how feminist activists in Turkey adopted the Un Vialador en tu Camino performance—which began in Chile and spread across Latin America and the Middle East—and molded it around the local #SendeAnlat (#tellyourstory) campaign in Turkey, this chapter explores how transnational feminist solidarities emerge and circulate in relation to the 2017 manifestation of #MeToo. Although described by [W]estern analysts, media pundits, and global development agencies, as part of the umbrella of the 2017 #MeToo campaign, the ways in which feminists in Turkey created a mosaic of digital feminist activism through Un Vialodor en tu Camino and #SendeAnlat, highlights how other points of departure for transnational feminist organizing and solidarity emerge in ways that are both linked to and beyond the scope of #MeToo, building a broader web of networked visibility. #MeToo, Un Vialador en tu Camino, and #SendeAnlat all remain in conversation with one another, yet circulate beyond the confines of their respective hashtags, forming around localized conditions of on-the-ground feminist activism. For example, women members in Turkey’s parliament chanted the Chilean anti-rape anthem, Un Vialodor en tu Camino, during a parliamentary session that followed the arrest of 10 feminist activists who had performed the piece in Istanbul to draw attention to increasing rates of femicide. Simultaneously, the #SendeAnlat movement became another rallying cry to call attention to sexual violence, harassment, and other forms of gender-based discrimination, often linked and added onto the #MeToo hashtag in Tweets and other digital posts. Through a study of  how activists in Turkey blended Un Vialodor en tu Camino, #SendeAnlat, and #MeToo, Miles argues that the MeToo hashtag is a malleable tool activists across the globe can experiment with to reach multiple audiences, play with in exploring new partnerships and solidarities, and repurpose to fit local prerogatives and dynamics.

Miles’ research and teaching interests center around global media, transnational activism, and identity from a critical/cultural perspective. Particularly, she is interested in how activist communication networks and cultures negotiate and navigate hierarchies and structures surrounding gender and ethnicity within decolonial and nationalist contexts. Her current book project, stemming from 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Istanbul, Turkey, explores how community journalists conceptualize the role they play in imagining and realizing a more democratic and pluralistic community, particularly as they navigate an urban landscape shaped by nationalist narratives rooted in ethnic purity.

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