Research Topic

Feminist, anti-racist and LGBTI+ activisms within and beyond pandemic times: scrutinizing the implications of the digital shift

About this Research Topic

Digital technologies offer tremendous possibilities for collectives such as feminist, anti-racist and LGBTI+ groups to protest against injustices and connect across geographical distances. Recent examples of such appearances are varied and diverse. They can circulate globally and spread from place to place, like the #MeToo campaign, the #BLM movement and the #LasTesis flashmob, or they can be situated locally, as the grassroots initiative #NiUnaMenos in Argentina, the #czarnyprotest in Poland or the #auratmarch in Pakistan. Yet, while the sudden turn to digital spaces has significantly influenced feminist, anti-racist and LGBTI+ activisms in global and local contexts, we still know little about the impact of these transformations on struggles for equality and rights, transnationally as well as locally. This special issue brings together papers that draw variously on ethnographic, empirical and theoretical approaches with the aim to scrutinize the implications of the digital shift for feminist, anti-racist and LGBTI+ activisms in various contexts across the globe.

While all types of political action have had to relocate to digital spaces in pandemic times, the recent push toward online engagements in feminist, antiracist and LGBTI+ activisms also needs to be approached as a response to a set of circumstances beyond the pandemic. Over the last decade, resulting from an expansion of authoritarian, neoconservative and other aggressive and violent forces, expressions of misogyny and misogynoir, racism, homo-, bi- and transphobia have multiplied in public and private spaces. Although such developments threaten and supress visible forms of collective protests such as Pride parades and women’s night marches, the new degree of scale and speed opened up by digital platforms provide feminist and LGBTI+ initiatives with a potential to reach remarkably high numbers of followers in short time, to amplify and spread the message. Nonetheless, as ongoing debates around algorithmic oppression and injustices indicate, online spheres are far from safe spaces for feminist and LGBTI+ subjects and initiatives. Yet, researchers still lack insight on the potentialities and actualities of these recent transformations. With this Research Topic, we invite contributions that critically engage with the emergent possibilities and risks for feminist, antiracist and LGBTI+ subjects and struggles in digital times, that examine the diverse effects on digital activism and activists of the blurred boundaries between the private and public, explore ambivalences, tensions, and new alliances in feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist struggles, and investigate into the performative power of social justice activisms at the digital, within as well as beyond pandemic times.

Contributions to this Research Topic should bring new methodological approaches, theoretical insights and ethnographic detail to the multifaceted risks and possibilities for feminist, anti-racist and LGBTI+ activisms in digital space, within as well as beyond the pandemic in local and transnational contexts. By attending not only to the impact of digital technologies on social justice activisms but also to the influence of activisms on digital technologies, platforms, and affordances, this Research Topic takes a non-digital-centric approach to critically scrutinize the shifts and continuities that characterize our turbulent present, including but not limited to themes such as:

· Feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism on social media platforms
· Emergent communities and online belongings in feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism
· Feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism during pandemic times
· Ambivalences, tensions and new alliances in feminist, anti-racist and LGBTI+ struggles
· Digital tactics in feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism
· Algorithmic connections and disconnections in feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism
· Blurring private-public boundaries and/or spatial transformations in digital activism
· The power of performativity and/or performance in feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism
· Online-offline entanglements in feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism
· Collective sensemaking in hashtag activism
· Networked (counter) publics and other reconfigurations of the public sphere in digital times


Keywords: Activism, LGBTI+, Anti-racism, Feminism, Pandemic, Online-offline entanglements


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Digital technologies offer tremendous possibilities for collectives such as feminist, anti-racist and LGBTI+ groups to protest against injustices and connect across geographical distances. Recent examples of such appearances are varied and diverse. They can circulate globally and spread from place to place, like the #MeToo campaign, the #BLM movement and the #LasTesis flashmob, or they can be situated locally, as the grassroots initiative #NiUnaMenos in Argentina, the #czarnyprotest in Poland or the #auratmarch in Pakistan. Yet, while the sudden turn to digital spaces has significantly influenced feminist, anti-racist and LGBTI+ activisms in global and local contexts, we still know little about the impact of these transformations on struggles for equality and rights, transnationally as well as locally. This special issue brings together papers that draw variously on ethnographic, empirical and theoretical approaches with the aim to scrutinize the implications of the digital shift for feminist, anti-racist and LGBTI+ activisms in various contexts across the globe.

While all types of political action have had to relocate to digital spaces in pandemic times, the recent push toward online engagements in feminist, antiracist and LGBTI+ activisms also needs to be approached as a response to a set of circumstances beyond the pandemic. Over the last decade, resulting from an expansion of authoritarian, neoconservative and other aggressive and violent forces, expressions of misogyny and misogynoir, racism, homo-, bi- and transphobia have multiplied in public and private spaces. Although such developments threaten and supress visible forms of collective protests such as Pride parades and women’s night marches, the new degree of scale and speed opened up by digital platforms provide feminist and LGBTI+ initiatives with a potential to reach remarkably high numbers of followers in short time, to amplify and spread the message. Nonetheless, as ongoing debates around algorithmic oppression and injustices indicate, online spheres are far from safe spaces for feminist and LGBTI+ subjects and initiatives. Yet, researchers still lack insight on the potentialities and actualities of these recent transformations. With this Research Topic, we invite contributions that critically engage with the emergent possibilities and risks for feminist, antiracist and LGBTI+ subjects and struggles in digital times, that examine the diverse effects on digital activism and activists of the blurred boundaries between the private and public, explore ambivalences, tensions, and new alliances in feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist struggles, and investigate into the performative power of social justice activisms at the digital, within as well as beyond pandemic times.

Contributions to this Research Topic should bring new methodological approaches, theoretical insights and ethnographic detail to the multifaceted risks and possibilities for feminist, anti-racist and LGBTI+ activisms in digital space, within as well as beyond the pandemic in local and transnational contexts. By attending not only to the impact of digital technologies on social justice activisms but also to the influence of activisms on digital technologies, platforms, and affordances, this Research Topic takes a non-digital-centric approach to critically scrutinize the shifts and continuities that characterize our turbulent present, including but not limited to themes such as:

· Feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism on social media platforms
· Emergent communities and online belongings in feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism
· Feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism during pandemic times
· Ambivalences, tensions and new alliances in feminist, anti-racist and LGBTI+ struggles
· Digital tactics in feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism
· Algorithmic connections and disconnections in feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism
· Blurring private-public boundaries and/or spatial transformations in digital activism
· The power of performativity and/or performance in feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism
· Online-offline entanglements in feminist, LGBTI+ and anti-racist activism
· Collective sensemaking in hashtag activism
· Networked (counter) publics and other reconfigurations of the public sphere in digital times


Keywords: Activism, LGBTI+, Anti-racism, Feminism, Pandemic, Online-offline entanglements


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

25 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

25 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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