Hand holding a smartphone with the TikTok logo on the screen

CDCS Colloquium: Tisha Dejmanee, University of Technology Sydney

October 23. 2023 12:15pm-1:30pm
  • Annenberg School, Room 300
Audience Open to the Public

"Asian Australians' digital identity performance on TikTok"

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About the Talk

Asian Australians comprise a growing population in Australia whose experiences remain largely absent in mainstream Australian media, resulting in a lack of understanding of this hybrid cultural identity. In response, second-generation Asian Australians have widely deployed digital and social media as a tool for self-representation and community-building. In this talk, Dejmanee presents on the ways that Asian Australians perform and generate dialogue around their everyday practices of negotiating racial, ethnic and national identities. Dejmanee presents the findings of quantitative and qualitative analysis of TikTok content tagged as #AsianAustralian to explore the actors and accounts participating in this content creation, and the emergent themes and discourses that arise through these videos and their accompanying comments. Dejmanee suggests that TikTok offers a crucial space for young Asian Australians to create counternarratives that centre the unique experiences of this community – particularly around everyday racism and racial stereotypes – and to affectively repurpose these experiences through humour, shock and absurdity through the creative use of TikTok affordances. These findings offer an understanding of the significance of everyday digital media practices in fashioning creative understandings of hybrid Asian Australian cultural identity.

About the Speaker

Tisha Dejmanee

Tisha Dejmanee is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Discipline of Digital and Social Media at the University of Technology Sydney. 

Dejmanee’s research interests include gender, race and activism on digital and social media with a recent focus on Asian Australian studies, influencers, social media, postfeminism, postrace, food blogs, hashtag activism, and feminist media studies. 

Her most recent book, Postfeminism, Postrace and Digital Politics in Asian American Food Blogs (Routledge, 2023) focuses on how influencers negotiate race and gender identity on food blogs. She is currently working on projects around how Asian Australians articulate their identities and experiences in various digital cultures, which is funded by a UTS MCR Capability Development Initiative.  

Dejmanee's work has been published in journals including International Journal of Communication, Television and New Media, European Journal of Cultural Studies, and Australian Feminist Studies. 

Dejmanee received her Ph.D. in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. Prior to joining UTS she was an Associate Professor of Communication at Central Michigan University.

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