Annenberg School building viewed from the south side with clear blue sunny sky and tulips

Gerbner Fellow Talk: Florence Zivaishe Madenga (Ph.D. '23)

April 16, 2024 12:15pm-1:15pm
  • Room 500
Audience Open to the Public

A Militant Touch: Satire, Play and Co-optation in a Dictatorship 

About the Talk

How can joyful and playful media-making practices survive a military dictatorship? How can media practitioners and scholars think more vigilantly about "playful practices" under political duress? Satire and play can be powerful avenues for dissent and circumvention, as demonstrated by contemporary Zimbabwean media-makers. However, playful practices under state surveillance are subject to constant co-optation by state authorities, at times even reinforcing state power. Drawing from a corpus of political cartoons, music videos and satire journalism playing with Zimbabwean military aesthetics and political regalia, this talk explores the radical potential and dilemmas involved in producing and disseminating playful media in a highly censored context.   

About the Speaker 

Florence Zivaishe Madenga

Florence Zivaishe Madenga (Ph.D. '23) is a George Gerbner Postdoctoral Fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication. She studies journalistic practice in different cultural contexts, with a particular interest in how journalists challenge or are affected by state censorship on digital platforms. Her most recent research focuses on iterations of humor and journalism in authoritarian political contexts, humor’s affordances and limitations as a liberatory practice in Zimbabwe, and “Black journalism” in the United States. Madenga’s writing and scholarship has been published in Information, Communication & Society, Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, and the International Journal of Communication. Prior to the postdoctoral fellowship, Madenga received her Ph.D. in Communication at Annenberg, and worked as a freelance writer both from the United States and internationally before graduate school. Her literary journalism has appeared on BuzzFeed, Chimurenga, Narratively and other publications. She holds a journalism and politics B.A. and an interdisciplinary M.A from New York University.

-Lunch will be served for attendees-

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