Kira Allmann is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Media Law and Policy at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. Her current research focuses on digital inequality — how the ubiquitous digitization of our everyday lives is leaving people behind and what people are doing to fix it at a grassroots level. As the internet becomes increasingly essential to the fulfillment of a well-rounded human life, exclusion from the internet due to lack of access or literacy exacerbates other forms of gender-based, racial, geographic, and socio-economic marginalization and disenfranchisement. As an anthropologist, Kira uses ethnographic methods with people who are closing the digital divide from the bottom up, in their communities. She runs two research projects: (1) understanding the human geography of community networks (internet networks owned and operated by local communities) and (2) examining the role of public libraries in providing free digital services. Her work aims at developing more human-centered approaches to and policies for access to technology. 

Kira is also the Communications Director at the Oxford Human Rights Hub and a research partner of the Whose Knowledge? campaign, which works to center the knowledge of marginalized communities on the web and raise awareness of the digital exclusions that keep the majority of the world from participating fully in digital knowledge creation and curation.

She completed her DPhil at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, where her dissertation focused on how mobility between online and offline spaces constituted a practice of resistance during and after the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Between 2011 and 2015, Kira conducted ethnographic research in Egypt, blending online and offline qualitative methods, to investigate how the use of digital technologies by Egyptian youth were transforming virtual and physical spaces in the city of Cairo. 


DPhil, Oriental Studies (Islamic World), University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

MPhil (with Distinction), Modern Middle Eastern Studies, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

BA, Government and Linguistics, The College of William and Mary, Virginia, USA

Twitter: @KiraAllmann



Recent additions

Report (1)

S. Fredman, S. Atrey, K Allmann and M. Campbell, Gender Equality and COVID-19 (Submission to the UK Parliament Joint Committee on Human Rights 2020)

Internet Publication (7)

Other (1)

Review (1)

Journal Article (1)

K Allmann, 'Mobile Revolution: Toward a History of Technology, Telephony and Political Activism in Egypt' (2015) CyberOrient
This article examines the use of everyday mobile technologies, and mobile telephony in particular, in political activism and protest during the 2011 Egyptian uprisings and throughout its continuing aftermath. The Arab revolutions have their own, now familiar, nomenclature, derived from the semantics of revolution and the digital age. Much of the language used to describe and analyze events in the Middle East has emphasized the “newness” of the technologies of protest and coordination and the uniquely 2.0 characteristics of these political movements. This article confronts this narrative, exploring the role of mobile telephony in Egypt during an ongoing period of political upheaval by moving away from the question of what is “new” or “revolutionary” toward what is ordinary put toward revolutionary ends. The article argues that the Arab Spring presents a crucial opportunity to interrogate and deconstruct the hybrid ecology of people and technological tools. By exploring several specific ways in which mobile telephony has played a role in the Egyptian revolution, this article demonstrates how a fixation on newness not only tells an incomplete story of this technologically mediated revolution but also undermines the ongoing practices of historicizing it.


Research programmes

Research projects

Research Interests

  • Community internet networks
  • Autonomous infrastructure
  • Human rights in the information society
  • Environmental impact of digital technologies
  • Political economy of information and communication technologies (especially in the Middle East and North Africa)
  • Class and mobility between the online and the offline (especially in the Middle East and North Africa)
  • 2011 Egyptian revolution and counter-revolution

News articles for Kira Allmann

RightsUp cover art featuring Shea Streeter
11 Dec 2020

*NEW* OxHRH podcast episode: Police Brutality in the United States (with Shea Streeter)


RightsUp Episode Artwork featuring Savala Trepczynski
04 Dec 2020

*NEW* OxHRH podcast episode: Racial Hierarchy and Role of Whiteness (with Savala Trepczynski)


RightsUp Cover Art Featuring Foluke Adebisi
30 Oct 2020

*NEW* OxHRH Podcast Episode: A Decolonial Approach to Education and the Law (with Dr Foluke Adebisi)


RightsUp cover art featuring Nathan Law
16 Oct 2020

*NEW* OxHRH Podcast Episode: The Voice of Hong Kong in Exile (with Nathan Law)


25 Sep 2020

*NEW* OxHRH Podcast Episode: The Transformative Possibilities of a Constitution (with Joel Modiri and Gautam Bhatia)


11 Sep 2020

*NEW* OxHRH Podcast Available: The Internet, Climate Change, and Human Rights (with Michael Oghia)


Sara Davis
24 Jul 2020

New OxHRH podcast episode - The Politics of Global Health Data (with Sara Davis)


26 Jun 2020

New OxHRH podcast episode - A Reason for Hope: The Pursuit of Restorative Justice in Colombia (with Judge Julieta Lemaitre)


15 May 2020

New OxHRH podcast episode - The Impact of Covid-19 on Worker's Rights in the UK (with Michael Ford, QC)


08 May 2020

New OxHRH podcast episode - The Need for Empathy: Understanding India's COVID-19 Lockdown (with Kalpana Kannabiran)


01 May 2020

New OxHRH podcast episode - Re-writing Chile's Constitution for Human Rights (with Nicolás Espejo Yaksic)


24 Apr 2020

New OxHRH podcast episode - Defending Human Rights During a the Covid-19 Pandemic (with Luisa Cabal, UNAIDS)


06 Mar 2020

OxHRH Celebrates International Women's Day 2020: Spotlighting the Work of OxHRH Women

16 Dec 2019

New OxHRH podcast: Comparative Human Rights Law Book Launch - Sandy Fredman in Conversation with Edwin Cameron


16 Dec 2019

New OxHRH Podcast: Comparative Human Rights Law Book Launch - Sandy Fredman in Conversation with Justice S. Muralidhar


07 Nov 2019

CSLS postdoc Dr Kira Allmann interviews Sol Luca de Tena, acting CEO of Zenzeleni community networks, for GenderIT

29 Oct 2019

The Impact of New and Emerging Internet Technologies on Climate Change and Human Rights: Submission to the Advisory Committee to the UN Human Rights Council

05 Aug 2019

Learning Lessons from Litigators: Realising the Right to Education Through Public Interest Lawyering

21 May 2019

Kira Allman awarded a knowledge exchange seed fund grant

30 Jan 2019

Sandy Fredman leads new research project to develop a human rights approach to sexual and reproductive health


Events organised by Kira Allmann

Past events

17 Nov 2020

Tuesday - 4:00PM

PCMLP Global Media Policy Seminar Series | Technology Does Not Operate in a Vacuum: Experimental Insights into the Impact of Women’s Mobile Phone Ownership on Economic Well-being in Tanzania


Philip Roessler

Speaker Affiliation

The College of William and Mary


Zoom (Registration required)

10 Nov 2020

Tuesday - 4:00PM

PCMLP Global Media Policy Seminar Series | When good is the enemy of great: Rural broadband in a time of COVID


Christopher Ali

Speaker Affiliation

University of Virginia


Zoom (Registration required)

03 Nov 2020

Tuesday - 2:00PM

PCMLP Global Media Policy Seminar Series | We have seen the enemy...and he is us: When engineering culture collides with human rights advocacy online


Corinne Cath-Speth

Speaker Affiliation

University of Oxford


Zoom - Register for the link

14 May 2020

Thursday - 2:00PM

PCMLP Global Media Seminar Series: “Freedom of Expression & the Weaponization of Information” (with Antonina Cherevko, Adviser, International Media Support)


Antonina Cherevko

Speaker Affiliation

International Media Support


Zoom Webinar

17 Mar 2020

Tuesday - 10:00AM

PCMLP Global Seminar Series with Ritu Srivastava (Jadeite Solutions, India)


Ritu Srivastava

Speaker Affiliation

Jadeite Solutions


Zoom webinar:

09 Mar 2020

Monday - 2:00PM

PCMLP Global Seminar Series: Professor Jessa Lingel on 'The craigslist ethic: A web 1.0 vision of online democracy'


Jessa Lingel

Speaker Affiliation

University of Pennsylvania


Zoom Webinar:

Research projects