Biography

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. 

Education

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

 

Publications

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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

Research projects