Dr Kaitlynn Mendes

Kaitlynn mendes

Associate Professor in Media and Communication

Room 1.14, 107-111 Princess Road East

Phone: +44 (0)116 223 7229

Email: km350@le.ac.uk

About Me:

I am a feminist cultural sociologist who has written widely around representations of feminism in the media, and feminists’ use of social media to challenge rape culture. I am author or editor of five books including the award winning SlutWalk: Feminism, activism and media (2015), Feminism in the News (2011) and Digital Feminist Activism: Girls and Women Fight Back Against Rape Culture (2019, with Jessica Ringrose and Jessalynn Keller).

Personal details

  • Bachelor of Journalism, Carleton University, Canada, 2005
  • PhD Journalism Studies, Cardiff University, 2009

I am an active member of the IAMCR’s Gender and Communication Section and have acted as Co-Chair (2012-2016) and Vice-Chair (2011-2012). I currently sit on the International Council (2016-present).

I also serve on the MeCCSA Women’s Media Studies’ Network Executive Committee (2009-present).

I was co-editor of Feminist Media Studies Commentary and Criticism section from 2008-2013, and currently serve on their editorial board.

I serve on the Peer Review College for Britain's Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) (2015-2018).


I currently lead an MA research methods module and lead the third year Media and Gender module, while contributing to a range of other modules in the department.


Please see this link.


My main area of research falls in the field of feminist media studies. I am an expert in

  • representations of feminism in mainstream and social media
  • digital feminist activism
  • rape culture
  • feminist digital labour
  • trolling against women
  • feminist digital cultures

As lead researcher on an AHRC funded grant (2014-2016), I have examined the ways that feminists are using online spaces to challenge misogyny, sexism and rape culture, as evidenced by the recent SlutWalk and #MeToo movements, and how this is activism is bringing feminism to the public’s attention once more.

Funded research: Documenting Digital Feminist Activism: Mapping feminist responses to new media misogyny and rape culture (2014-2016)

I am the Principle Investigator on this 21-month research grant, worth over £135,000 and funded by the AHRC. Working alongside Professor Jessica Ringrose (Institute of Education), and Dr. Jessalynn Keller (University of East Anglia), in response to a growing awareness of (online) harassment, misogyny and rape culture, this project seeks to document a range of digital feminist activism responses to these practices.

The project also seeks to understand the experiences of girls and women who participate in this activism and further to document these feminist activist practices and experiences through the creation of a living archive of contemporary digital feminist activism.

Case studies include The Everyday Sexism Project, Hollaback!, and the use of Twitter hashtags such as #beenrapedneverreported and #carrythatweight. The project has significant impact potential and we are working closely with a number of stakeholders including End Violence Against Women and other feminist associations.

Funded research: Investigating the Transitional and Teen News Audience (2009)

I was a Co-Investigator on this AHRC/BBC Knowledge Infusion project, working alongside Dr. Cynthia Carter (Cardiff University), Professor Stuart Allan (Cardiff University), and Professor Maire Messenger-Davies (University of Ulster).

Lasting 12 months, this project was a follow up to a larger grant (on which I was a research assistant) examining what young people want from the BBC in terms of news provision. This project involved travelling around the UK to speak with young people in order to find out what sort of news content they were interested in, and how this would best be delivered.

Throughout the project, we worked closely with the BBC, particularly its flagship children’s news programme Newsround, whose producers adopted several of our recommendations.


I am particularly interested in supervising students in the following areas:

  • Representations of feminism, feminist activism or movements in the media
  • The use of social media to challenge harassment, sexism and misogyny
  • The prevalence of, and affect of cybersexism and trolling, particularly on women and feminists
  • Gendered newsroom cultures - policies on enacting change, or better understanding current conditions.

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Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
E: mcs-enquiries@le.ac.uk
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
E: css-dl@le.ac.uk
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785
E: MCS-Research@le.ac.uk

University of Leicester
Bankfield House
132 New Walk
United Kingdom

University of Leicester
107-111 Princess Road East
United Kingdom

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