Feminist Postdigital Inquiry in the Ruins of Pandemic Universities

ORCID Identifiers


Document Type


Source of Publication

Postdigital Science and Education

Publication Date



During Covid-19, higher education made an unprecedented entry into the domestic sphere. However, not all students welcomed the emergency delivery of online courses. Consequently, some learners have been developing resistant practices to technology-driven learning, including being on mute and turning off cameras, but these silences, gaps and evasions are difficult to grasp through normative perspectives. Meanwhile, big tech continues to profit significantly from its encroachment on pedagogy. Conversely, we need alternate conceptions of learners’ varying responses to technologies. To develop a novel perspective, the study considers the Middle East’s traditional mashrabiyya windows, which are carved through an elaborate wooden latticework screen of geometric patterns and designed to deflect rather than let in the light. This mashrabiyya structure is applied as a theoretical metaphor to consider Arab women learners’ technological veiled affordances of filters, avatars and not replying. The mashrabiyya feminist postdigital framework develops unique inquiry into learners’ subtle practices; the authors’ self-reflexivity; and analysis of a (silent) email exchange and a Twitter avatar. Theorising suggests silences, invisibilities and disconnection are not necessarily a deficit but refractive responses enabling students and educators to stay below the radar.


Springer Nature


Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Online learning, Surveillance, Silences, Mashrabiyya feminist postdigital inquiry, Refractive, Invisibilities, Below the radar

Scopus ID


Indexed in Scopus


Open Access


Open Access Type

Bronze: This publication is openly available on the publisher’s website but without an open license