SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Khadija Chennoufi-Gilkes

MA, Social Anthropology (SOAS), BA Hons (Goldsmiths), BA Hons (Kent)
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Khadija Chennoufi-Gilkes
Ms Khadija Chennoufi-Gilkes
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Thesis title:
A discourse-network study of regional Amazigh cultural movements with a focus on the Rif region of Morocco.
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

I am a Doctoral research student in the Linguistics Department specialising in Socio-Linguistic Anthropology. I take an inter-disciplinary approach combining multi-sited ethnography with discourse-historical analysis. I am interested in cosmopolitan, multi-lingual research and the main countries of my Doctoral research interest are in North Africa (Morocco and Algeria) in relation to questions of Berber/Amazigh socio-cultural identifications. My field research on contemporary Amazigh identifications led to the central concern of my thesis which is the significance of regional identity politics within Morocco and Algeria in relation to the contemporary circulation of ethno-linguistic and socio-political discourse-events. My thesis focuses primarily on the Rif region of Morocco, the region where I conducted most of my fieldwork in Morocco whilst a secondary focus is on the Kabylie region of Algeria, the region where I conducted most of my fieldwork in Algeria.

A key area of my research interest is the use of the Internet by Amazigh cultural activists for advancing claims in a trans-national public sphere. My Doctoral research focuses on Berber/Amazigh identifications amongst Berbers/Imazighen through the methodology of selected case studies. My principal focus is on the circulation of discourses via social media on such indigenous identity mobilization, paying particular attention to regional specificities. I am aiming to document and analyse social media narratives in the context of political transition to democracy and a diachronic focus on the development of regional Berber/Amazigh movements. I am mainly studying discourses in various domains of the public sphere aimed at linguistic and cultural revitalisation of regional Amazigh/Imazighen identifications. In addition to these aspects of Amazigh identity politics, I locate the emergence of the latest popular movement in the Rif region of Morocco in the context of the legacies of the civil resistance democracy movements of the Arab Spring.

I have particular interests in the intersection of language and identity discourses relating to my case studies of Amazigh cultural activism as well as the role of affect in the maintenance/revival of the Tamazight language and other forms of symbolic cultural assertions as articulations of Berber/Amazigh identity within multi-lingual regional settings. An important research focus is the reclamation of history in contemporary formulations of collective identifications, specifically in relation to articulations of regional identification vis-a-vis the Nation-State. I am seeking to locate the emerging relationships between different identity categories, citizenship and the Nation-State in relation to questions of language and heritage. Through my research, I aim to trace linkages with a multi-sited and multi-modal approach to comparative case study research, thereby, exploring alternative ways of imagining the Nation and belonging. I have established a social media site on Facebook which forms one of the key tools of my research.


Athropos: International Review of Anthropology and Linguistics, vol.110, n°2, 2015

Khadija Chennoufi-Gilkes, p593-595, Book Review: Aïtel Fazia. We Are Imazighen. The Development of Algerian Berber Identity in Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture, 2014


3rd Linguistics SOAS Research Student Conference and Workshop, 4th June, 2016

Khadija Chennoufi-Gilkes (SOAS): An analysis of Amazigh identity claiming in a corpus of Facebook representations