SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics

Khadija Chennoufi-Gilkes

MA, Social Anthropology (SOAS), BA Hons (Goldsmiths), BA Hons (Kent)
  • Overview


Khadija Chennoufi-Gilkes
Ms Khadija Chennoufi-Gilkes
Email address:
Thesis title:
Insiders and Insider-Outsiders: A comparative discourse-network study of the Algerian and Moroccan Amazigh cultural movements via social media
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 – Algeria and Morocco – in relation to questions of Berber/Amazigh socio-cultural identifications and the Tamazight language. With an interest in comparative perspectives, I have previously also conducted pilot research in Nepal on indigenous activism there amongst Sherpas. Additional wider comparative research interests include ethno-linguistic socio-cultural movements within Europe such as those involving Gaelic (Gàidhlig) in Scotland and Berber (Tamazight) in the Canary Islands.

A key area of my research interest is the use of the Internet by indigenous cultural activists for advancing claims in a trans-national public sphere. My Doctoral research focuses on Berber/Amazigh identifications amongst Berbers/Imazighen in Algeria and Morocco through the methodology of selected case studies. My principal focus is on the circulation of discourses via social media on indigenous identity mobilization. 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 the Berber/Amazigh movement. I am mainly studying discourses in various domains of the public sphere aimed at linguistic and cultural revitalisation of Amazigh/Imazighen identifications.

I have a special interest in the intersection of language and identity discourses relating to my case studies of Amazigh cultural activism. In my Algerian-Kabyle case study, this relates to the cosmopolitan context of the utilisation of both French and Tamazight/Taqbaylit. The struggle for the Officialisation of the Tamazight language in Algeria alongside the predominant utilisation of French as a public lingua-franca form important areas of focus. I am particularly interested in the role of affect in the maintenance and revival of the Tamazight language (and its internal variants) as well as other forms of symbolic cultural assertions as articulations of Berber/Amazigh indigenous identity. 

I am seeking to locate the emerging relationships between different identity categories, citizenship and the 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, collective and individual. I have established a Facebook site which forms one of the key tools of my research.