Anonymous, 3 Jun 2020
Research on Middle East, Islam and digital media
keyword: activism

New Book: Radicalism and Music: An Introduction to the Music Cultures of al-Qa'ida, Racist Skinheads, Christian-Affiliated Radicals, and Eco-Animal Rights Militants

The book offers a convincing argument for music’s transformational impact on the radicalization, reinforcement, and motivational techniques of violent political activists. It makes a case for the careful examination of music’s roles in radical cultures, roles that have serious impacts, as evidenced by the actions of the Frankfurt Airport shooter Arid Uka, Sikh Temple murderer Wade Page, white supremacist Matthew Hale, and animal-rights activist Walter Bond, among others. Such cases bring up difficult questions about how those involved in radical groups can be stirred to feel or act under the influence of music. The book is based on interviews, email correspondence, concerts, and videos. As a “sound strategy,” music is exploited to its fullest potential as a tool for recruiting and retaining members by members of al-Qa’ida, the Hammerskin Nation, Christian Identity, Kids in Ministry International, Earth First!, and Vegan Straight Edge.

New Book: Cinema in Muslim Societies

This book collates a comprehensive range of essays by leading authors on film from across the Muslim world. Responding to political and theoretical misconceptions about Islam and Muslim culture, it covers North African, Arab and Asian cinemas in a rich series of industry histories, single film studies and detailed analyses of celebrated directors. Cinema in Muslim Societies is innovative and timely in its explicit engagement with vexing questions of Islamic aesthetics, political activism, socialism and the role of women in Muslim contexts. The authors explore a wide variety of topics, from cinematic art and poetry to religious identity and pornography.

New Book: Translating Dissent: Voices From and With the Egyptian Revolution

Focusing on the Egyptian experience since 2011, this volume brings together a unique group of activists who are able to reflect on the complexities, challenges and limitations of one or more forms of translation and its impact on their ability to interact with a variety of domestic and global audiences. Drawing on a wide range of genres and modalities, from documentary film and subtitling to oral narratives, webcomics and street art, the 18 essays reveal the dynamics and complexities of translation in protest movements across the world. Each unique contribution demonstrates some aspect of the interdependence of these movements and their inevitable reliance on translation to create networks of solidarity. The volume is framed by a substantial introduction by Mona Baker and includes an interview with Egyptian activist and film-maker, Philip Rizk.

New Book: The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics

The book compiles cutting-edge research across six continents to provide a comprehensive, global, up-to-date review of recent political uses of social media. Drawing together empirical analyses of the use of social media by political movements and in national and regional elections and referenda, The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics presents studies ranging from Anonymous and the Arab Spring to the Greek Aganaktismenoi, and from South Korean presidential elections to the Scottish independence referendum. The book is framed by a selection of keystone theoretical contributions, evaluating and updating existing frameworks for the social media age.

Book: Media, Revolution and Politics in Egypt: The Story of an Uprising

The book examines the political and media dynamic in pre-and post-revolution Egypt and what it could mean for the country's democratic transition. We follow events through the period leading up to the 2011 revolution, eighteen days of uprising, military rule, an elected president's year in office, and his ouster by the military. Activism has expanded freedoms of expression only to see those spaces contract with the resurrection of the police state. And with sharpening political divisions, the facts have become amorphous as ideological trends cling to their own narratives of truth.

New Book: Networked Publics and Digital Contention: The Politics of Everyday Life in Tunisia

The book narrates the story of the co-evolution of technology and society in Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab uprisings. It explores the emergence of a digital culture of contention that helped networked publics negotiate their lived reality, reconfigure power relations, and ultimately redefine the locus of politics. It broadens the focus from narrow debates about the role that social media played in the Arab uprisings toward a fresh understanding of how changes in media affect the state-society relationship over time. Based on extensive fieldwork, in-depth interviews with Internet activists, and immersive analyses of online communication, this book draws our attention away from the tools of political communication and refocuses it on the politics of communication.

New Book: Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Competing Narratives in the Middle East

The book to considers the ways in which contemporary artists from the Middle East and North Africa - including Emily Jacir, Walid Raad, Jananne Al Ani, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Mariam Ghani, Zineb Sedira, and Akram Zaatari - are utilizing and disrupting the function of the archive and, in so doing, highlighting a systemic, perhaps irrevocable, crisis in institutional and state-ordained archiving across the region. In exploring and producing archives, be they alternative, interrogative or fictional, these artists are not simply questioning the authenticity, authority or authorship of the archive; rather, they are unlocking its regenerative, radical potential.

Book: Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practices in the Middle East and North Africa

In this book, a range of internationally renowned and emerging academics, writers, artists, curators, activists and filmmakers critically reflect on the ways in which visual culture has appropriated and developed new media across North Africa and the Middle East. Examining the opportunities presented by the real-time generation of new, relatively unregulated content online, the book evaluates the prominent role that new media has come to play in artistic practices - and social movements - in the Arab world today.

Book: Political Performance in Syria: From the Six-Day War to the Syrian Uprising

The book charts the history of a theatre that has sought the expansion of civil society, challenged existing Arab power structures, and imagined alternate political realities. While most of the works examined are oppositional, the book also considers the work of pro-regime artists. The chapters are thematic—'Martyrdom,' 'War,' 'Palestinians,' 'History and Heritage,' and 'Torture'—but organized to give a full overview of the organization and recent history of the Syrian stage within a larger historical context, from the outpouring of oppositional plays following Syria's defeat in the 1967 War to contemporary plays and performance activism staged in and outside of Syria and then circulated online.

New Book: Discourses of Ideology and Identity: Social Media and the Iranian Election Protests

In this monograph, Chris Featherman adopts a discourse analytical approach to explore the ways in which social movement ideologies and identities are discursively constructed in new and old media. In the context of his argument, Featherman also considers current debates surrounding the role that technologies play in democracy-building and global activist networks. He engages these critical issues through a case study of the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests, looking at both US legacy media coverage of the protests as well as activists’ use of social media. Through qualitative analysis of a corpus of activists’ Twitter tweets and Flickr uploads, Featherman argues that activists’ social media discourses and protesters’ symbolic and tactical borrowing of global English contribute to micronarratives of globalization, while also calling into question master narratives about Iran commonly found in mainstream Western media accounts.
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