Anonymous, 8 Apr 2020
Research on Middle East, Islam and digital media
keyword: communication studies

Book: Social Media in Iran: Politics and Society After 2009

The book tells the complex story of how and why the Iranian people—including women, homosexuals, dissidents, artists, and even state actors—use social media technology, and in doing so create a contentious environment wherein new identities and realities are constructed. Drawing together emerging and established scholars in communication, culture, and media studies, this volume considers the role of social media in Iranian society, particularly the time during and after the controversial 2009 presidential election, a watershed moment in the postrevolutionary history of Iran.

New Book: Reporting in the MENA Region: Cyber Engagement and Pan-Arab Social Media

The book explores the changing status and function of journalists and journalism given the new realities of reporting in the digital age. The authors draw on focus group discussions, interviews, and social media traffic surveys to examine how social and new media have been integrated into Arab and pan-Arab newsroom operations and harnessed to enhance engagement with an empowered audience. Efforts to engage with audiences in social space, the authors argue, are part of a broad and long-waged information war aimed at winning hearts and minds in the MENA region. Social platforms present excellent opportunities to engage with audiences, but the extent to which such opportunities can be realized are hamstrung by limits on free expression and online access—and vary significantly from country to country and from media channel to media channel.

New Book: Muhammad in the Digital Age

The book deals with topics such as the 2005 cartoon controversy in Denmark and the infamous 2012 movie trailer “Innocence of Muslims” that some believe sparked the attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi, as well as how the digitization of ancient texts have allowed the origins of Islam to be studied in new ways. Other essays examine how Muhammad’s wives have been represented in various online sources, including a web comic; the contrasting depictions of Muhammad as both a warrior and peacemaker; and how the widespread distribution of “the look” of Islamic terrorists has led to attacks on Sikhs, whose only point of resemblance to them may be a full beard. These findings illuminate the role of the Internet in forms of representation, advocacy, and engagement concerning Islam and Muslims in our world today.

CFP: Constructing and Consuming Gender through Media (Special Issue of CyberOrient)

CyberOrient: Online Journal of the Virtual Middle East
http://www.cyberorient.net/detail.do?articleId=3682
Vit Sisler
gender, Middle Eastern studies, media studies, communication studies, cultural studies
vit.sisler@ff.cuni.cz
Jan 20, 2016

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.

New Book: Digital Passages: Migrant Youth 2.0: Diaspora, Gender and Youth Cultural Intersections

The book is a ground-breaking analysis of the ways that youth culture online interacts with issues of diaspora, gender, and belonging. Drawing on surveys, in-depth interviews, and ethnography, the author builds an interdisciplinary portrait of online youth culture and the spaces it opens up for migrant youth to negotiate power relations and to promote intercultural understanding.

Report: Jihad Trending: A Comprehensive Analysis of Online Extremism and How to Counter It

Quilliam Foundation released its new report titled "Jihad Trending: A Comprehensive Analysis of Online Extremism and How to Counter It" written by Ghaffar Hussain and Erin Marie Saltman. The research conducted for this report focuses on Islamist extremist groups operating in the UK and France, mapping their use of the Internet and what they hope to achieve through heir online activities.

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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