Anonymous, 11 Dec 2018
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New Book: Routledge Handbook of the Arab Spring: Rethinking Democratization

The book seeks to provide a departure point for ongoing discussion of a fluid phenomenon on a plethora of topics, including: contexts and contests of democratisation, the sweep of the Arab Spring, Egypt, women and the Arab Spring, agents of change and the technology of protest, impact of the Arab Spring in the wider Middle East and further afield.

Book: Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life

The book shows that many residents now use virtual worlds to re-imagine their traditions and work to restore them to authentic sanctity, or else replace religious institutions with virtual communities that provide meaning and purpose to human life. For some online residents, virtual worlds are even keys to a post-human future where technology can help us transcend mortal life. The author argues that World of Warcraft and Second Life are virtually sacred because they do religious work.

Book: Arab Cultural Studies: History, Politics and the Popular

This book seeks to both showcase and further develop innovative research and debates on contemporary Arab cultural production. Popular culture in the form of cinema, popular music, literature, visual media and cyber-cultures, both local and imported, enjoy a central role in Arab cultural life, and the contributors to this innovative collection showcase the tremendous cultural output emerging from the Arab world. They present sensitive, conceptual readings whilst remaining mindful of the place of this work within a wider framework that seeks to prevent isolationist readings of cultural phenomena. Making sense of the place of culture in the Arab world, and agreeing upon a broadly recognisable and commonly accepted set of terms within which to discuss this output, is a new and urgent challenge.

Book: Women and ICT in Africa and the Middle East: Changing Selves, Changing Societies

The book looks at the link between information communication technology and women's empowerment in today's development context, and how ICT can facilitate the pursuit of a better world. Exploring the rich complexity of the contexts in which they live and work, the authors of Women and ICT in Africa and the Middle East offer a multitude of perspectives and experiences, avoiding simplistic answers and solutions. Based on analyses from twenty-one research teams in fourteen countries, this much-needed, human-centred contribution to the fields of gender, development and information communication technology questions, demonstrates and suggests what it takes to wield the emancipatory potential of ICT.

New Book: Journalism and Social Media in Africa: Studies in Innovation and Transformation

This book documents the fast evolving invention of the relationship between the millions of social media and mobile phone users around Africa and traditional purveyors of news. Whilst social media demonstrates an unprecedented ability for the politically engaged to both bypass and influence traditional information flows, it also faces unique circumstances through much of Africa. Signs of social change brought by mobile technology are evident around the continent, raising questions about the nature of information exchange and citizenship. Working from a wide variety of perspectives and methodologies, the contributors to this collection address key questions emerging from rapid communication change in Africa. This book reveals how new, participatory, interactive communications technologies are enabling new tellings of Africa’s stories.

Book: Media Evolution on the Eve of the Arab Spring

The book offers unparalleled insight into the communication environment that preceded the political and societal ruptures that shook the Arab world 2010-2011. Examining the role of competing publics, the state's ability to construct meaning, and social and political change in the region, the book unsettles oversimplifications of much of the existing literature and examine numerous precipitating conditions, including, political stagnation, civil engagement, new media, rural and urban divides, Islamist blogospheres, video games, Turkish and Syrian dramas, mediated diplomacy, and diaspora.

New Book: Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People

The author, noting that only Native Americans have been more relentlessly smeared on the silver screen, painstakingly makes his case that "Arab" has remained Hollywood's shameless shorthand for "bad guy," long after the movie industry has shifted its portrayal of other minority groups. In this comprehensive study of over one thousand films, arranged alphabetically in such chapters as "Villains," "Sheikhs," "Cameos," and "Cliffhangers," Shaheen documents the tendency to portray Muslim Arabs as Public Enemy #1-brutal, heartless, uncivilized Others bent on terrorizing civilized Westerners. Shaheen examines how and why such a stereotype has grown and spread in the film industry and what may be done to change Hollywood's defamation of Arabs.

Report: Freedom on the Net 2014

Freedom House released its new report titled Freedom on the Net 2014: Tightening the Net: Governments Expand Online Controls edited by Sanja Kelly, Mai Truong, Madeline Earp, Laura Reed, Adrian Shahbaz, and Ashley Greco-Stoner. The 986 page study covers 65 countries, including Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and others.

New Issue of the Online – Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet

The Institute for Religious Studies at the University of Heidelberg released a new issue of its Online – Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet (Vol 6, 2014).

Book: The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East

The author illuminates the role of today’s Arab youth—who they are, what they want, and how they will affect world politics. He outlines the history that led to the dramatic changes in the region, and explores how a new generation of men and women are using innovative notions of personal rights to challenge the authoritarianism, corruption, and stagnation that had afflicted their societies.
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