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Call for Conference Papers: Rethinking Media Through the Middle East

Organized by the Media Studies Program at the American University of Beirut and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences
American University of Beirut
January 12 & 13, 2017

Within the field of media studies, Middle Eastern media is often treated as a domain of interest only to area specialists. As Edward Said argued in Orientalism, the region popularly known as the Middle East is not peripheral but integral to European history, culture, and civilization. This subversive insight, however, has largely been treated as secondary to foundational claims in media theory. If knowledge about Middle Eastern media usually serves only to supplement dominant frameworks and paradigms, we are interested in thinking about the ways it can instead extend, qualify, or even explode them.
‘Rethinking Media Through the Middle East’ aims to create an interdisciplinary conversation to challenge this deficit. Taking a broad view of the Middle East that incorporates the Arabic-speaking world, Turkey, Iran, and various ethnic minority groups, this conference asks how the Middle East might serve to disrupt, interrupt, subvert, challenge, or transform our understanding of what media are and do. We are especially interested in papers that shift our focus to south-south comparisons and relationships or that challenge how we theorize US and European media. This conference aims to explore the study of media as an independent field, but one that interconnects, influences, and is influenced by other intellectual formations and traditions.

The following is a partial list of topics that papers might explore in relation to the conference theme:

Media and Political theory
-mediated populism
-charisma and authority
-critical perspectives on humanitarianism
-biopolitics, sovereignty, and governmentality
-queer theory and the state

Colonialism, imperialism, and historicizing global media
-early cinema
-transnational circulation before neoliberalism
-MidEast wars and news media
-postcolonial theory, decolonial theory, and critical race theory
-diasporic, migrant, and refugee communities

Area studies, and media and communication studies
-area studies and the history of the social sciences
-contemporary debates in social and cultural theory

Research methodologies
-activist research
-feminist methodologies
-archival access
-language and fieldwork

Questions of materiality
-political economy, liberalization, and the state
-global infrastructures and the Middle East
-media archaeology beyond the study of design and invention
-economies of repair and breakdown
-affect, the senses, and technology

Other topics
-legacies of post-structuralism
-war, cultural memory, and the archive
-digital media and sexual cultures
-media studies futures

We invite abstract submissions (300 words) on the variety of topics listed above, or other topics that engage with the conference theme. Submissions should include author name(s), affiliation, e-mail address, paper title, and a brief bio, and be emailed to mediastudies@aub.edu.lb no later than July 15.

Decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to individual authors by August 15.

Modest travel subsidies may be available. Applicants should identify in their email if they would like to be considered.

For further information, please contact the organizers, the Media Studies Program at the American University of Beirut at mediastudies@aub.edu.lb

 

Media Studies Research Design Workshop for Graduate Students

Organized by: The Media Studies Program at AUB and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Participants: Graduate students in Media Studies (or whose research encompasses media) from across the Arab region
Confirmed Senior Scholars: Marwan Kraidy, Helga Tawil-Souri, Tarik Sabry, Michael Curtin, and Joseph Oliver Boyd-Barret

This one-day workshop will give MA students at the thesis proposal stage and beyond, and early PhD students, the opportunity to work with senior scholars to develop their research design and methodology. Students will explore the close relationship between formulating a research question, defining an appropriate method of research, and forming an argument about research findings.

The workshop will consist of two parts. The first half of the day will be oriented to general issues related to designing and refining a research project in media studies. Students will be grouped according to the stage of their project. The second part of the workshop will involve discussion of participant’s projects in small groups and on an individual basis, through detailed feedback from senior scholars and other workshop participants.

To Apply:
Submit a 2 to 3 page detailed abstract, detailing your primary research topic, questions, and method.  Abstracts should also clarify what stage the project is at (drafting a proposal, beginning to write, or first draft).

When you apply, please also include the following information in the body of the email:

Personal Information
Name (Family Name, First Name):
Current Residence:
Education
Degrees Awarded (with year):
Current Institutional Affiliation (MA/ PhD level):
Discipline:
Expected year of Graduation :

 

Deadline for submissions is September 2, 2016. Selection decisions are announced bySeptember 30, 2016.

Accepted applicants will be required to circulate a full draft of their proposal or thesis chapter by December 15, 2016. Conveners will circulate a reading list in advance of the workshop.

Please note: This workshop is open only to MA/early PhD students from the Arab region. While the workshop will be in English, we will accept abstracts and papers written in Arabic.

Accepted applicants will also be invited to audit a conference on the topic ‘Rethinking Media through the Middle East,’ also organized by the workshop coordinators, held at AUB during the two days before the workshop.

Funding for accepted applicants from outside Lebanon (airfare and hotel) will be provided by ACSS.

Applications and queries should be sent to mediastudies@aub.edu.lb

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ImageThe evolution of media and the progress of communication have made it easier than ever for young people to share their private information, pictures and other. More people are encountering the risk to be bullied when they share their private pictures, their statuses and their life.

Bullying occurs when a person or a group repeatedly and intentionally use or abuse their power to intimidate, hurt, oppress or damage someone else”.  Bullying can be physical, verbal, social, or on the cyber space.

On Social Media what we witness is a replication of the bullying done on the traditional media such as TV shows. Prime time comedies such as Wajdi w majdi in Lebanon are what we can categorize as social bullying. “Repeated mimicking,” “nasty pranks”, using homophobic or racist slurs damage the reputation of a whole community such as the LGBT.

Usually teenagers, children and communities that are bullied are “ill-equipped” and do not know how to respond.

In my opinion parents and teachers should clearly explain to their children and students the importance of the privacy settings of social networks , such as facebook.

With the progress of the education system in Lebanon and the use of tablets and internet since primary school, teachers and responsible should create groups of the children for them to put the norms of ethics. And a sharter of responsible use of the comment part of the social networks and platforms such as Facebook and twitter.

Moreover they need to talk to them and teach them to never post or say anything that they wouldn’t want the whole world to know. One day the boss may check the profile of a person. As the ex-girl friend of Mark Zuckeberg said in the movie of the social network: “the internet is written in Ink and not in Pencil.” What you post, send or publish can never be deleted, and can easily go viral so be aware!

Rita Chemaly

PS: I wrote this post after doing research for the episode of CASES that hosted me and my long time friend Hussein. .

TO WATCH the full episode: http://youtu.be/Vv960GiW85g

Below is the description published on You Tube: “The show CASES, produced by Aly Sleem and Shant Kerbabian and hosted by Shant Kerbabian, deals with human rights violations, regardless of any political affiliation and agenda. We stand by the oppressed people everywhere, so we aim at tackling their cases professionally from both humanitarian and legal perspectives. Our objective is to raise awareness and to speak out for those who have no voice

We were glad to host:

In our studio in Beirut: Rita Chemaly, Author and Researcher on Human Rights

Via Satellite from Beirut: Hussein Itany, Human Rights Activist and Advocacy Trainer”

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Who is interested in knowing how to use ICT in their campaigns?

how you can use facebook, twitter, and other tools to promote your goals?

it is a webinar on wednesday april 30 2014,

full details are below!

prepare your speakers, mic and pc and check your internet connection first!

good webinar!

Rita Chemaly

iKNOW Politics invites you to the webinar on “The role of ICTs in empowering women in politics”

When?  April 30th, 2014 at 9 am EDT

The 21st century has seen an unprecedented increase in the percentage of internet users around the world. 27.5% of people in Asia are now internet users, in Latin America and the Caribbean it’s 42.9% and the increase in internet users from 2000 to 2012 has been highest in the African continent, with an approximate 3,606.7% increase. Over 1.11 billion Facebook users communicate across borders every day. At least one-half of the world’s population has a mobile phone, and the number is increasing every day. Texting is the number one most used data service in the world, with 8.6 trillion text messages sent worldwide in 2012. In developing countries, two in three people have mobile phone subscriptions. Interestingly, the most remarkable innovations that have come from the use of mobile phones were where internet coverage was poor.

While it is doubtless that current communication technology has a lot to offer any activist or politician, it may be of particular value for women in politics since mobile phones, the internet and social media channels have the potential to, not only serve as an equalizer for women politicians and activists, but to also increase their political participation. Often discriminated against in traditional media, women have started going around traditional communication outlets, such as television and radio, to adopt more direct and interactive communication tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, SMS, promotional videos, podcasts, and blogs, which have proved very effective, eliminating the use of intermediaries in communication and allowing the women themselves to be ‘the news makers’.

Women members of parliament are increasingly using these different technology platforms during their political campaigns and careers to generate dialogue with their constituencies as elected representatives. Political leaders are catching on to the crowd sourcing possibilities that these technologies offer.

Blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts have been created for many women politicians and activists. Additionally, text messages are used to alert journalists and to create viral campaigns during public rallies, televised debates and press conferences. YouTube videos are also supplementing paid television spots for political messages and breaking dependency on mainstream media sources. Political activists are using these social networks to personally organize events and disseminate information on public policy issues and communication between individual citizens and their government is increasing through online petitions, discussion forums and platforms.

Join us on April 30th, 2014 at 9 am EDT for an inspiring webinar on the use of ICTs to empower women in politics. NDI will tell us a bit about their Survey “The use of ICTs for women in politics”, Ms. Oyungerel, Member of Parliament in Mongolia, will share her experience during the “Women CAN Campaign” and Ms. Danya Bashir Hobba, a Libyan activist and Executive Director for “Social Media for Change”, will show us the power of social media in reshaping societies.

Register here!!

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Les nouveaux gadgets en vogue au Liban? Des applications smartphone directement développées pour rester en vie dans un pays où les incidents sécuritaires se multiplient, depuis que son voisin syrien est secoué par l’une des guerres les plus meurtrières de la région.

Fusillades, enlèvements, explosions ou voitures piégées sont en constante augmentation dans le pays. Déjà éprouvé par une guerre civile dévastatrice jusqu’en 1990, le Liban, fief du Hezbollah, allié de Bachar al-Assad, redoute le spectre d’éventuelles frappes occidentales.

«Dans d’autres endroits du monde, la seule chose qui pourrait entraver votre chemin, ce sont les embouteillages. Au Liban, il y a plein d’autres obstacles» explique au Financial Times Mohammad Taha, entrepreneur qui a lancé l’année dernière l’appli Ma2too3a. Cette sorte de GPS cartographie en temps réel les manifestations, barrages routiers ou autres affrontements sur le principe du crowdsourcing: chaque témoin d’un événement transmet l’information. Selon Taha, Ma2too3a a déjà été téléchargée plus de 80.000 fois.

L’armée libanaise a lancé le 30 août dernier sa propre application intitulée LAF Shield (bouclier des forces armées libanaises) dans le but de mettre en place un «canal de communication directe avec les citoyens». Les utilisateurs sont invités à transmettre au plus vite toute information ayant trait à la sécurité dans le pays: site dangereux, objet suspect, localisation d’une victime de kidnapping, d’une cache d’arme, etc. Mais aussi d’entrer en contact au plus vite avec le commandement militaire en cas de danger.

Un entrepreneur, Firas Wazneh, est en train de son côté de développer l’appli Way to Safety (la voie de la sécurité), sorte de Shazam spécialisé dans… les coups de feu. L’appli pourra identifier le type d’arme utilisé en fonction de son bruit. Alors que les fusillades et attentats se multiplient au Liban, les utilisateurs auront le moyen d’éviter, tant que faire se peut, les points les plus chauds.

link to way to safety http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8Zc1qvZ4So

article lu sur  Slate.fr : source http://www.slate.fr/monde/77324/liban-syrie-smartphone-securite-attentats

article publie le 4/9/2013

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because many “illiterate ” digital, have shown an interest on how to use Facebook, twitter and other social media platforms,

the National commission for women in Lebanon and the Ministry of Social Affairs have tailored a special training program for beginner users.

They gave me the responsibility to train “Digitally” illiterate women and men on how to use Social Media platforms to make some noise on the web about the causes they champion.

It was one of the most wonderful experience, seeing elder women who usually open Facebook to contact their children abroad with (their help), try to figure out how to make keywords, write catchy status, make interesting pictures….

for you here is the synopsis and the overview of the training program specially tailored for those wonderful women and men!

Rita Chemaly

 

SMT SESSION 1 Cover

 

 

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Marhaba,
to all my foreign friends, to the husband of helene, of Souad, to Mathieu, to Catherine, to franzi, to Aicha, to Bea, to Iza, salsoul ( u understand lebanese better than me) bref, you are my friends, and when you come to leb, or hear some lebanese talking don’t say ouchh… now there is an application that teaches you how to speak the great “hi kifak ca va” dialect!
Jana, my long time friend from university sent me the update and the news related to the application.
also, I couldn’t but notice the yummy home page of the app, here it is below for you:
“Marhaba, you are about to download this application because you have a spouse or a Lebanese acquaintance, and you’ve been lost in translation when she/he speaks in lebanese, especially with family or on the phone with his/her mother in law! And you are so eager to speak this language …
Or it may be your Lebanese origins that lead you to take courses in lebanese dialect, to reconnect with them, or just to share with family when you visit the Land of Cedars.
But you may also be one of those people who are passionate about Lebanon, who knew about it through a friend, a private or professional trip, a book or a documentary. And you are curious about this dialect…
this is how the application home page explains it all… http://www.keefaktheapp.com/index.html

A new application Made by Lebanese to the World, is taking lots of space, virtually!
Friends, try it and tell me if you understand me or others when we talk!!
as for the developers, good work, I will try it too!!

Good luck!!
Rita Chemaly

You may also check KEEFAK through the below links:

www.keefaktheapp.com

– FB Page: facebook.com/keefaktheapp

– Twitter Account: @KeefakTheApp

– YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TFqUvjYiGVE

http://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2012/06/15/twitmail-and-the-future-of-middle-east-tech/2/
keefak application lebanon rita chemaly

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Equality now

The Equality now organisation, is asking web users to participate in a massive e-mail campaign, urging the Head of Lebanese state, the head of government, the Ministers, and parliament to revise the Nationality law in Lebanon. Harrassing people by the same letters and requests have not shown any results in my opinion, mainly regarding issues such as citizenship. Anyways,

the Campaign is called: 

Lebanon: Give women equal citizenship rights to men under the nationality law.

the campaign had been launched in 2010. according to the website of Equality now,  and a new update had been published explaining the latest actions done in that matter mainly after the denial by the ministerial committee of the right for women to transmit their nationality.

 

Update: 

11 February 2013 UPDATE: The Ministerial Committee established to study Lebanon’s nationality law has failed to meet the aspirations of Lebanese women married to non-nationals. In a disappointing decision, the Ministerial Committee concluded on 14 December 2012 that Lebanese women should not be granted the right to pass their nationality to their children and spouses, a decision made public on 16 January 2013. Instead, it recommended to the Prime Minister that restrictions on children of Lebanese women married to non-nationals relating to resident permits, education, work in the private sector and access to state medical care should be eased. If implemented, these recommendations are welcome in that they should alleviate the hardships experienced by the children of Lebanese women married to non-Lebanese men. However, campaigners still want removed, once and for all, the discrimination that treats Lebanese women and men differently under the nationality law.

>> TAKE ACTION NOW! Please continue, in support of Lebanese women campaigning for their rights, to urge the President and the Prime Minister to revise the nationality law urgently and comprehensively to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male and female, have the equal right to confer their Lebanese nationality on their spouses and children.

the campaign is asking web-users to write e-mails to the head of state, and the government, and the ministers.

“Please continue to write to the Lebanese authorities listed below welcoming these new labor regulations but asking them to revise the nationality law urgently and comprehensively to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male or female, have the equal right to confer their Lebanese nationality on their spouses and children.Please continue to write to the Lebanese authorities listed below welcoming these new labor regulations but asking them to revise the nationality law urgently and comprehensively to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male or female, have the equal right to confer their Lebanese nationality on their spouses and children.|

the equality now page even propose a letter to be sent to all:

Letters: 

‘Dear President/ Prime Minister:

I am writing to express my support of Lebanese women campaigning for their rights to pass their nationality on to their children and non-national spouses. I am concerned that the Ministerial Committee established to study Lebanon’s nationality law did not meet the aspirations of Lebanese women married to non-nationals by failing to recommend ways to revise the nationality law in order to guarantee full equality between women and men in this regard.

I understand that the Ministerial Committee concluded on 18 December 2012 that Lebanese women should not be granted the right to pass their nationality to their children and spouses, and instead recommended only that restrictions on children of Lebanese women married to non-nationals should be eased in relation to resident permits, education, work in the private sector and access to state-medical care.

While I welcome these recommendations to alleviate the hardships experienced by children of Lebanese women married to non-nationals, they do not treat Lebanese women as equal citizens under the nationality law as required by the Constitution and Lebanon’s international legal obligations. These women and their families will continue to face difficulties in their daily lives. I therefore urge you to revise the nationality law without delay to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male and female, have the equal right to confer their nationality on their children and spouses.

Thank you for your attention.”

For more information about the campaign follow the link http://www.equalitynow.org/take_action/discrimination_in_law_action362

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