July, 29 to August 01, 2016
09.00 - 09.40
Registration and welcome coffee
09.40 - 10.00
Dina Mansour-Ille, Orient-Institut Beirut
Opening on “Cyberactivism and the ‘Virtual Republics’: The Case of the Arab Spring”
10.00 - 10.45
Hanan Badr, Freie Universität Berlin
Keynote Presentation: “Public Sphere, Online Deliberations and Social Movements - the Case of Post-Revolutionary Egypt”
10.45 - 11.00
11.00 - 12.45
New Debates, Transcended Publics in the Middle East
Arnaud Kurze, Montclair State University
Chiara Loschi, University of Turin
Marina Lourenço-Yılmaz, University of Coimbra
12.45 – 14.00
14.00 - 15.45
From the Frontlines to the Virtual: Syria’s Virtual Resistance
Billie Jeanne Brownlee, University of Exeter
Rima Saydjari- Bey, Lebanese International University
Philip Proudfoot, London School of Economics
15.45 - 16.00
16.00 - 16.30
Concluding remarks, open Q&A and discussion on the future of cyberactivism
If you are interested to attend and participate in this workshop, please register by sending an email to Dina Mansour-Ille on firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your interest
The pivotal and unprecedented role that digital technology has played in instigating, as well as documenting the Arab Spring has without a doubt renewed the interest in social movements beyond the traditional realm of the "physical". As the revolution in digital technology is slowly revolutionizing the way people communicate, debate existing norms and are exposed to other social and cultural practices and forms of governance worldwide, it is also providing new means for coordination and mobilization. In the advent of the Arab 'Spring' revolts throughout the region, digital technology has successfully pushed its way into politics: allowing people across borders, class, and formal venues of associations to debate, coordinate, and transform the 'digital' into the 'physical'.
Today, political leaders around the world utilize digital technology to communicate and debate their political agenda to and with the public. Twitter and Facebook have pushed their way to becoming pivotal venues of mediation in state-society relations worldwide. News sharing, debating, and critical collective views of governments across the world has given more 'power' and leverage to the 'people' in the framework of collective 'shaming and blaming' for exposing human rights violations, abuses and the denial of basic rights and freedoms. Employing satirical language in the critical reproduction of news, as well as developing cartoons and videos, digital activism has taken on a new face that bridges cultures and allows a wider public to engage in and relate to political, social, economic, and cultural debates. Examples from around the world can demonstrate how social media venues in particular are becoming a venue for dissent, activism, and campaigning for social, political and even economic causes.
Activism in social media has furthermore reflected existing social and political debates in societies around the world. During the Arab 'Spring' revolts across the region, it reflected not only the ideological, but also the political divides between people across various spectra. As the region witnessed the rise of political Islam, social media networks became flooded with debates on identity, religion, and politics and the rising polarities and peripheries of secularism and Islamism.
This workshop aims to bring in contributions from scholars across disciplines and social media activists to shed light on the increasing role of the digital in mediating state-society relations, particularly during and after the Arab Spring revolts. Contributions can be theoretical in nature aimed at examining the role of the digital in rethinking social movements and the changing nature of activism, (political) dissent, rebellion and revolutions. They can also be empirical and examine particular venues of the digital or case-studies across the Arab region.
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