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Informing Revolutions: the Role of Social Media

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Scholarly Communication Center
Alexander Library
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Refreshments will be served

Recent uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa have shed new light on the significance of social media and other systems of communication and political participation. A panel of distinguished Rutgers researchers will examine social media in the context of the politics of information and its relation to the seismic transformations in society.

Sponsored by the Rutgers University Libraries, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Department of Women's and Gender Studies.


Moderator:
Jane Sloan, Rutgers University Media Librarian.

Panelists:
Golbarg Bashi. Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Iran: The First Twitter Revolution.

Fakhri Haghani, Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Sounds of the Revolution.

Tarek Kahloaoui. History and Art History Department, Rutgers University. The Tunisian Revolution: A Facebook Revolution?

Deepa Kumar. SC&I, Communication and Media Studies: The Power of Images: Women in Revolution.


PANELISTS

head shot image of Golbarg Bashi Golbarg Bashi is transnational feminist scholar of modern Iran, with a specific interest in postcolonial studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University in the City of New York and has been teaching Iranian and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University since 2009. Her doctoral dissertation was feminist critique of the human rights discourse in Iran. Dr. Bashi's current research interests include: Political art and music in Iran, representations of gender, race and Muslims in popular culture and women's rights movements in Iran and in global comparative context. Her latest publication is a chapter in the newly released and widely celebrated The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran's Future (Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel, Eds.) Melville House, 2011.
 
head shot image of Fakhri Haghani Fakhri Haghani is a faculty member of the Center for the Middle Easter Studies at Rutgers. Originally from Iran, she is an interdisciplinary scholar that works on questions of gender and women's movements, popular culture and political art in cinema and music/performing arts, as well as visual and literary representations, and social and intellectual history as multi- faceted manifestations of the contested identities in Iran and other societies of the Middle East. Dr. Haghani has served as a co-chair and a co-founding member of the Human Rights Atlanta, an activist branch of Center for Human Rights Education in Atlanta, committed to promoting human rights education as a framework for social change in regard to the contested issues of immigration, race, and ethnic diversity within the United States. She holds an advanced degree in Art History from Facolta di Magistero at University of Rome (Sapienza) in Italy, M.A. in Women's Studies and a Ph.D. in History from Georgia State University.
 
head shot image of Tarek Kahlaoui Tarek Kahlaoui is an assistant professor with the Department of Art History and History at Rutgers. He also serves as the assistant director of Rutgers' Program in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies. He received his PhD in 2008 from the University of Pennsylvania on the Islamic representations of the Mediterranean. His research and teaching focus on the art history of the Middle East and North Africa. Dr. Kahlaoui was active in the student movement in Tunisia in the 1990s and was banned from leaving the country until 2000. He has been a leading figure recently in the anti-censorship movement in Tunisia ("Sayyeb Sale7") and was very active in disseminating the information throughout the net (especially via Facebook and Twitter) during the Tunisian Revolution. He was interviewed in Al-Jazeera TV Channel and Al-Hiwar TV Channel and writes frequently in Arabic about politics in Al-Jazeera.net, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, and Middle East Online.
 
head shot image of Deepa Kumar Deepa Kumar an associate professor of Media Studies at Rutgers, is also affiliated with the Center for Middle East Studies. Her areas of research include media, war, and imperialism; media, globalization, and class; media and gender; and Islam, the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, on which she has published several scholarly articles. Her first book is titled Outside the Box: Corporate Media, Globalization, and the UPS Strike (University of Illinois Press, 2007). She is currently working on a second book on political Islam, US policy, and the news. Dr. Kumar has been active in various social movements for peace and justice and she writes regularly for alternative media such as MR Zine, Common Dreams, Dissident Voice, Islamophobia- Watch, ISR etc. She has also lectured widely on this topic and has been interviewed by numerous media outlets including BBC, USA Today, China Radio International, Proseco (Mexico), The Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. radio program Ring of Fire, etc.

Posted March 7, 2011; revised March 9, 2011