CFP Mapping the Arab Spring

Mapping the “Arab Spring”: Social and Political Influence of New Media in the Arab World

Call for Chapters

Editor: Aziz Douai
Faculty of Social Science and Humanities
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Email: aziz.douai AT uoit.ca

Editor: Mohamed Ben Moussa
Art School and Humanities
Canadian University of Dubai
m.benmoussa AT cud.ac.ae

Abstract Submission Deadline: October 15, 2013
Notification to Authors: October 30, 2013
Final Paper Submission deadline: February 30, 2014

Introduction
The popular uprisings in in Arab countries took the world by surprise. Described as the beginning of “the Arab democratic spring”, and likened to the fall of the Arab “Berlin” wall, the wave of protests has galvanized the attention of the world not only because of its transformative political implications for the region, but also because of the alleged central role of the Internet, specifically social media platforms in bringing about the first “Facebook” and “Twitter” revolutions (Wan, 2011), and in empowering “generation 2.0” (Hererra, 2011) to rise against tyranny and defy fear and repression.  However, after more than two years since the beginning of the uprisings, and the deposition of several dictators, democratic transition in the region is facing formidable challenges, chief among them political and economic instability, deep polarizations between Islamist and secular/liberal movements, multiple forms of sectarian, ethnic and religious cleavages, in addition to endemic corruption and inefficient governance. These challenges have already shifted into full-blown civil war in Syria and are threatening other countries, such as Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. Against this background, one key question that needs to be addressed is whether ICTs in general can play a role in promoting civil society, civic culture and trust, bridging political elites to disenchanted young people and the general population, and enhancing governance. In conjunction with this question, there is an urgent need to examine how identity politics is informing and shaping how the notions of civil society, citizenship, and pluralism are imagined and enacted online and the implications thereof for democratic transition in the region. While the outcome of these regional upheavals is still difficult to predict, we believe the time is ripe for a rigorous debate and research into the intersections of the cultural, political and technological issues that led to the “Arab Spring.”

Objectives of the Book
Editors seek innovative contributions that analyze the role of ICTs, particularly the Internet and other new media, in the ongoing upheavals in Arab societies. We are interested in chapters that interrogate the implications of these technologies for cultural expression, and identity building at the individual and collective levels in these societies.  Given how new cultural forms of self-expression from rap music to blogging have become intertwined in the Tunisian and the Egyptian revolutions, for instance, we seek contributions on the various linkages between self-expression, self-reflexivity, political dissent and new media discourses in the region.  Underscoring the linkages between identity politics, collective action repertoire, political culture, and new communication technologies, this book seeks to examine the Arab new media environment leading to the Arab Spring and its aftermath.

Sample Topics
We encourage multidisciplinary approaches that employ social movement theory, cultural studies, radical democracy theory, or network theory, among others, to study and interpret dissent, resistance, collective action, and democratic transition in Arab societies. Other theoretical, empirical and methodology approaches are also welcome. Themes and questions to be considered could include but are not limited to
1)    Research that theorizes/applies social movement theory to analyze the “Arab Spring;”
2)    Cases studies addressing new cultural forms and Arab/Muslim identities (e.g. hip hop music, digital art, and photography);
3)    Critical assessment of youth movement, youth culture, and political consciousness;
4)    Case studies addressing ICTs, new media audiences, ethnic minorities and identities;
5)    New empirical analyses of ICTs and political Islam/other social movements in the Arab world;
6)    Theoretical and empirical assessments of the intersection between new media and gender in the region (e.g. feminist movements, women identities and self-expression);
7)    Comparative analyses of new journalism forms in the Arab world (e.g. citizen journalism);
8)    Conceptually- and theoretically-informed evaluation of the intersections between new media and democracy in the region;
9)    Other approaches that fit with the above themes and contribute to theory building are welcome.

Submission Requirements
Interested authors should send an abstract of no more than 600 words and a short bio to the Editors’ email addresses by October 15, 2013. Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by October 30, 2013 and asked to submit a full chapter of no more than 8,000 words by February 30, 2014.
Chapter proposals must be original work that has not been published. Authors should follow the American Psychological Association (APA) style manual and submit abstracts and chapters in MS Word. All submissions should be sent as email attachments to BOTH editors at aziz.douai AT uoit.ca and m.benmoussa AT cud.ac.ae. All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed by an international editorial board.

Women/Media in Middle East CFP

FEMINIST MEDIA STUDIES SPECIAL ISSUE:
From Veiling to Blogging: Women and Media in the Middle East
Edited by Nahed Eltantawy
Vol. 13, No.5, November 2013

Middle Eastern women have traditionally been viewed as weak and submissive, passively accepting male authority and leadership rather than seeking leadership for themselves.  From Edward Said’s Orientalism to Lila Abu-Lughod’s “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?” women of the Middle East have been portrayed as helpless creatures who are often hidden behind the veil, quietly waiting to be liberated.

Recent democratic movements in the Middle East, popularly grouped together under the banner of the “Arab Spring,” signal the rise of a new kind of political activism across the region, made possible, in large part, by the now widespread use of social media. The world has witnessed millions across Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Syria as they have marched to the squares and told their stories of life under repressive political regimes. How have women been involved in these events? What are their experiences and stories? In addition to the more widely known stories of political demonstrations in the region, there have also been more localized events, such as the women-led driving protests in Saudi Arabia, that suggest that there are many stories still to be told to unveil the realities of women’s experiences in the Middle East. In what ways have women utilized media, including social media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogging, for both personal and political !
expression and have these platforms contributed to the democratization of women’s lives?

This special issue seeks manuscripts that focus on Middle East women and their relationship with the media old and new – how women are portrayed, how and why women utilize media and technology, and women’s media production.

Topics of interest in relation to Middle East women and the media include but are not limited to:
  Media portrayals of women
  Women’s use of  social media
  Women’s utilization of media to promote  the “Arab Spring” revolutions
  Women and cyberactivism
  Women’s use of media (old and new) for self expression and identification
  Women’s utilization of media for empowerment
  Women’s media production

Please submit a 350-word abstract to Dr Nahed Eltantawy at: neltanta@highpoint.edu by no later than April 1, 2012.

Aims and Scope
Feminist Media Studies provides a transdisciplinary, transnational forum for researchers pursuing feminist approaches to the field of media and communication studies, with attention to the historical, philosophical, cultural, social, political, and economic dimensions and analysis of sites including print and electronic media, film and the arts, and new media technologies. The journal invites contributions from feminist researchers working across a range of disciplines and conceptual perspectives.
Feminist Media Studies offers a unique intellectual space bringing together scholars, professionals and activists from around the world to engage with feminist issues and debates in media and communication. Its editorial board and contributors reflect a commitment to the facilitation of international dialogue among researchers, through attention to local, national and global contexts for critical and empirical feminist media inquiry.

When preparing your paper, please click on the link ‘Instructions for Authors’ on the Feminist Media Studies website (www.tandf.co.uk/journals/rfms

) which provides guidance on paper length, referencing style, etc. When submitting your paper, please do not follow the link ‘Submit Online’ as special issue papers are handled directly via email with the special issue Editor.Nahed Eltantawy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Journalism
Nido R. Qubein School of Communication
Office: Qubein 357
Drawer 33
High Point University
High Point, NC 27262-3598
336-841-9175
www.highpoint.edu/communications

Social Media/Political Change JoC call

Journal of Communication
Submission Call for Special Issue on “Social Media and Political Change”

Guest co-Editor:  Dr. Philip N. Howard, University of Washington
Editor:  Dr. Malcolm Parks, University of Washington

The “Arab Spring” as well as recent events in other parts of the world have demonstrated that new communication technologies, such as mobile phones and the internet, are simultaneously new tools for social movement organizing and new tools for surveillance by authoritarian regimes.  Though communication theory necessarily transcends particular technologies, software, and websites, digital media have clearly become an important part of the toolkit available to political actors.  These technologies are also becoming part of the research toolkit for scholars interested in studying the changing patterns in interpersonal, political, and global communication.

How have changing patterns of interpersonal, political, and global communication created new opportunities for social movements, or new means of social control by political elites?  The role of social media in new patterns of communication is especially dramatic across North Africa and the Middle East, where decades of authoritarian rule have been challenged—with varying degrees of success.  Social media—broadly understood as a range of communication technologies that allow individuals to manage the flow of content across their own networks of family, friends and other social contacts—seem to have had a crucial role in the political upheaval and social protest in several countries.  Mass communication has not ceased to be important, but is now joined with a variety of other media with very different properties that may reinforce, displace, counteract, or create fresh new phenomena.

This Special Issue seeks original qualitative, comparative, and quantitative research on social media and political change, particularly as related to events in North Africa and the Middle East, but we are also receptive to work on political change in other parts of the developing world.  We would welcome manuscripts from a diverse range of methodologies, and covering diverse communities and cultures.  Methodological innovations or mixed method approaches are particularly encouraged, and manuscripts on the interpersonal and intergroup aspects of social movement organizing are central interest.  Whatever the approach, our goal is to select manuscripts that are grounded in the actual use of social media in promoting or resisting political change in developing countries and regions.  If you have questions regarding the appropriateness of a potential submission, please contact Prof. Philip N. Howard (pnhoward@uw.edu).

Deadline for Submission is August 15th, 2011, through http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jcom.  Manuscripts must confirm to all JOC guidelines, including the use of APA 6th edition format and a limit of 30 pages total manuscript length.  Please indicate your desire to be considered for the special issue in your cover letter.

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