[-empyre-] Welcome to April on -empyre: Digital Media and the Interstices of Identity.

Dalia Othman dalia.b.othman at gmail.com
Thu Apr 2 22:53:46 AEDT 2015

Hello -empyre!

It's such a pleasure to participate here in this online discussion. I would
say my individual 'stake' stems from the need to understand how
marginalized communitities can create an intervention to change the
dominant narrative in mainstream media through the use of social media and
digital storytelling. With that said, I'd like to introduce you to some of
my work.

As a research fellow at the Bekrman Center <http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/>,
I've been conducting
network analysis on the Arab blogosphere and Twitter networks within Egypt,
Palestine and Bahrain. The goal is to map out the networked public sphere
in the Arab World. As the revolutions unfolded in 2011 we saw people
repurpose social media platforms for mobolization. What the research
reveals is a decline in the blogosphere, with many bloggers moving towards
social media. Many of whom are also choosing to 'shed' their anonymous
identities and signal their political stance and/or religious ideologies.
Looking at Twitter in Egypt for example, the network demonstrates a clear
divide between the online communities that represent supported of the
Government, the Muslim Brotherhood and those that oppose both. Whereas in
Bahrain, communities are identifying along religious (Shiite and Sunni)
lines. What we're seeing is a translation of identities from the offline to
the online, whether that translation is an accurate representation or
creates effective interventions remains to be determined.

Another aspect of my research focuses on analyzing media's framing and
attention of news stories. As part of the Media Cloud project, I analyzed
media's coverage of the 2014 Gaza war.
Through the research, we identified different frames deployed in the
overall coverage of the war. Drawing from 80,000 articles we created a
netowkr structure that clusters media sources baed on the 100 most
frequently used words by each source. While the average reader may assume
that the frames are polarized between Israeli and Palestinian frames,
however the network map revealed a number of other frames including human
rights and humanitarian frames.

I hope these brief descriptions provide a better idea of my work in recent
years. I do look forward to the conversation this week!



On Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 2:07 PM, Soraya Murray <semurray at ucsc.edu> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Greetings -empyre,
> I will be introducing a new topic each week. The WEEK 1 theme is generally
> grouped around SOCIAL MEDIA / IDENTITY / INTERVENTION, and looks at the use
> of social media tools in both organized political identity/action and in
> more individuated political acts of self-representation. Welcome to our
> wonderful guests!
> As their work may be new to some empyreans, I would like to begin by
> asking each of our guests to talk a little bit about a recent project, and
> outline some of their intellectual investments, or individual "stake" in
> the week's topic.
> Derek Conrad Murray (US) / Dalia Othman (US) / Laila Shereen Sakr (US)
> Biographies:
> DEREK CONRAD MURRAY is an interdisciplinary theorist specializing in the
> history, theory and criticism of contemporary art, African-American/African
> Diaspora art and culture, Post-Black art and aesthetics, theoretical
> approaches to identity and representation, critical issues in art practice,
> and the methodologies and ethics of Art History and Visual Studies. He has
> contributed to leading magazines and journals of contemporary art such as
> American Art, Art in America, Parachute, Art Journal, Exit EXPRESS, the
> Documenta 12 Magazine Project, Public Art Review, Third Text and Nka:
> Journal of Contemporary African Art (Duke University Press), where he
> currently serves as Associate Editor. Murray is also currently serving on
> the Editorial Advisory Board of Third Text.
> Murray’s book Regarding Difference: Contemporary African-American Art and
> the Politics of Recognition will be published by Manchester University
> Press (UK) as a part of the series Rethinking Art’s Histories (ed. Amelia
> Jones and Marsha Meskimmon).
> Murray is also in the process of completing a book entitled Queering
> Post-Black Art: Artists Rethinking African-American Identity After Civil
> Rights which will be published by I.B. Tauris (UK) in 2015.
> DALIA OTHMAN is a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet &
> Society and a Visiting Scholar at MIT's Center for Civic Media. At Berkman,
> Dalia has been researching online civic engagement in the Arab World,
> focusing on analyzing the Arab Blogosphere and Twitter networks in various
> countries within the region. She is also part of the Media Cloud project at
> Berkman that works on analyzing Media's impact and discourse on major news
> events, her most recent work included analyzing media's community discourse
> in relation to the 2014 Gaza War.
> She dedicates the rest of her time exploring different themes around
> digital storytelling and tech literacy. Dalia is currently building a
> resource platform that will help communities tell powerful stories online.
> Prior to Berkman, Dalia was an Adjunct Professor teaching New media at
> both Bard College- Abu Dis and Birzeit University. She was also the Senior
> Manager of Community Project at Souktel Inc. - a mobile services company
> that designs SMS platforms for the aid of local communities across the
> globe.
> Laila Shereen Sakr is a digital media theorist and artist known by her
> moniker, VJ Um Amel, and for creating the archive media system, R-Shief.
> Her PhD in Media Arts + Practice from the University of Southern California
> will confer in May 2015. She begins her appointment as Assistant Professor
> in the Department of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara in July
> 2015.
> With a background in video production and web development, she specializes
> in immersive cinema, global media analytics, and digital media theory. Her
> doctoral project used media analytics, visualization, and immersive
> storytelling techniques to map how participation in virtual worlds and
> networked publics have influenced the formation of a virtual body politic.
> This research led her to design a media system for archiving and analyzing
> content from social networking sites using innovative computation. Today,
> R-Shief houses one of the most unique archives of multilingual social media
> content from the 2011 Arab uprisings, Occupy movements, Turkey, Gaza, and
> non-Middle Eastern countries like Spain and Brazil. As a VJ, she uses
> computational art and live cinema to document how embodied habits of
> communication are expressed virtually, and to understand how communities
> use technology to design their own narratives and worlds.
> Recognized for her outstanding achievements, she has shown in solo and
> group exhibitions and performances at galleries and museums across the
> Americas, Europe, and the Middle East, and has published extensively.
> Starting February 2015, she publishes a monthly media-enhanced article with
> data visualizations on Arab media analytics for Jadaliyya. She holds an
> M.F.A. in Digital Arts and New Media from University of California, Santa
> Cruz and an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. Recent reviews
> appear in The Wall Street Journal, Science, The Chronicle of Higher
> Education, Fast Company, Voice of America, Art Territories, Digital Media
> and Learning, Egypt Independent, and The Creators Project.
> For more info, see: http://vjumamel.com
> ___________________________
> Soraya Murray, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Film + Digital Media Department
> University of California, Santa Cruz
> ___________________________
> Soraya Murray, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Film + Digital Media Department
> University of California, Santa Cruz
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
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