Course Overview

course syllabus:
course titan pad:


This hybrid course surveys emerging media-making and digital advocacy practices through a case study on the digital campaigns for human rights and social justice in the Middle East. Students will study the role of interventions, social media, and tactical tools to support civic agency and participatory action, as well as transform, disrupt or subvert changing urban, political, and social conditions in various local contexts in the Middle East. In this production-oriented seminar students are expected to work in teams to research, conceptualize, and design novel civic media and tactical interventions that critically examine the socio-cultural and institutional settings that they seek to engage or disrupt.The class will also look into issues such as online surveillance and filtering, circumvention tools, and how repressive regimes in the region have countered digital activism.

The class will focus on these digital campaigns:

  • We are all Khaled Said (police brutality, torture – Egypt)
  • No to Military Trials for Civilians (securitized state, due process – Egypt)
  • You Stink (garbage crisis, political factions – Lebanon)
  • Free Bassel Safadi (imprisoned open source developer – Syria)
  • Kafa, Jinsayati, Uprising Women, TakeBacktheTech, Nasawiya, HarassMap (women’s rights – Lebanon)
  • Women2Drive (women’s sovereignty  – Saudi Arabia)

In addition to the regularly readings and discussions, students will participate in the following:

  • A collective note-taking practice on Titan Pad for all class discussions.
  • Weekly blog writing (300-500 words) due Wednesdays, and commenting (two comments on peers’ blog posts) due the following Wednesday. If no class, then no blog is due that week. A blog post is required to receive credit for attending each mandatory event.
  • Attending minimum three events and lectures on campus (details in class schedule in red)
  • Midterm: Manifesto/ pitch/ overhead for media making/hacking group project (5-page paper)
  • Final: Media making/hacking group projects and presentations

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