Public Lecture by Sahar Khamis, Mellon Islamic Studies Initiative visiting Professor

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April 18, 2014
May 27, 2014
UChicago Creative


Mellon Islamic Studies Initiative Public Lecture by Visiting Professor Sahar Khamis: “Islamic Discourses in Cyberspace: Opportunities, Challenges and Future Prospects”

The introduction of the Internet in the Muslim world imposed new realities and dynamics, whether in the political, social, cultural or communication landscapes. It also opened the door for many new opportunities, posed new threats, and invited future prospects. This makes it especially important to tackle the complexities and implications of this new digital age, with all its multi-faceted dimensions. It also necessitates discussing some of the most important debates, controversies, and deliberations being shared and exchanged between different groups of Muslims, as well as between Muslims and non-Muslims in cyberspace today, in an attempt to analyze the myriad of complex factors which could be conducive, or constraining, to digital dialogue. Likewise, it is also important to ask important questions, such as: How is the Internet contributing to shaping and redefining the notion of the "Virtual Umma?" How is it giving birth to new forms of "Online Fatwa?" How is it contributing to the creation of new "Islamic Public Spheres?" These are some of the questions which the co-author of the book: "Islam Dot Com: Contemporary Islamic Discourses in Cyberspace" Dr. Sahar Khamis tries to answer in her talk. Reception to follow.

Sahar Khamis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is an expert on Arab and Middle Eastern media. She is the former Head of the Mass Communication and Information Science Department in Qatar University. Dr. Khamis holds a Ph.D. in Mass Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Manchester in England. She is the co-author of the books: Islam Dot Com: Contemporary Islamic Discourses in Cyberspace (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and Egyptian Revolution 2.0: Political Blogging, Civic Engagement and Citizen Journalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Dr. Khamis has been appointed as a commissioner in the Human Rights Commission of Montgomery County, Maryland.

Recorded in Swift Hall on April 18, 2014.