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Lecture to focus on online activism in the Middle East

March 29, 2011

Online activism in the Middle East did not begin in Tahir Square in Egypt on Jan. 25, but has been evolving for many years.

The public is invited to attend a special event at Arizona State University that examines the role of social media in political change. The lecture and discussion, “Revolution 2.0: Social media and political changes in Egypt and beyond,” takes place on Tuesday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. in Coor Building LI-74 on the Tempe Campus. It also will be webcast at:

In this lecture Merlyna Lim, assistant professor in the School of Social Transformation and Consortium for Science Policy & Outcomes, will chronicle how the Internet, including social media, facilitated the emergence of new networks of opposition to the ruling regime of Egypt. She also will discuss how such networks and their converging narratives were translated into coordinated mass actions that led to a relatively peaceful overthrow of a dictatorship.

Lim has studied the mutual shaping of society and technological systems – including the Internet and social media – for more than a decade, with a particular focus on social media activism in the Middle East since 2007. She has published extensively about the politics of information technology in Muslim societies.

Following Lim’s lecture, Chad Haines, research fellow and lecturer in the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict will lead a discussion. Haines is a cultural anthropologist whose research engages the complex ways postcoloniality and globalization reshape the Muslim world.

This event is co-presented by ASU’s Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes and Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict.