Co-ordinator, Digital Humanities Network, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge
Dr Anne Alexander’s research focuses on leadership, collective action and social movements in the Middle East. She has a particular interest in Egypt, Iraq and Syria post-1945 and labour movements across the region.
She is developing a project which will investigate the relationship between the dissemination of new media technologies and mobilisation for political change in the Middle East by exploring how three distinct generations of political activists have used ICTs to build networks, create 'spheres of dissidence' and generate new activist cultures. The project will focus on:
- The technological 'toolkits' available to the generation of the 1940s (including newspaper printing, mimeographic machines and the telegram)
- The generation of the 1970s (including home-recordable audio cassettes
- The generation of post-2000, including digital technologies such as laptop computers, mobile phones, access to the internet, text messaging services, digital camera and video technologies)
It will also ask if our understanding of how political activists related to new media technologies in the past inform the analysis of 'new media' and political change in the present? Did the dissemination of new ICTs in the 1940s and 1970s cassettes transform modes of organising or activists' messages? Are there ways in which digital media is qualitatively different to earlier waves of new media in its interactivity, immediacy and connections to global networks?