Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) is partnering with the London School of Economics and Political Science’s (LSE) Middle East Centre to organise the second edition of its Middle East Conference under the theme 'Gender, Technology, and Digital Cultures in the Middle East'.
Taking place February 18 to 19, the conference will convene experts from the humanities, social sciences domain and beyond to explore the nuanced interplay between these three fields of study. Attendees can witness these discussions in-person at Minaretein, Education City, or online via YouTube, a statement said.
On February 18, the event will feature panel discussions under the subject “Gender and Feminisms in Media Practices in the Middle East.” Presenters will analyse women's digital activism as well as the theories and practices of feminism in the region and also discuss the methods and ethics involved in researching gender within digital contexts.
On February 19, conversations will revolve around the subject “Digital Insights and Challenges in the Middle East: Computational Text Analysis, Misinformation, and Hate Speech.” These discussions will focus on how computational techniques can analyse media content in the Middle East, focusing on patterns, trends, and narratives and the importance of identifying and addressing the spread of misinformation in the region’s social media channels.
Other topics include an examination of how social media analytics can be used to gauge political sentiment in the Middle East, and how advanced computational approaches aimed at processing the Arabic language can aid social media analysis in the region.
In support of the Palestinian people during the current crisis, many of the topics to be discussed throughout the two days revolve around the Palestinian struggle. The conference culminates in a special panel titled “Digital Activism and Storytelling for Palestine,” which demonstrates the event organizers’ and CHSS’ dedication to amplifying and strengthening Palestinian voices.
The event will also feature two keynote speakers. Dr. Hoda Elsadda, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Cairo University, and co-founder of the Women and Memory Forum, will deliver a talk titled “Feminist Digital Archives for Change: The Story of the Women and Memory Forum.” Dr. David Kaufer, Mellon Distinguished Professor of English and Rhetoric Emeritus, Carnegie Mellon University, will hold a lecture named "Studying Arab Women Activism Digitally: The Case of DocuScope."
Commenting on the Middle East Conference’s importance as a regional platform, Dr. Hassan Hakimian - interim dean, Professor of Economics, and director of Middle Eastern Studies Department at CHSS - said: “The conference gives us an important opportunity to address interesting and multi-layered aspects of the challenges facing our region at a time it continues to under a global spotlight. With our partners at the LSE’s Middle East Centre, we look forward to many robust conversations within multidisciplinary fields of humanities and social sciences. Events such as these enable CHSS to extend its network and to keep abreast of current trends in research and contribute to understanding them.”
HBKU’s CHSS builds national capacity in fields of global importance by providing interdisciplinary postgraduate education to future leaders in the humanities and social sciences; translation and interpreting; women, society and development, as well as digital humanities. The College nurtures a diverse body of academically grounded and socially responsible global citizens, whose versatility enables them to take action, navigate the complexities of today’s world, and become tomorrow’s leaders in their local and global societies, the statement added.
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