2013-2014 CIRS GU-Q Faculty Fellow
Mohamed Zayani is an Associate Professor of Critical Theory at the Georgetown University School of Foreign
Service in Qatar and an Affiliate Faculty with the Communication, Culture and Technology Program. Over the course of the year, Mohamed will continue his close collaboration with CIRS on the center's research on the role of the Arab media in the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings. This research initiative has been underway for the past year, and Zayani has been and will continue to be its central driving force as it moves forward.
His works include Networked Publics and Digital Contention: The Politics of Everyday Life in Tunisia (Oxford University Press, 2015); The Culture of Al Jazeera: Inside an Arab Media Giant (McFarland, 2007); The Al Jazeera Phenomenon: Critical Perspectives on New Arab Media (Pluto Press, 2005).
Zayani's research interest lies at the intersection of cultural studies, communication studies and political science, with particular attention to the evolving dynamics of global communication. While anchored in the structural transformation of the media and communication environment of the Middle East and the Arab world, his work revolves around four main axes of inquiry: the dynamics of global flows and counter-flows, the shifting boundaries between traditional and new media, the political implication of social media, and the cultural anthropology of media.
His early work explores the asymmetrical dynamism of socio-economic systems within a globalized and interconnected setting and the role information and communication technologies are positioned to play in this context. His recent research focuses on Al Jazeera Network as an emerging international media player, which has helped redefine the dynamics of the global flow of information, but one which cannot be fully understood outside the geopolitical reality of the Middle East region. This line of research led him to investigate the relationship between media consumption and the emergence of a participatory political culture.
Currently, he is working on two major projects. The first one deals with the relationship of media, regime survival and state security in the Middle East; it looks into whether the heavy investment in transnational media marks the advent of a new era of citizen-state relations and the beginning of a genuine transformation of governance or reflects evolutionary adjustments and non-democratic alterations geared toward shoring up regime stability and enhancing national security. The second and more extensive project, which is based on fieldwork, explores the role the Internet is playing in a region that is geared up for change. More specifically, this project explores how new and social media are contributing to the politicization of seemingly depoliticized youth and whether they are capable of engendering an active and participatory form of citizenship.
He is a recipient of numerous grants, including a Social Science Research Council grant, and a Member of the UNESCO Committee of Experts on Cultural Diversity.
Ph.D. Indiana University
Arabic (speak, read, write)
French (speak, read, write)