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Laila Shereen Sakr/ VJ Um Amel


New Texts Out Now: VJ Um Amel, A Digital Humanities Approach: Text, the Internet, and the Egyptian Uprising

[Cover of

Laila Shereen Sakr (VJ Um Amel), “A Digital Humanities Approach: Text, the Internet, and the Egyptian Uprising,” Middle East Critique Volume 22, Issue 3 (2013). Jadaliyya: What made you write this article? Laila Shereen Sakr/VJ Um Amel (LSS/VJUA): The idea for the article came from a discussion I had over a year ago with Middle East Critique Guest Editor Mark LeVine about why some scholars are averse to study text that is accessed through a database. I explained to him ...

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Studying Social Streams: Cultural Analytics in Arabic

[Riot Smoke by VJ Um Amel]

One of the challenges of studying technology is learning how to deconstruct the tools from the political ideologies held by those who develop them. As Timothy Mitchell explains in his book Colonising Egypt, the practice of science and systems of ordering national standards are modern projects that enable governments to maintain discipline and surveillance. A cog in the colonial project, the science of documenting every political act reflects a “tendency of disciplinary ...

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Egypt's Presidential Elections and Twitter Talk

[image from Policymic]

It has been fifteen months since the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Since then there has been a continued sense of leaderlessness and overall instability throughout Egypt. Over the last two days1, Egyptians have taken to the ballot box in what has become an historic presidential election. Hours since the voting polls have closed, the ballots are still being counted as Egyptians wait with bated breath. This race has been hard to predict up to ...

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The Materiality of Virtuality: Internet Reporting on Arab Revolutions

[Cartoon interpretation by Yaser Abo Hamed of photograph of a woman beaten by Egyptian Army. Image from]]

Feminists and women of color for years have been making the intervention that materiality matters. Even in the digital world, the idea that data should be abstracted and free-floating serves to reinforce the authority of privileged, white male practices. For literary critic Katherine Hayles, "[This] leads to a strategic definition of 'virtuality.' Virtuality is the cultural perception that material objects are interpenetrated by information patterns. The definition ...

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Laila Shereen Sakr/ VJ Um Amel


Laila Shereen Sakr is VJ Um Amel online.  She is a PhD Candidate in Media Arts + Practice at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.  She is the Founder/Executive Director knowledge management system and archive, R-Shief.