On June 17th, 2021, I presented “Critical Digital Pedagogy and Mentorship: A Syllabus for the Digital Middle East” at the Open/Social/Digital Humanities Pedagogy, Training, and Mentorship Conference. During the presentation, I shared a syllabus entitled “Digital Middle East: Social Media and Gaming in Iran, Turkey, and Arab Countries” for a proposed course at the University of Washington.
For the course, I desire to have students play with technology in a way that produces meaning and understanding of popular culture, uprisings, and recent media histories within the Middle East. In addition, the course will elucidate how online communities and nation-states seek to construct identities and culture through online technologies such as social media platforms and video games. To balance these contexts, students will learn about the digital divide within Middle Eastern contexts. By teaching a course on the use of social media and gaming in the context of Iran, Turkey, and Arab Countries, students will look at the Arab Spring, Gezi Park Protests, and the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran. Students will then use social media, blogging, meme creation, tweet searches, and other skills that are necessary to accomplish these tasks. The technical skills that students will walk away with include pixlr editing tools for memes, video editing tools, and WordPress. I am thus advocating for skills labs in lieu of more homework, and at the same time, engaging students in critical thinking through intentional content in a flipped classroom.
For more information about the proposed course, see: