25 Apr 2009
We are excited that our Data Czar Will Ward is heading to Copenhagen's New Islamic Public Sphere programme for a couple of weeks as a Meedan representative. The idea is to share ideas about our attempts to map the Arab blogosphere and get input on our growing Arab Media Index, which will soon be featured on http://meedan.net.
The New Islamic Public Sphere Programme at the University of Copenhagen maps and analyses how new media such as satellite TV and the Internet are changing Islamic norms, politics and identity in the contemporary Middle East. Since the 1990s, transnational media have created new public realms, making it possible for Muslims to communicate and interact with fellow believers across states and regions, and weakening the ability of individual states to control culture and religion in their media. The appearance of new media has coincided with a large scale Islamic revival since the 1980s. The confluence of these two developments presents a challenge to the secular modern publics which have dominated most Middle Eastern societies since the Second World War. The research unit at Copenhagen University seeks to place itself centrally in the emergent research on new Islamic public spheres, partly through contacts to the new media, and partly through preparing a series of conferences and international publications.