Networking project funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) in the framework of the program "Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World" 2014 - 2016
The project consists of a network of communication studies scholars of the most relevant institutes in seven Arab countries and the Institute of Communication Studies at Freie Universität Berlin.
The aim of this network is firstly, to establish a scientific exchange, founded on regional expertise which allows to understand media change and transformation of communicative practices in their specific local context. Media change and change of communicative practices are global phenomena. However, they have different effects in different contexts which cannot be explained by a simple global approach. By means of discussions and studies we will try to understand these phenomena in their trans-regional and cross-cultural dimensions. This will not only strengthen communication studies in their capacity as a social science but also their relevance as an institution of social explanations. In the first year of this project, the partners will focus on the role of social media. In a two-day launch event in Oman and a larger three -day conference in Tunisia the expertise of the eight partner universities will be bundled. The conference presentations should result in a joint publication.
Secondly, in addition to the scientific part, it is also important to actively include media change in our teaching. The network will also strife to learn how a specific, context-bound understanding of media change can be implemented in the teaching of communication studies. Thus, in a summer school for students digital media literacy training is offered in Lebanon. Moreover, a co-teaching course for students in Cairo and Berlin will be developed discussing via social media tools the effects of social media in global change. In a winter school in Germany we will then reflect about these and other teaching experiences with social media.