Faculty Edit New Books

Department of Communication faculty members are the co-editors of two new books from the University of Alabama Press and from Palgrave/Macmillan.

Associate professor Sahar Khamis has co-edited Arab Women's Activism and Socio-Political Transformation: Unfinished Gender Revolutions, published by Palgrave/Macmillan and with co-editor Amel Mili (University of Pennsylvania). This book illustrates how Arab women have been engaging in three ongoing, parallel struggles, before, during, and after the Arab Spring, on three levels, namely: the political struggle to pave the road for democracy, freedom, and reform; the social struggle to achieve gender equality and fight all forms of injustice and discrimination against women; and the legal struggle to chart new laws which can safeguard both the political and the social gains. The contributors argue that while the political upheavals were oftentimes more prevalent and visible, they should not overshadow the parallel social and legal revolutions which are equally important, due to their long-term impacts on the region. The chapters shed light on the intersections, overlaps and divergences between these simultaneous, continuous gendered struggles and unpacks their complexities and multiple implications, locally, regionally, and internationally, across different countries and through different phases.

Associate professor Damien Pfister has co-edited Ancient Rhetorics and Digital Networks, published by the University of Alabama Press and with co-editor Michelle Kennerly (Penn State University). What can ancient rhetorical theory possibly tell us about the role of new digital media technologies in contemporary public culture? Some central issues we currently deal with—making sense of information abundance, persuading others in our social network, navigating new media ecologies, and shaping broader cultural currents—also pressed upon the ancients. Ancient Rhetorics and Digital Networks makes this connection explicit, reexamining key figures, texts, concepts, and sensibilities from ancient rhetoric in light of the glow of digital networks, or, ordered conversely, surveying the angles and tangles of digital networks from viewpoints afforded by ancient rhetoric. By providing an orientation grounded in ancient rhetorics, this collection simultaneously historicizes contemporary developments and reenergizes ancient rhetorical vocabularies. Contributors engage with a variety of digital phenomena including remix, big data, identity and anonymity, memes and virals, visual images, decorum, and networking. Taken together, the essays in Ancient Rhetorics and Digital Networks help us to understand and navigate some of the fundamental communicative issues we deal with today.

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