SOAS University of London

Cultural Studies; policy and practice: Towards a reformist approach to strategic communications

Dr. Dounia Mahlouly, SOAS

Date: 18 November 2020Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 18 November 2020Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Virtual Webinar

This talk addresses the role of communication practices and community-owned media infrastructures in processes of collective resilience, drawing on the case study of an EU-funded initiative implemented by British Council and designed to support community resilience through media capacity in Tunisia and Lebanon. The project analyses the political discourse underpinning donors’ approach to communication for resilience, questioning conventional approaches to strategic communication in the realm of global security. In this study, I argue that interpersonal communication and creative forms of self-expression (self-narration) are more likely to support experiences of trust, assertiveness and community relationships, which are often considered as indicators of collective resilience. In doing so, it introduces a reflection on the way information circulates within communities, who tend to be excluded from the mainstream media and official public sphere, as a result of structural and systemic marginalisation on the political or socioeconomic level. It also points to the legitimacy and credibility associated with informal communication networks as well as unconventional forms of storytelling.

Dr. Mahlouly teaches as a lecturer and course convenor at the Centre for Global Media and Communication. She was the Principal Investigator of a research project on communication for resilience funded by British Council (BC), which explores the role of media capacity initiatives as a tool for communicative resilience in Tunisia and Lebanon. Her work focuses on the interplay between state and non-state actors' communication strategies in post-2011 North Africa. She completed her PhD at the University of Glasgow, in partnership with the American University in Cairo in 2015. Her thesis examined how social media was incorporated into the campaigning strategy of leading political actors in post-revolutionary Tunisia and Egypt. Before joining SOAS Centre for Global Media and Communications, she conducted her postdoctoral research at King's College London and contributed to the European Network of Excellence VOX-Pol. Simultaneously, she worked as a Senior Research Associate for The Open University (OU) on a British Council-funded study exploring perspectives for cultural diplomacy in post-revolutionary Egypt. Dr. Mahlouly taught as a Guest Lecturer at King’s College London, the European Institute for the Mediterranean and the University of Glasgow.

This event will take place on Zoom. To attend, please follow this link. Passcode: 812564.

Organiser: Dr. Dina Matar, Chair, Centre for Global Media and Communication

Contact email: dm27@soas.ac.uk