Since 2013, the CARGC Press imprint has published CARGC Papers, CARGC Briefs, and special issues of scholarly journals with partners like International Journal of Communication and Communication and the Public and other collaborators who share our vision, like the International Panel on Social Progress, a co-publisher of our first booklet. We envision our growth to include publishing original and translated books for teaching, research, and practice. In addition to publishing and promoting CARGC research, we seek to understand technologically and economically driven changes to knowledge production, dissemination, and access worldwide. CARGC Press publications offer original and timely contributions to pressing issues in global communications such as refugee mobile media practices, street art on the US-Mexico border, rural communication in the US, and hacktivism in Turkey, authored by a range of global media scholars from CARGC Undergraduate Fellows to world renowned scholars such as Saskia Sassen and Arjun Appadurai.
Latest Papers and Briefs
Hectic Slowness: Precarious Temporalities of Care in Vietnam’s Digital Mamasphere
CARGC Paper 14, “Hectic Slowness: Precarious Temporalities of Care in Vietnam’s Digital Mamasphere,” by Giang Nguyen-Thu explores the temporal entanglements of care and precarity in Vietnam by unpacking the condition of “hectic slowness” experienced by mothers who sell food on Facebook against the widespread fear of dietary intoxication. Crafted during Nguyen-Thu’s CARGC Postdoctoral Fellowship, originally presented as a CARGC Colloquium, and drawing on thirty months of ethnographic fieldwork with Vietnamese mothers, CARGC Paper 14 paper offers an incredibly nuanced and fine-grained engagement with the everyday digital practices of Vietnamese mothers and grandmothers in cities such as Hanoi. This grounded attention to digital life and motherhood is, then, entered in productive dialogue with feminist and media scholarship in order to build a rich analysis that challenges our continued reliance on Western-centric notions such as autonomy to make sense of care, mothering, and media practices.
Toward a Cultural Framework of Internet Governance: Russia’s Great Power Identity and the Quest for a Multipolar Digital Order
CARGC Paper 13, “Toward a Cultural Framework of Internet Governance: Russia’s Great Power Identity and the Quest for a Multipolar Digital Order,” by CARGC Postdoctoral Fellow Stanislav Budnitsky was initially delivered as a CARGC Colloquium in 2018. As part of Budnitsky’s larger research project on the relationship between nationalism and global internet governance, CARGC Paper 13 considers the cultural logics underlying Russia’s global internet governance agenda. It argues that to understand Russia’s digital vision in the early twenty-first century and, by extension, the dynamics of global internet politics writ large, scholars must incorporate Russia’s historic self-identification as a great power into their analyses.
Cities Help Us Hack Formal Power Systems
Saskia Sassen, Columbia University
Initially delivered as the 2017 CARGC Distinguished Lecture in Global Communication, CARGC Paper 12 presents an analysis of cities as complex, diverse, and incomplete systems. For Sassen, it is precisely these features of urban forms – their complexity, diversity and incompleteness – that offer the possibility of a new type of politics, centered on new types of political actors. She is particularly interested in two features of global cities: their presence as strategic frontier zones where actors from different worlds can meet without clear rules of engagement and their strategic importance for hacking old orders.
Dreamers and Donald Trump:
Anti-Trump Street Art Along the US-Mexico Border
What tools are at hand for residents living on the US-Mexico border to respond to mainstream news and presidential-driven narratives about immigrants, immigration, and the border region? How do citizen activists living far from the border contend with President Trump’s promises to “build the wall,” enact immigration bans, and deport the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States? CARGC Paper 11, “Dreamers and Donald Trump: Anti-Trump Street Art Along the US-Mexico Border,” answers these questions through a textual analysis of street art in the border region, examining Donald Trump’s rhetoric about immigration, and analyzing how street art situated at the border becomes a medium of protest in response to that rhetoric.
The Criminalization of Redhack
Through an empirical examination of the criminalization of the Turkish hacktivist group Redhack in social, legal, and cultural discourses, CARGC Paper 10 — “Contextualizing Hacktivism: The Criminalization of Redhack” by Bülay Doğan — explores the critical conflation of hacktivism with cyber-terrorism that enables states to criminalize non-violent hacktivist groups.
Mediating Possibility after Suffering:
Meaning Making of the Micro-political through Digital Media
CARGC Paper 9, “Mediating Possibility after Suffering: Meaning Making of the Micro-political through Digital Media,” by CARGC Postdoctoral Fellow Samira Rajabi, is based on Rajabi’s 2018 CARGC Colloquium. Using three empirical case studies from Instagram, Rajabi examines the Trump administration’s 2017 travel ban as a traumatic experience and its digital mediation. First exploring a general understanding of trauma as it relates to global media studies, she then develops the notion of “symbolic trauma” to understand how Iranian-Americans mediated the travel ban’s effects.
CARGC Briefs Volume I:
Yara M. Damaj, Michael Degerald, Kareem El Damanhoury, Katerina Girginova, Rowan Howard-Williams, Brian Hughes, Mohammed Salih, John Vilanova, and William Youmans
The essays that comprise CARGC Briefs Volume I: ISIS Media began their lives as presentations at a small, by-invitation workshop, “Emerging Work on Communicative Dimensions of Islamic State,” held on May 3-4, 2017 at the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication. Consistent with CARGC’s mission to mentor early-career scholars, the workshop was a non-public event featuring graduate students, some affiliated with the Jihadi Networks of Communication and CultureS (JINCS) research group at CARGC, and others from around the United States and the world, in addition to postdocs and faculty members. Parameters were purposefully broad to encourage independent thought and intellectual exploration: contributors were asked to write short essays focusing on any single aspect of Islamic State that was part of their research. The result is a group of fascinating essays: using mostly primary sources (textual, visual, or audio-visual), examining several media platforms and modalities, considering multiple levels of theoretical deployment and construction, and shedding light on various aspects of Islamic State communication against the broad back drop of history, ideology, and geopolitics, the following include some of the most innovative approaches to Islamic State to date, and promise a wave of fresh voices on one of the most important challenges to global order.
Latest Special Issues
Mediating Islamic State
International Journal of Communication
Volume 14, April 2020
Co-Editors: Marwan M. Kraidy & Marina R. Krikorian
How does the group that calls itself “Islamic State” communicate? How has Islamic State been understood and contested? This Special Section gathers emergent scholarly voices, many deploying humanistic inquiry, to probe a phenomenon that has predominantly been the province of social scientists, to explore and understand the players, patterns, and practices that have mediated Islamic State: the communicative ways in which the group has been studied, reported on, visualized, narrated, mocked, spoofed, and resisted. We use “mediation” rather than “media” to shift public discourse on Islamic State beyond the focus on technology that has characterized research on media and sociopolitical change generally, and Islamic State communication in particular. We seek to understand the historical, ideological, technological, and cultural complexity of Islamic State, meshing translocal struggles with global geopolitics. Mediation connotes a broad approach to media, which includes words, images, bodies, platforms, and the expressive capacities and meaning-making practices that communicators generate when they deploy these media.
The Revolutionary Public Sphere: The Case of the Arab Uprisings
Communication and the Public
Volume 2, Issue 2, June 2017
Co-Editors: Marwan M. Kraidy & Marina R. Krikorian
A comprehensive picture of dissent in the Arab uprisings requires an understanding of how revolutionaries have represented themselves and how various media, digital and otherwise, were incorporated in these communicative processes. Together, the articles in this Special Issue focus on the myths, ideologies, and histories that inspired slogans, murals, and poems of pointed social relevance and political potency. Originally presented at the inaugural biennial symposium of what was then the Project for Advanced Research in Global Communication in 2014, these papers explore the creative permutations of symbols, words, images, colors, shapes, and sounds that revolutionaries deployed to contest despots, to outwit each other, to attract attention, and to conjure up new social and political imaginaries. The issue exemplifies one of the fundamental principles undergirding the institutional mission of the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication: a robust dialogue between theoretical advances on one hand, and deep linguistic, cultural, historical knowledge of the world region under study, on the other.
Convergence and Disjuncture in Global Digital Culture
International Journal of Communication
Volume 11, 2017
Editor: Marwan M. Kraidy
In the 1980s and 1990s, the question “Is there a global culture?” fueled heated debates as intellectual opponents debated the social, political, economic, and cultural consequences of globalization. Guest-edited by Marwan M. Kraidy, this Special Section of the International Journal of Communication by global communication scholars revisits the discussion on global culture in light of the digital revolution. Originally presented at CARGC’s second Biennial Symposium in April 2016, these articles do not pretend to provide a comprehensive answer to the existence or lack thereof of a global digital culture. Rather, they consider this question as an intellectual provocation to revisit how the universal relates to the particular, the global to the local, the digital to the material. Questions guiding these articles include: How do networks transmute individual autonomy and the sovereignty of the body? How is digital culture fomenting disjuncture across the globe in dissident, marginal, or rogue formations? How is the digital affecting the ways people work and play, how they experience and judge beauty, and how they protest? Most fundamentally, does digitization herald a new chapter in how we understand ourselves?
Crafted at CARGC
The Naked Blogger of Cairo:
Creative Insurgency in the Arab World
Marwan M. Kraidy, Harvard University Press, 2016
Uprisings spread like wildfire across the Arab world from 2010 to 2012, fueled by a desire for popular sovereignty. In Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria, protestors flooded the streets and the media, voicing dissent through slogans, graffiti, puppetry, videos, and satire that called for the overthrow of dictatorial regimes. Investigating what drives people to risk everything to express themselves in rebellious art, The Naked Blogger of Cairo uncovers the creative insurgency at the heart of the Arab uprisings. While commentators have stressed the role of social media, Marwan M. Kraidy shows that the essential medium of expression was not texting or Twitter but the human body. Brutal governments that coerced citizens through torture and rape found themselves confronted with the bodies of protestors. Activists challenged authority in brazen acts of self-immolation, nude activism, and hunger strikes. The bodies of dictators became a focus of ridicule. Syria’s Bashar al-Assad was rendered as a pathetic finger puppet, while Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak became a regurgitating cow. As Kraidy argues, technology publicizes defiance, but the body remains the vital nexus of physical struggle and digital communication, destabilizing distinctions between “the real world” and virtual reality, spurring revolutionary debates about the role of art, and anchoring Islamic State’s attempted hijacking of creative insurgency.
A 2016 Times Higher Education Book of the Year; 2017 Outstanding Book Award, International Communication Association; 2017 Best Book Award, Division Of Global Communication & Social Change, International Communication Association; 2017 Roderick P. Hart Outstanding Book Award, Political Communication Division, National Communication Association
Global Media Studies
Toby Miller and Marwan M. Kraidy, Wiley, 2016
Global Media Studies is unique in its coverage of places, peoples, institutions, and discourses. Toby Miller and Marwan M. Kraidy provide a comprehensive how-to guide to the study of media, going far beyond the established English-language literature and drawing on the best methods and research from around the world. They look at political economy, global policymaking and governance, and the past and present manifestations of cultural imperialism.
In addition to providing a survey of the field, the book introduces a new form of textual analysis, with a special focus on reality television, as well as models of audience research. The authors include original analyses of the US, European, Latin American, and Arab worlds, and case studies of mobile telephony, the impact of US media, and reality television.
This original and uniquely global textbook will be an essential resource for students of global media and international communication.
Media Politics in China:
Improvising Power under Authoritarianism
Maria Repnikova, Cambridge University Press, 2017
Who watches over the party-state? In this engaging analysis, Maria Repnikova reveals the webs of an uneasy partnership between critical journalists and the state in China. More than merely a passive mouthpiece or a dissident voice, the media in China also plays a critical oversight role, one more frequently associated with liberal democracies than with authoritarian systems. Chinese central officials cautiously endorse media supervision as a feedback mechanism, as journalists carve out space for critical reporting by positioning themselves as aiding the agenda of the central state. Drawing on rare access in the field, Media Politics in China examines the process of guarded improvisation that has defined this volatile partnership over the past decade on a routine basis and in the aftermath of major crisis events. Combined with a comparative analysis of media politics in the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia, the book highlights the distinctiveness of Chinese journalist-state relations, as well as the renewed pressures facing them in the Xi era.
Shooting a Revolution:
Visual Media and Warfare in Syria
Donatella Della Ratta, Pluto Press, 2018
From ISIS propaganda videos to popular regime-backed soap operas and digital activism, the Syrian conflict has been profoundly affected by visual media. But what are the aesthetic, political, and material implications of this disturbing collusion between war and digital culture? Drawing on a decade of ethnographic research conducted in Syria and neighboring countries, Donatella Della Ratta examines here how the networked age shapes contemporary warfare, from conflict on the ground to the performance of violence on the screen. Her findings present a stark parallel to the digital democracy offered by techno-utopians, delving into the dark side of web 2.0 practices, where visual regimes of representation and media production are put in service of modes of destruction. A vivid account of the politics of Syria’s visual media, from commercial television to citizen journalism and Daesh propaganda, Shooting a Revolution offers fascinating insight into the media’s role in transforming conflict zones in the digital age.