CFP: ‘Digital Intimacies: Exploring digital media and intimate lives in the Middle East’

For those interested in amateur media and the Middle East see the Journal of Culture and Communication CFP for a special issue on ‘Digital Intimacies: Exploring digital media and intimate lives in the Middle East’

“Over the last decade, the spread of digital technologies has profoundly reshaped intimate lives worldwide, transforming the ways in which people are involved in intimate relationships and experience love, sexuality and emotions in everyday lives. Like other places, in the Middle East, millions use the internet on a daily basis to access a variety of music and cultural products, and to communicate, create and maintain relationships with partners, family members, friends and lovers, as well as for activism. Indeed, along with providing spaces for different modes of activism and resistance, digital platforms have become critical arenas in which young people negotiate ideas and practices of love, dominant gender roles and religious and societal values. While some work has begun to critically engage with the use of the Internet for activism, very little is known of the ways in which digital platforms and different technologies (including mobile phones) can remold imaginaries and practices of love and friendship and mediate the ways in which “intimacy” is experienced and lived in the Middle East.

This special issue aims to fill the gap in the scholarship on intimate lives and digital media in Middle East by focusing on the everyday uses of digital platforms and addressing their material, gendered and imaginative implications for practices. We welcome articles from a wide range of disciplines (including and not restricted to anthropology, sociology, internet, cultural and media studies) that draw on empirically-grounded studies and that raise broader methodological and theoretical reflections. Some of the questions we hope to address are:

1. New imaginaries of love and marriage: how does people’s access to online cultural products (within Islamic and non-Islamic contexts) contribute to remoulding their romantic imaginations, conventional courtship practices and intimate desires?

2. Digital media practices: which are the actual media practices whereby young people create, maintain, and end intimate relationships through digital media? How do social media expand inter-personal communicative possibilities and wide people’s social networks beyond immediate family and community based networks?

3. Digital media in long distance relationships: how are digital media used in long-distances relationships between family members and lovers, in national and transnational contexts?

4.  Digital media and social change: how do media practice challenge, reproduce and reinforce dominant social practices and gendered imaginaries? What is the impact of online practices on the way people experience intimacy in the every-day life?

5.  Digital technologies, sex and sexuality: how do people have sex online? How do they produce and consume pornography?

6.  The use of the internet by LGBTQ people: how do they create network, form communities and communicate online?

Deadline for submission of abstracts is 30 September 2014.

Abstracts should not exceed 500 words and should provide a short explanation of your contribution to this special issue, provide a clear description of the proposed approach, the theoretical framework and empirical data.

Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 15 November 2014

Deadline for submission of complete manuscripts: 30 March 2015

Articles should be between 6000- 7000 words long and include an abstract of 150 words, the author’s affiliation and email address and at least five keywords

Please send a paper proposal along with a short bio by 30 September 2014 to Elisabetta Costa (University College London) at; and to Laura Menin (University of Milano Bicocca) at ”


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