Assistant Professor, Literature and Women’s Studies
-- Duke University
Negar Mottahedeh is a cultural critic and film theorist specializing in interdisciplinary and feminist contributions to the fields of Middle Eastern Studies and Film Studies. She is known for her work on Iranian Cinema, but has also published on the history of reform, revolution and the uses of social media in protest. Her new book “#iranelection: Hashtag Solidarity and the Transformation of Online life” (Stanford University Press), about one such social media mobilization, will be published this spring. #iranelection follows the protest movement around Iran's fraudulent presidential election in 2009, to investigate how emerging social media platforms developed international solidarity. Just as the world turned to social media platforms to understand the events on the ground, social media platforms adapted and developed to accommodate this global activism. The 2009 protests in Iran were the first revolts to be catapulted onto the global stage by social media, just as the 1979 Iranian Revolution was agitated by cassette tapes. #iranelection reveals the new online ecology of social protest and offers a prehistory, of sorts, to the uses of hashtags and trending topics, of selfies and avatar activism, citizen journalism and YouTube mashups.