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Global Studies Center Examines the Developments of Media Usage in the Middle East

7 February 2018

Gulf University for Science and Technology’s (GUST) Global Studies Center (GSC) hosted a lecture last week on the views and perceptions of the media’s influence on regional and global change. The session was led by Dr. Nele Lenze, visiting assistant professor from the National University of Singapore, and current faculty member in the Department of Mass Communication and Media (MCM) at GUST, to introduce her newly published book “Media in the Middle East – Activism, Politics, and Culture.” The lecture was attended by H.E. German Ambassador to Kuwait, Karlfried Bergner, faculty members, university students, and the general public.


The talk also introduced the main themes of the edited volume, which illustrates how the increase in Internet connections and mobile applications have resulted in an emergence of indispensable tools for information acquisition, dissemination, and activism. It uncovered the views and perceptions of leading scholars with expertise in Middle Eastern studies with regards to the media’s influence on regional and global change. Dr. Lenze also­­­­ touched on the media aspect of a variety of subjects including economy, digital news, online businesses, gender-related issues, social media, and film.


Visiting Professor at GUST’s MCM Department, Dr. Nele Lenze, said “What I find most interesting in Middle Eastern media is the var­­iety of outlets that are available online and offline. The rapid developments in media accessibility and connectivity in the region has encouraged a high number of young media users and producers in distributing cultural content. The subject is of high interest to the public since the majority of the young generation are engaged with the commercial, political, and cultural media outlets.”


Dr. Nele focused on aspects of economy, digital news, online businesses, gender-related issues, social media, and film. She also looked into the details of media’s role in political movements throughout the Middle East.


The GSC continuously hosts discussions that stimulate research, and aid in the development of our students and faculty’s experience on campus. It is a leading center in research on global studies, and a vehicle for engaging both internal and external communities through events and lectures on relevant issues.


Head of the Global Studies Center at GUST, Dr. Martin Rosenstock, said “We continually try to find new ways of enhancing the GUST academic experience by organizing events that bring together great minds and present unique viewpoints to learn from. The GSC provides the university with another outlet to showcase its prowess in contributing to academic research.”


The center was established with the mission to conduct cutting-edge research on cross-national political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental issues of critical importance, and share research output and information regionally and globally.  The GSC seeks to foster public understanding of global issues and support the policy-making processes of concerned states.


Previous GSC held lectures included; “The Rise of Islamic State, the Future of Iraq, and the Risks to the Gulf States” by leading scholar Professor Toby Dodge, Director of the Kuwait Program at the London School of Economics, "Storytelling Through Film, Globally and Locally: An American Artist Inspires in Hawally" by international filmmakers Ruchi Mital and Petter Ringbom, and “Kuwait in the Middle East Before Oil: A History of Overland Trade from and to Kuwait” by Dr. Philippe Pétrait.