Trained as an anthropologist at the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam), Goldsmiths University (London) and Birzeit University (Palestine), focusing on Race and Racism and Palestinian political movements, Miriyam Aouragh continued as a PhD student at the University of Amsterdam where she embarked on a study of the Palestinian Internet. She also taught on anthropology, sociology and ethnic and racial studies at the University of Amsterdam.
During her MA fieldwork she noticed the mushrooming of Internet cafes and wondered what the effect would be on Palestinians reaching out to the world, and for those ‘outside’ in exile to link up with those ‘inside’ the Occupied Territories. She observed and interviewed the Internet actors themselves: the Palestinian producers and consumers of the Internet. In order to grasp the complexities of ‘a nation in multiple states’ she employed a multi-sited approach by including Jordan and Lebanon in her general approach and fieldwork, which took place between 2001 and 2005.
During her time as a PhD researcher, Miriyam observed the development of the Internet in terms of new possibilities for overcoming immobility and in motivating interactivity, and how these social effects have enabled social movements to target broader audiences. After her PhD, the nature, style and political economies of what she termed ‘Cyber Intifada’, became her main research focus. Miriyam was awarded a Rubicon (NWO) grant to embark on this research at the Oxford Internet Institute. She currently studies the everyday political implications of Web 2.0 for Palestinian and Lebanese activist groups, the role of the Internet during the ongoing Arab revolutions, and teaches Cyber Politics of the Middle East at Oxford University’s Middle East Centre. Her Book “Palestine Online: Transnationalism, the Internet and the Construction of Identity” has been published by IB Tauris (2011).
Email: firstname.lastname at oii.ox.ac.uk
Virtual mobility, online empowerment, grassroots activism, Internet and Arab revolutions, construction of online exiled communities.