The focus of my research is on leadership, collective action and social movements in the Middle East. I have a particular interest in Egypt, Iraq and Syria post-1945 and labour movements across the region.
I am developing a project which will investigate the relationship between the dissemination of new media technologies and mobilisation for political change in the Middle East by exploring how three distinct generations of political activists have used ICTs to build networks, create 'spheres of dissidence' and generate new activist cultures. It will focus on the technological 'toolkits' available to the generation of the 1940s (including newspaper printing, mimeographic machines and the telegram), the generation of the 1970s (including home-recordable audio cassettes), and the generation of post-2000, including digital technologies such as laptop computers, mobile phones, access to the internet, text messaging services, digital camera and video technologies), and ask can our understanding of how political activists related to new media technologies in the past inform the analysis of 'new media' and political change in the present? Did the dissemination of new ICTs in the 1940s and 1970s cassettes transform modes of organising or activists' messages? Are there ways in which digital media is qualitatively different to earlier waves of new media in its interactivity, immediacy and connections to global networks?
Anne Alexander is the co-ordinator of the Cambridge Digital Humanities Network, a network of researchers at the University of Cambridge who are interested in how the use of digital tools is transforming scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. This transformation spans both the content and practice of humanities research, as the diffusion of digital technologies opens up new fields of study and generates research questions which breach traditional disciplinary boundaries.
Alexander, A., 2010. Leadership and collective action in the Egyptian trade unions. Work, Employment & Society, 24(2), pp.241–259.
Alexander, Anne, 2011. Digital Generation. In Z. Sardar & R. Yassin-Kassab, eds. Critical Muslim 1: The Arabs are alive. London: C Hurst & Co Publishers.
Alexander, Anne, 2012 (forthcoming) Analysing Activist Cultures in the Egyptian Workers’ Movement. In J. Howell, ed. Non-Governmental Public Action and Social Justice. Palgrave Macmillan.
Digital Humanities, Coordinator
May 2010 - Present