Forum at Benedictine focuses on social media’s impact on Middle East

September 11, 2015

Lisle, Illinois ~ The proliferation of social media has played a major role in the changing social and political landscape of the Middle East, from the dawn of the Arab Spring uprising to the violent rise of the Islamic State group.

Thomas E.R. Maguire, Ph.D., associate director for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at The University of Chicago, will present “Media and Revolution in the Middle East” at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 24, in the Krasa Presentation Room as part of Benedictine University’s Global Studies Forum. The event is free and open to the public.

Maguire will discuss how several regimes challenged by revolution would eventually use new media to reassert their legitimacy and authority by examining the critical uses of media in Middle Eastern revolution and counter-revolution.

A student of global media and the contemporary Middle East, Maguire earned a doctorate in Media Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation was a case study of Huda TV, an English language Islamic satellite television channel based in Cairo, Egypt, where he spent more than a year as a program presenter and producer.

Maguire’s publications include “New Media and Islamism in the Arab Winter: A case study of Huda TV in Pre-Revolutionary Egypt” in the Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research (2011), and “The Islamic Internet: Authority, Authenticity and Reform,” a chapter in “Media on the Move: Global Flow and Contra Flow” (2007). Maguire has taught at The University of Texas at Austin, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the American Islamic College.

The Global Studies major at Benedictine combines the University’s unique inquiry-based curriculum sequence with courses from a number of disciplines to provide students with an understanding of the forces that are shaping their world.

The Global Studies forum brings outstanding speakers to campus to analyze current world events with faculty and students in a systematic and interdisciplinary way.

For more information about the Global Studies Forum, contact Lynn Dransoff at (630) 829-6250 or


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors and 16 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 2 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2003-2013 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fifth consecutive year in 2015. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area in 2015.

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