Lecture Series - The Tunisian Revolution and the Language of Dissent
The Tunisian Revolution of 2011 resulted in civil resistance, the ousting of their 23-year president, and the start of the Arab Spring. Sonia Shiri will discuss the genres of expression that Tunisians used during demonstrations to collectively construct dissent when protesting against underlying problems such as unemployment, economic inequalities, corruption, lack of political freedom and poor living conditions. She will also provide an examination of the data collected from international media outlets and social media, which show that as more and more protesters joined in and demonstrations spread in larger urban centers, Tunisians creatively drew on their multilingual repertoire and multimodal discourse resources in order to co-construct their defiant messages.
Sonia Shiri, PhD, is an assistant professor, Middle East Language Programs Coordinator, and academic director of the Arabic Flagship Program at the University of Arizona. Prior to joining MENAS, Shiri coordinated the Arabic program at the University of California, Berkeley, taught Arabic at Oxford University and held a research fellowship at the Center for Women and Gender at Stanford University. From 2009-2012, she acted as senior academic director of the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), overseeing curriculum development, program administration, and teacher training in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Oman. During 2002-2005, she served as the academic and outreach coordinator for the Berkeley Language Center. In 2007, Shiri received UC Berkeley’s Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of Graduate Student Instructors, then CALICO’s “Access to Language Education Award” in 2008.