May 19, 2024

Singh Publishes Article with Middle East Studies Association Newsletter

Ranjit Singh published an article titled “The Lyrics Don’t Matter: Addressing Language Barriers and Social Media in the Middle East Studies Classroom” in the April 2015 edition of Issues in Middle East Studies, the professional newsletter of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). This article describes a social media-based exercise Dr. Singh developed to exploit common language barriers and to develop students’ critical thinking and observation skills. The exercise requires students to view politically or socially significant Arabic language YouTube videos multiple times: first in silence, then with sound, and finally with translation. Each viewing provides more information, prodding students to search for visual and auditory clues about context, meaning, and why some videos proved influential.

The article currently is available only to MESA members at http://mesana.org/publications/imes/. A copy also may be obtained from Dr. Singh: rsingh@umw.edu.

The article is based on a presentation Dr. Singh made at MESA’s 2014 annual conference in Washington DC, where he organized a panel centered on social media and pedagogy. The panel was sponsored by MESA’s Committee for Undergraduate Studies, or CUMES, which Dr. Singh helped to found several years ago. CUMES seeks to disseminate best practices in teaching and learning on the region. His work for this article was supported by a 2014 summer faculty development grant from UMW’s College of Arts and Sciences.