Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fulbright journalism fellow David Wolman to present Great Decisions lecture April 12 on role of social media in the Arab Spring



Amid continuing political and social turbulence in the Arab world, former Fulbright journalism fellow and author David Wolman will discuss the role of social media during the Arab Spring protests in the fourth lecture of the university's 55th annual Great Decisions Lecture Series. The series features five speakers who focus on current political, cultural and economic subjects of interest to the international community. The public is invited to attend the lectures free of charge. Wolman's lecture, "Digital Dissent: the Origins of Revolution in Egypt and the Role of Social Media in the Arab Spring," will take place on Thursday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University. For more information, please call (509) 777-4937.

Whitworth Associate Professor of Political Science Patrick Van Inwegen says Wolman's on-the-ground reporting and investigative journalism in Egypt during what's come to be known as the Arab Spring provide crucial perspective on one of the most important trends currently shaping our world. He adds that Wolman's expertise on the changing role of media as social media becomes more popular is incredibly important for understanding how people receive and evaluate information.

"Wolman's work provides thoughtful insight into complicated events, elevates the voices of the voiceless and spans a variety of disciplines and academic fields, making it the perfect match for what Whitworth strives for in our interdisciplinary liberal arts education," Van Inwegen says. "His ability to convey complex ideas to a diverse mainstream audience aligns with our goal for the Great Decisions Series: to engage the entire Spokane community in foreign affairs issues that shape our lives."

Wolman is the author of three books, the most recent of which is The End of Money (Da Capo Press, 2012). He is currently a contributing editor at Wired, and he has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Outside, Mother Jones, and Newsweek. A former Fulbright journalism fellow in Japan and graduate of Stanford University's journalism program, he now lives in Portland, Ore., where he received a 2011 Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship.

The final Great Decisions lecture will take place on April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Weyerhaeuser Hall's Robinson Teaching Theatre. For information on the Great Decisions Lecture Series, please call (509) 777-4937. Great Decisions 2012 is sponsored by the Whitworth Political Science Department.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

Kathy Fechter, academic program assistant, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4937 or kfechter@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.