Home News Professor Sunder gives talk on Technologies of Enlightenment: Upending Authority, from Common Sense to Google at Yale Law School on Nov. 11

Professor Sunder gives talk on Technologies of Enlightenment: Upending Authority, from Common Sense to Google at Yale Law School on Nov. 11

Yale Law School on Nov 11 for the CSIS 

On Nov. 11, 2011 Professor Sunder delivered a talk on Technologies of Enlightenment: Upending Authority, from Common Sense to Google at the Yale Law School.

Abstract:

New technologies from Twitter to Facebook are praised for helping to topple decades-long dictatorships in the Middle East during the Arab Spring of 2011. But the analysis to date mistakes a part for the whole of what is truly revolutionary about these technologies. Social media does more than solve coordination problems, communicating to protestors when and where to assemble. Just as Tom Paine's Common Sense challenged the authority of monarchs and inspired a spirit of critical inquiry and rational debate, activists in the Muslim world today are building social networks and using technologies old and new-from pamphlets and petitions to YouTube and blogs-to fight fundamentalism with pluralism. Technologies of Enlightenment build a culture of critique.

In this talk, Professor Sunder contemplates the roles new technologies can play in promoting social change in the Arab Autumn after the recent political changes of the Arab Spring. She will end the talk describing a proposal for a Google Corpus of Muslim laws. The conceit is that merely presenting the diversity of Muslim laws--constitutional, criminal, and laws related to the family--will enhance open government and challenge fundamentalist claims of any singular, authentic Muslim law.

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