UC SANTA BARBARA

Assistant Professor

Laila Shereen Sakr

Office Hours

Thursdays, 12:00PM -2:00PM

Biography

Laila Shereen Sakr is an Assistant Professor of Media Theory & Practice at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she co-founded the digital media studio, Wireframe. Engaged in an ongoing posthuman performance of VJ Um Amel, she theorizes technology, language, and the body through multimodal creative research. In 2021, she was awarded the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Digital Extension Award to develop Arab Data Bodies, a game driven by social media data. Her book, Arabic Glitch: Technoculture, Data Bodies, and Archives, is forthcoming in 2023 from Stanford University Press.

VJ Um Amel has shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions and performances at galleries and museums including the San Francisco MoMA, Fridge Art Gallery in Washington, DC, National Gallery of Art in Jordan, Camera Austria, Cultura Digital in Brazil, Kirchner Cultural Centre in Argentina, Tahrir Cultural Center in Egypt, Lagos Biennial in Nigeria, and the Qualcomm Institute in San Diego. Her peer-reviewed articles appear in Middle East Critique, Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier, Networking Knowledge: Journal of the Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies, Cyber Orient, Parson’s Journal for Information Mapping, Thoughtmesh: Critical Code Journal, and Feminist Debates in Digital Humanities.

Over the last two decades, she has been a leading voice in the open-source movement, in particular for Arabic localization. In 2009, she launched the R-Shief media system that went on to archive over 80 billion social media posts in seventy-two languages, and develop software to analyze multi-dimensional data. She is Co-Editor for the open-access journal: Media Theory, and also for After Video published by Open Humanities Press. Reviews of her work appear in Necsus Journal, The Wall Street Journal, Science, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Voice of America, Al-Ahram, Art Territories, Digital Media and Learning, Egypt Independent, Medium, Mada Masr, Jadaliyyaand The Creators Project.

Download CV

Education

  • Ph.D. Media Arts and PracticeUSC School of Cinematic Arts
  • M.F.A. Digital Arts & New MediaUC Santa Cruz
  • M.A. Arab StudiesGeorgetown University
  • B.A. English & Comparative LiteratureUniversity of Cincinnati

Courses

122ME: Middle East Media

Instructor

Laila Shereen Sakr

Term

Winter 2019

Research Interests

109GA: Glitch Art

Instructor

Laila Shereen Sakr

Term

Spring 2019

Research Interests

189FT: Fem-Tech Lab

Instructor

Laila Shereen Sakr

Term

Spring 2020

Research Interests