Hypermedia space—the notion that discrete media technologies connect to create a communicative space with multiple access points and socio-political uptakes—has now become a commonplace to the extent that it is a naturalized, hence unproblematic assumption, in research on the social and political impact of digital media. Inspired by the work of the Canadian international relations theorist Ronald Deibert on hypermedia (1997), I initially developed the notion of “hypermedia space” (Kraidy, 2006; Braman & Mallaby, 2006) before the advent of social media, to analyze the expanded space and flow of communication between various media--blogs, mobile telephony, digital cameras, online videos, electronic newspapers, and satellite television. That networked communicative environment I defined as hypermedia space, was used to theorize hypermedia events (Kraidy, 2010), and recently advocated incorporating “old media,” including the human body, in hypermedia space, to get a comprehensive vista of contemporary mediation (Kraidy, 2016). In this article, I take stock of what the notion of hypermedia space might mean in light of key developments in the Middle East in the last decade—namely the Arab uprisings and the rise of Islamic State. I then offer some thoughts on emerging areas where hypermedia space could be applied.
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