Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication
Associate Professor Department of Middle East and Islamic Studies
Helga works on issues to do with technology, media, culture, territory and politics in the Middle East, and especially Palestine-Israel. She has researched and written on Arab media; Palestinian cinema, television, video games and popular culture; on telecommunications and internet infrastructure and development in the Palestinian Territories; as well as on cultural/territorial politics in Palestine-Israel including analyzing checkpoints as cultural and economic spaces, identification cards as material artifacts and territorially-bordering mechanisms.
Helga has published a wide range of peer-reviewed articles and invited chapters. She is co-editor of the 2016 book Gaza as Metaphor. She is currently working on her monograph titled Digital Occupation; a co-written book with two colleagues; and an edited volume - she hopes that all of these will be completed by the end of 2017. She also serves on a number of journal editorial boards and Middle Eastern non-profit foundations.
Helga teaches courses at undergraduate and graduate levels on topics including borders and spatiality, Arab media, critical theory and media studies, Israel/Palestine, war and media, globalization and international development, and what has been referred to as "the coffee class" (cultural geography of commodities), which is not always about coffee.
Before academia, Helga worked as a researcher and strategic analyst at a multinational media conglomerate and as an internet consultant. She has lived in various parts of North America, Europe, and the Middle East, which has resulted in border-crossings of various kinds, an obsession with im/mobility, and the ability to fluently communicate in six and a half languages. Helga also spends time behind a camera, as a photographer and documentary film-maker.
Helga is the Director of the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at NYU. She holds her office hours there (50 Washington Square South, entrance at 255 Sullivan), and you'll find her at the many events happening at 'Kevo.'
Gaza As Metaphor, a new book edited by Helga Tawil-Souri and Dina Matar. Hurst Publishers