The Columns

Professor Nico Prucha to Lecture at W&L as Part of Global Fellows Seminar

— by on February 2nd, 2016

Nico Prucha, a Violent Online Political Extremism (VOX-Pol) Research Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at the Department for War Studies, King’s College London, will lecture at Washington and Lee University as part of the Winter 2016 Global Fellows Seminar: Tradition and Change in the Middle East and South Asia. His talk will be Feb. 10, at 5 p.m. in Hillel 101.

The talk will be broadcast live online.

The Global Fellows Seminar is supported by the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation.

Prucha will speak on “The Islamic State and the War for Hegemony in the Middle East.” The talk is free and open to the public.

He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Vienna, Austria. His current project is titled Viral Aspects of Jihadism: The Lingual and Ideological Basis of Online Propaganda and the Spill Over to Non-Arabic Networks.

Part of Prucha’s work at the ICSR includes establishing a lexicon of Arabic key words frequently used within Arabic and non-Arabic propaganda videos and writings. It focuses on the analysis and deciphering of primary Arabic-language jihadist propaganda content on- and offline. He specializes in jihadi online activities related to Syria, Iraq and the organized opposition.

This research covers textual and audio-visual content of jihadist activity and how ideology, in part, morphs from Arabic to English and German language clusters. The analysis of social media strategies used by groups such as the Islamic State to incite and recruit using a blend of languages and elements is one area of special interest.

Another area of interest is the lingual and theological analysis of extremist Sharia law interpretation of hostage taking and executions and how videos, as well as social media outlets, convey these acts.

Prucha is the author of an online book in German published in 2010, and he has edited and coedited over 40 articles.

Selected publications include “Tales from the Crypt—Jihadi Martyr Narratives for Online Recruitment” (2015); “ISIS is Winning the Online Jihad Against the West,” in The Daily Beast (2014); “Eye of the Swarm: The Rise of ISIS and the Media Mujahedeen,” in CPD Blog, U.S.C. Center on Public Diplomacy (2014); and “Celebrities of the Afterlife: Death Cult, Stars and Fandom of Jihadist Propaganda,” in “Jihadi Thought and Ideology, Jihadism and Terrorism Volume 1” (2014).