Dr. Khan Presenting His Study at the SMART Lab
Dr. Khan Presenting His Study at the SMART Lab

(Report by Bowen Gao. Photo by Zeyu Zhang.)

Athens, OH – Dr. Laeeq Khan delivered a research talk in our SMART Dialogue Series on November 31st, 2018. Dr. Khan is an Assistant Professor from the School of Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University, and also the Director of the SMART Lab. The study Dr. Khan presented was entitled Music for Peace: Social Media Analytics for Understanding India-Pakistan User Engagement on YouTube.

Dr. Khan’s latest research project explores an important issue that centers on peacebuilding through social media. The project is a collaborative endeavor and the team includes Dr. Saumya Pant and graduate student Quang Ngo. According to Dr. Khan, the research project was conceived due to the historical conflict between Pakistan and India that often gets reflected in the online world as well. YouTube serves as one of the largest social platforms for music videos. Coke Studio is a television series and an international music franchise that became very famous in Pakistan and was later adapted in India. Coke Studios features live studio-recorded music performances by various musicians, artists, producers etc. The research project employs social media analytics techniques to understand the discourse on Coke Studios music videos from India and Pakistan. The aim is to explore whether YouTube can serve as a platform for peacebuilding between the rival countries.

Preliminary findings of this research suggest that audiences from two countries were highly engaged in the comments section and the positive comments out-numbered the negative ones. Dr. Khan suggested that Coke Studio had been creating peace between two countries through their music and collaborative efforts within the entertainment industry.

During Dr. Khan’s interactive and engaging presentation, the audience comprising faculty and both undergraduate and graduate students asked various questions and shared their experiences in similar online settings. Their presence signaled the start of various future research collaborations.

If you are interested in receiving timely notifications for our future SMART Dialogue Series research talks, please follow our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SMARTlabOhioU/. You may also contact our Lab assistant Zeyu Zhang at zz004816@ohio.edu for questions or to schedule a presentation for your own study for spring 2019.