Neukom-Leslie Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities
Hassan Salam is a sociologist who seeks to use quantitative and computational methods and novel data sources to study law, religion, and human rights at a domestic and transnational level.
As the Neukom-Leslie Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities, he intends to draw on web scraping and analysis, and social network approaches, to illuminate the topics, themes, and doctrines of online fatwas (Islamic legal opinions). Unlike media depictions that cast Islamic law as violent and cruel, he hopes to show how fatwas repeatedly invoke mercy and dignity when adjudicating cases.
Drawing on large-scale data generated by Internet users such as social media content and aggregate Internet search data, he also intends to trace the emergence and spread of Islamophobic discourses in Western countries around the world. Additionally, he seeks to trace the rise of civil and human rights in American law. Focusing on the U.S. Supreme Court, he intends to analyze the body of constitutional jurisprudence from the 18th to the 21st centuries to uncover shifting patterns in how “rights” have been conceptualized in American constitutional law.