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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Cristina Moreno Almeida


Lecturer in Digital Cultures & Arabic Cultural Studies and IHSS Fellow

Room Number: Arts One 2.42


Currently, I serve as the Principal Investigator of the UKRI (ERC-Starting Grant nominated) project ‘Digital Al-Andalus: Radical Perspectives Of and Through Al-Andalus’ (2023-2024). This project explores the amalgamation of historical events, politicized narratives, nostalgia for lost empires, cultural diversity, and violent actions in the realm of digital media.

I have a keen interest in exploring the intersection of aesthetics, politics, and power within the realms of cultural production and digital cultures. My specific areas of interest encompass youth culture, rap music, memes, and digital cultural production. I am particularly fascinated by discourses related to power and resistance, patriotism, nationalism, and emerging forms of Far-Right ideologies.

My academic journey includes prior roles at the LSE Middle East Centre and the Department of Media and Communications, where I collaborated on the 'Personalised Media and Participatory Culture' project (2015-2017) with the American University of Sharjah (UAE). In this project, my research centred on young people’s participatory culture, creative production, and internet usage in Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and the UAE. I also held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship working at the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. This fellowship enabled me to delve into the study of Moroccan digital cultures, investigating the social, cultural, and political implications of disseminating cultural content through digital platforms.

My book, Rap Beyond Resistance: Staging Power in Contemporary Morocco (Palgrave, 2017), challenges prevailing narratives surrounding cultural resistance within Hip Hop culture in the Arabic-speaking world. This work delves into the tension between state-sponsored discourses in Morocco and artists' efforts to leverage these discourses to overcome mediatic and economic censorship.

My upcoming book, Memes, Monsters, and the Digital Grotesque (Oxford University Press, 2024), presents a novel approach to studying informal politics, monstrous aesthetics, and digital media. The book revolves around digital cultures, focusing on memes, politics, and digital aesthetics exploring grotesque aesthetics in memes and other forms of digital cultural production to articulate contemporary issues and politics online.

Additionally, I have actively engaged with young artists through various initiatives, such as the Fábrica de Rimas/Fabrique des Rimes (Rhyme Factory) project, which facilitated collaborations between rappers from Colombia and Morocco (2012-2015). I have also contributed to the Pop-Up Studios project with the British Council in Morocco, where I shared my expertise in the music field with aspiring young artists. Furthermore, I organized the (Beat)Making the North African Cool! workshop, a beat-making event centred on North African music, as part of the Being Human Festival in 2019.


Research Interests:

  • Cultural Studies
  • Digital Cultures
  • Music and Youth Cultures
  • Power and Resistance
  • Nationalism and Patriotism
  • Far-Right
  • North Africa and the Middle East



Moreno-Almeida, C. Memes, Monsters, and the Digital Grotesque. Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2024)

Moreno-Almeida, C. 2017. Rap Beyond ‘Resistance’: Staging Power in Contemporary Morocco. London: Palgrave McMillan



Moreno-Almeida, C. & Gerbaudo, P. 2021. “Memes and the Moroccan Far-Right.” The International Journal of Press/Politics, 26 (4), pp. 882-906. Available at:  

Crooke, A., Moreno-Almeida, C., Comte, R. 2021. “A Critical Interpretive Synthesis of Research Linking Hip Hop and Wellbeing in Schools.” Journal of Hip Hop Studies, 8 (1), pp. 127-160. Available at  

Moreno-Almeida, C. 2020. “Memes as Snapshots of Political Participation: The Role of Digital Amateur Activists in Authoritarian Regimes” New Media and Society, 23(6), pp. 1545.1566. Available at

Banaji, S & Moreno-Almeida, C. 2020. “Politicising Creativity at The Margins: The Significance of Class, Gender and Sexuality for the Politics of Online Youth Networks in The MENA Region.” Global Media and Communication, 17(1), pp. 121-142. Available at  

Crooke, A., Comte, R. & Moreno-Almeida, C. 2020. “Hip Hop as an Agent for Health and Wellbeing in Schools: A Narrative Synthesis of Existing Research.” VOICES, 20 (1). Available at

Moreno-Almeida, C. & Banaji, S. 2019. “Digital Use and Mistrust in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring: Beyond Narratives of Liberation and Disillusionment.” Media, Culture & Society, 41(8), pp.1125-1141. Available at:

Crooke, A & Moreno-Almeida, C. 2017. “‘It’s good to know something real and all that’: Exploring the Benefits of a School-Based Hip Hop Program.” Australian Journal of Music Education, 51(1), 13-28. Available at:;dn=967435258266803;res=IELHSS

Banaji, S & Moreno-Almeida, C. 2017. “From Passion to Activism? The Politics, Communications and Creativity of Participatory Networks in The MENA Region”. LSE Middle East Centre Report, pp. 1-20

Moreno-Almeida, C. 2017. “Reporting on Selective Voices of Resistance: Secularism, Class and Islamist Rap.” International Journal of Cultural Studies, 21 (4), pp. 343-358. Available at:

Moreno-Almeida, C. 2015. “The Politics of Taqlidi Rap: Reimagining Moroccanness in the Era of Global Flows.” Journal of North African Studies 21 (1), pp. 116-131. Available at:

Moreno-Almeida, C. 2014. “La Evolución de las Distintas Voces del Rap en Marruecos: Más Allá de la Cooptación y la Disidencia.” AWRAQ 10, pp. 123-139. Available at:

Moreno-Almeida, C. 2013. “Unraveling Distinct Voices in Moroccan Rap: Evading Control, Weaving Solidarities and Building New Spaces for Self-expression.” Journal of African Cultural Studies, Special Issue: Contemporary Moroccan Cultural Production: Between Dissent and Co-optation 25 (3), pp. 319-332. Available at:

Calvo, E. et al., 2009. “Aplicación de las Nuevas Tecnologías a la Enseñanza del Árabe En La Universidad: el Proyecto Árabe En Línea (Ael) del GIDC Luga De La UB.” Arabele, Madrid: Casa Árabe, pp. 89-102


Book Chapters and Contributions

Moreno-Almeida, C. 2023. “Moroccan Hip Hop Queens: A (Her)Story of Moroccan Rap.” In Loubna Skalli Hanna & Nahed Eltantawy (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Gender, Media and Communication in the Middle East and North Africa, Palgrave McMillan, pp. 447-464

Moreno-Almeida, C. “Dis-meme-bering Al-Andalus: The Memetic Afterlives of the Andalusi song “Chams al Achya.” In Charles Hirschkind & Matthew Machin-Autenrieth (eds), The Musical Afterlives of al-Andalus: Identities and Encounters beyond History, Open Book Publishers (forthcoming 2024).

Moreno-Almeida, C. “Moroccan Hip Hop Queens: A Herstory of Hip Hop Culture in Morocco” In Loubna Skalli Hanna & Nahed Eltantawy (eds), Palgrave Handbook on Communication and Gender in MENA, Palgrave McMillan (forthcoming 2022)

Moreno-Almeida, C. 2020. “Forgotten Encounters: Sounds of Coexistence in Moroccan Rap Music.” In Sami Everett & Rebekah Vince (ed), Jewish Muslim Interactions: Performing Cultures between North Africa and France. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, pp. 161-180

Moreno-Almeida, C. 2016. “‘Race’ and ‘Blackness’ in Moroccan Rap: Voicing Local Experiences of Marginality.” In Alex Lubin and Marwan Kraidy (eds.), American Studies Encounters the Middle East. Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, pp. 81-105

Moreno-Almeida, C. 2016. “Imagining the Enemy: The Role of Patriotic Rap Songs in Curbing Critical Voices in Morocco.” In Najib Mokhtari (ed), Decentering Patterns of Otherness: Towards an Asymmetrical Transcendence of Identity in Postcolonial MENA. Rabat: Babel; UIR Press, pp. 187-201

Moreno-Almeida, C. 2014. “From the West Coast to Tangier: Translocal Hip Hop in the New Morocco.” In Alex Lubin (ed), Shifting Borders: America and the Middle East/North Africa: proceedings of the fourth international conference sponsored by CASAR at AUB, Beirut: American University of Beirut Press, pp. 81-91

Moreno-Almeida, C. 2014. “‘Arab Spring’ and Hip Hop ‘Cool.’” In Said Graiouid and Taieb Belghazi (eds), Migration, Human Rights and the Politics of Identity in a Globalized World, Rabat: Faculté des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines de Rabat, pp. 223-237


Online publications

Meme-forcing the Moroccan Re-Reconquista. Jadaliyya. Available at: (2023)

The Revival of Moorish Empire and the Moroccan Far Right. Jadaliyya. Available at: (2021)

Revisiting the Cultural Field in Morocco and Tunisia after the ‘Arab Spring’. Middle East Centre Blog. Blog entry. Available at: (2017)

Making Space for Aesthetics in the Arabic Rap Scene. Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Sound and Music. Blog entry. Available at: (2017)

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