Call for Conference Papers: Rethinking Media Through the Middle East
Organized by the Media Studies Program at the American University of Beirut and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences
American University of Beirut
January 12 & 13, 2017
Within the field of media studies, Middle Eastern media is often treated as a domain of interest only to area specialists. As Edward Said argued
in Orientalism, the region popularly known as the Middle East is not peripheral but integral to European history, culture, and civilization. This subversive insight, however, has largely been treated as secondary to foundational claims in media theory. If knowledge about Middle Eastern media usually serves only to supplement dominant frameworks and paradigms, we are interested in thinking about the ways it can instead extend, qualify, or even explode them.
‘Rethinking Media Through the Middle East’ aims to create an interdisciplinary conversation to challenge this deficit. Taking a broad view of the Middle East that incorporates the Arabic-speaking world, Turkey, Iran, and various ethnic minority groups, this conference asks how the Middle East might serve to disrupt, interrupt, subvert, challenge, or transform our understanding of what media are and do. We are especially interested in papers that shift our focus to south-south comparisons and relationships or that challenge how we theorize US and European media. This conference aims to explore the study of media as an independent field, but one that interconnects, influences, and is influenced by other intellectual formations and traditions.
The following is a partial list of topics that papers might explore in relation to the conference theme:
Media and Political theory
-charisma and authority
-critical perspectives on humanitarianism -biopolitics, sovereignty, and governmentality -queer theory and the state
Colonialism, imperialism, and historicizing global media
-transnational circulation before neoliberalism
-MidEast wars and news media
-postcolonial theory, decolonial theory, and critical race theory -diasporic, migrant, and refugee communities
Area studies, and media and communication studies
-area studies and the history of the social sciences -contemporary debates in social and cultural theory
-activist research -feminist methodologies -archival access -language and fieldwork
Questions of materiality
-political economy, liberalization, and the state
-global infrastructures and the Middle East
-media archaeology beyond the study of design and invention -economies of repair and breakdown
-affect, the senses, and technology
-legacies of post-structuralism
-war, cultural memory, and the archive -digital media and sexual cultures -media studies futures
We invite abstract submissions (300 words) on the variety of topics listed above, or other topics that engage with the conference theme. Submissions should include author name(s), affiliation, e-mail address, paper title, and a brief bio, and be emailed to email@example.com no later than July 15.
Decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to individual authors by August 15.
Modest travel subsidies may be available. Applicants should identify in their email if they would like to be considered.
For further information, please contact the organizers, the Media Studies Program at the American University of Beirut at firstname.lastname@example.org