INAF-257-70 Media, Culture and Politics in the Middle East
Spring for 2017-2018
This course examines the various ways in which media, culture and politics intersect in the contemporary Arab Middle East. It is designed to assist students in understanding the role of the evolving Arab mediascape in shaping the socio-­?political information environment of a fast changing region. Students will be exposed to and engage in discussions about various media theories, issues, forms and practices. A broad range of topics will be covered including the history and development of the Arab press, the rise of satellite television, the political economy of Arab media, the mission of Arab journalism, the Al Jazeera phenomenon, and the advent of new and alternative media. Special attention will be paid to the role social media and satellite television has played in the momentous changes which shook the region during the Arab Spring. Equally of interest is the uneven role of media in the Arab world’s transformation process, particularly the disjunction between the liberating potential of transnational and new media which teem with censor-­?free content, on the one hand, and the authoritarian political culture of the region, on the other hand. We will also dwell on the relationship between media and state security and reflect the contribution of political communication to the emergence of an Arab public sphere, the consolidation of a transnational identity, and the reconfiguration of citizenship. We will consider the extent to which both news and entertainment media create new communicative spaces for social action and engender contestatory politics. Equally relevant are the ways in which locally-­?produced media in the Arab world respond and adapt to globalization.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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