Saturday, May 19, 2007

Middle Eastern Media Colloquium

Middle Eastern Media(Muslim Media Project, part I)
Friday, May 18, 2007
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, followed by reception
Location: McCormick Tribune Center Forum
Free and open to the public

This symposium charts and examines a variety of media emerging from the Muslim Middle East and North Africa. We will gather some of the most exciting scholars in the field today, scholars who work from a variety of disciplinary contexts, including anthropology, history, media studies and Middle East studies. Invited speakers will examine Middle Eastern media as they are produced and disseminated within national and regional circuits, and as they become implicated in global ones. We are interested in how many of these media stand in a corrective or adversarial relationship with the avowedly global media (CNN, Hollywood movies). Questions of form (internet, blogs, cartoons, text messaging, etc.) are of as much interest to us as content. Given the vexed relationship of the Muslim world to local and global media, there is a heightened consciousness about the politics of representation in the region. Invited speakers bring their experience in the region to bear on this timely and poorly understood field of inquiry.


9:00 am Coffee
9:15- 9:30 Welcoming remarks.Barbara O’Keefe, Dean, School of Communication
Brian Edwards, Northwestern (English and CLS; conference co-convener)
9:30 – 10:15 Ramez Maluf, Lebanese American University (media studies) and Beirut Institute for Media Arts, “Religion and the Rise of Arab Broadcasting: Islam and Islamic Programming in the Age of Satellite Television in the Arab World”
10:30 – 11:15 Kevin Dwyer, American University of Cairo (anthropology), “Egyptian Political Cartoons: Journalism, Art and Humor in the Public Sphere”
11:30 – 12:15 Roxanne Varzi, University of California, Irvine (anthropology), “Mothers, Martyrdom, Memorials and Media in the Iran-Iraq War”
Lunch break
2:00 – 2:45 Faisal Devji, New School University (history), “Dying on Principle"
3– 3:45 Elizabeth Thompson, University of Virginia (history), “Scarlett O'Hara in Damascus: Cinema and Arab Politics of Late Colonialism”
4 – 4:45 Brian Larkin, Barnard College (anthropology), “Ahmed Deedat and the Form of Islamic Evangelism in Nigeria”
5– 6 Roundtable on Muslim Media. Participants include: Hamid Naficy, Northwestern (radio, TV, film); Yesim Burul Seven, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey (media and communications); and symposium speakers
6– 7 Reception with live musicSymposium organized by Brian Edwards (English and Comp Lit Studies) and Dilip Gaonkar (Comm Studies), Northwestern

Bios of speakers

Faisal Devji is associate professor of history at New School University. He received his Ph.D. in intellectual history from Univ of Chicago, and was the head of graduate studies at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London. He is the author of Landscape of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity (2005). Devji is interested in the political thought of modern Islam as well as the transformation of liberal categories and democratic practice in South Asia. His broad concerns are with ethics and violence in a globalized world.

Kevin Dwyer is professor of anthropology at the American University of Cairo, where he has taught since 2001. From 1991-2001, he directed the Institut de Recherches Appliquées in Tunis, working on development projects. Earlier, he headed the Middle East Research Dept at Amnesty International in London. His books include Moroccan Dialogues: Anthropology in Question (1982), Arab Voices: The Human Rights Debate in the Middle East (1991), and Beyond Casablanca: M. A. Tazi, Moroccan Cinema, and Third World Filmmaking (2004).

Brian Larkin is associate professor of anthropology at Barnard College, Columbia University. He writes on the materiality of media technologies and the relationship between media, urbanization and globalization. He is co-editor of Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain (2002). His book Signal and Noise: Media Infrastructure and Urban Culture in Nigeria is forthcoming from Duke in January.

Ramez Maluf is professor of media studies at Lebanese American University in Beirut and director of the Beirut Institute for Media Arts, a forum for collaboration between the academic and professional media communities. A journalist for nearly 20 years, Maluf was editor-in-chief of the Daily Star, Lebanon’s English language daily, from 1984-86, and from 1987-92 of the Athens-based Middle East Times, a weekly covering the region.

Hamid Naficy is John Evans Professor of Communication at Northwestern. His books include The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Television in L.A. (1993) and An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking (2001). He has edited Iran Media Index; Home, Exile, Homeland; and Otherness and the Media. He has produced numerous educational films and experimental videos. His history of Iranian cinema is in press.

Yesim Burul Seven is an adjunct professor of Media and Communications at Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey. In 2006-07, she is a visiting scholar at Northwestern’s Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies. At Northwestern, she teaches courses on Turkish cinema and media.

Elizabeth Thompson is associate professor of History at the University of Virginia. She is the author of Colonial Citizens: Republican Rights, Paternal Privilege, and Gender in French Syria and Lebanon (2000). Her current research focuses on citizenship in the late colonial Middle East, including social movements, cinema, and state building. She is a 2005 Carnegie Scholar.

Roxanne Varzi is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Warring Souls: Youth, Media, and Martyrdom in Post-Revolution Iran (Duke UP, 2006). She is currently working on a documentary entitled Making and Marketing Martyrs on cultural production and the Iran-Iraq war.

Sponsored by Center for Global Culture and Communication, Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies, and the Globalizing American Studies Project For more information, contact Amber Day ( )

[Posted 5/19 for archival purposes]

Visual Rhetoric

Interesting site for those interested in visual rhetoric:

Thursday, May 3, 2007


(From Patrick)
The second meeting of the Rhetoric and Public Culture Reading Group will be Friday, May 4, from 10:00 to 11:45. We will be reading Seyla Benhabib, "Toward a Deliberative Model of Democratic Legitimacy" from the Democracy and Difference volume. We will also be reading chapter 5 of the Claims of Culture, "Deliberative Democracy and Multicultural Dilemmas." Photocopies of both readings will be available tomorrow in 1815 by the photocopier.

(From Brandon)
Also, if any are interested, the first meeting for the teaching certificate program is tomorrow, Friday 5/4, at noon. I am planning to participate and would love to have friends in the program.