CALL FOR PAPERS
Arab Media & Society, the biannual journal of the Kamal Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism in the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo is seeking submissions for our next issue on “Media and Culture”. Broadly, topics may relate to any area of culture including but not limited to art, music, literature, film, television, comics, and popular culture. Possible subtopics and themes may include:
- Censorship and creative resistance
- Social media and popular culture
- Depiction, perception, and cross cultural influence
- Children and youth media and Arab culture
- New trends in music and dance
- Arab cinema
- The economics of art
- The politics of art
- Art and nationalism
- Cultural manifestations of social inequality
- Art in exile and the creative diaspora
- Regional conflict and its impact on the arts
- Culture and violence
- Private/public sponsorship and agenda setting
- Cultural phenomena and the social impact of art
- Underground arts in the Arab world
- Cultural evolution and new media
Submissions for peer-review consideration should be received by October 25, 2016. All other submissions should be received by November 15, 2016.
We also welcome research and narrative writing; analysis and reviews of reports, policy, laws, and regulations; conference reports; and book and film reviews. Contributions can address any aspect of the intersection between media, politics, society and culture, and relate to the Arab world or its diaspora. While we encourage shorter pieces, submissions may be up to 10 000 words, including footnotes, and should conform to The Chicago Manual of Style.
Send articles and ideas to Sarah El-Shaarawi, Managing Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are going to be in London next month–Nov. 17, to be precise–you might want to drop in on a panel at the London Middle East Institute entitled “Revolutionary Egypt: Four Years On.”
It’s a book launch for the book Revolutionary Egypt: Connecting Domestic and International Struggles (Routledge, 2015), in which I have a chapter.
I won’t be there, but you’ll hardly miss me because many more brilliant people will be there, including:
The event will be held in the Khalili Lecture Theater in the Russell Square College Buildings of the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). It begins at 5:30 and ends at 7:00 PM.
Yesterday, after a lecture on ethnographic fieldwork, a student came up to me to discuss the anthropological concepts of ethnocentrism and relativism, which were first raised in an on-line lecture on the anthropological perspective, and then again yesterday in my discussion of methodology.
“What does an anthropologist do,” the student asked, “when you encounter a society that doesn’t recognize its own problems. For example, what if a society is oppressed, but doesn’t recognize that they are oppressed?”
I wondered if he was speaking of the United States, but it turned out he was thinking of–you guessed it–the Middle East.
If you ask people in the Middle East if they want democracy, they will say yes, he asserted. But if you ask them specific questions about each of the defining principles of democracy, they don’t actually want them.
“For example, if you ask them if they want gender equality, they’ll tell you no,” he said.
“What if instead of asking them whether they want gender equality, you were to ask them what they mean by democracy?” I asked.(And yes, I recognize the problem of his ready characterization of a monolithic “they” but…one thing at a time.)
“It seems to me that any definition of democracy must have gender equality as a fundamental component,” he replied
“Of course it seems that way to you,” I said. “You get to define democracy, and then you get to determine who fits your definition. That is exactly what the lecture refers to as ethnocentrism.”
“al-salaatu khayrun min al-nawm.” (prayer is better than sleep)
Except (perhaps) in the Nile Delta governorate of Beheira, where the muezzin of a mosque is accused of substituting “al-facebook” for al-nawm.
And why not? With 16 million accounts, Egypt is one of the top 20 countries for Facebook use–and number one in the Middle East.
The usual phrase, part of the dawn adhan only, is aimed at encouraging believers to get up and pray. Did the muezzin engage in a little wordplay, aimed at getting people off their early morning Facebook habit?
The Egyptian state religious authority suspended the muezzin in late August, not because the statement isn’t true, but because one is not allowed to introduce variations into the call to prayer.
If the story is true, it may be part of a broader pattern through which people find playful ways to negotiate tensions between conflicting social and cultural expectations where pre-existing religious and new social practices coexist.
The Media Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) has issued a call for proposals for the a workshop on conflict and media. The goal is to bring together in Vienna next Fall a group of anthropologists and fellow travelers who are interested in developing sophisticated ways of theorizing media and conflict.
Obviously, the so-called “Facebook revolutions” and “Twitter revolutions” of the Middle East and North Africa should be represented here.
But if you want to participate you’ll have to hurry; the deadline is Sept. 20th–less than a month away!
Call for Abstracts:
Theorising Media and Conflict workshop
Media Anthropology Network
European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, Austria
23-24 October 2015
In a recent survey of the interdisciplinary literature on media and conflict, Schoemaker and Stremlau (2014) found that most existing studies display Western-centric biases, normative assumptions and unsubstantiated claims about the impact of media in conflict situations. With their ethnographic methods and ground-up theorising, anthropologists are therefore well placed to make a strong contribution to the advancement of this area of scholarship. Although a growing number of anthropologists have studied media in conflict and post-conflict contexts – working on diverse topics such as media representations, cyberwar, internet activism, social protest, video-making, or radio dramas – so far they have done so in relative isolation from one another. The result is a fragmentation of the field and a dissipation of efforts.