Global communication studies, media institutions and public discourse, Arab media, politics and culture.
Marwan M. Kraidy is a Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
A scholar of global communication and an expert on Arab media and politics, Prof. Kraidy was previously a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars and the founding director of the Arab Media and Public Life (AMPLE) project at American University,
both in Washington D.C. In 2006, Prof. Kraidy was Scholar-in-residence in the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication at
Annenberg.Professor Kraidy’s scholarly interests center on the role of media institutions in shaping social experiences of
modernity in the non-West. He has written extensively on how local and national societies cope with cultural globalization.
His first book, Hybridity or the Cultural Logic of Globalization, (Temple University
Press, 2005) focused on the trope of hybridity in the social and human sciences. Grounded in case studies of young Lebanese viewers,
Mexican children’s television, and the U.S. prestige press, the book challenges dominant understandings of cultural globalization
and elaborates “critical transculturalism” as a framework for worldwide flows of media and culture. His second book,
Reality Television and Arab Politics: Contention in Public Life (Cambridge
University Press, 2010), explores the elaboration of locally resonant forms of modernity through the contentious politics of reality
television. Based on five years of fieldwork and a wealth of primary sources from half a dozen countries, Professor Kraidy
argues that the pan-Arab reality television polemics are best understood as a laboratory in which various versions of what it
means to be modern are elaborated, contested, and appropriated. His third book, Arab Television
Industries (British Film Institute/Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, with Joe Khalil) draws on a variety of primary and secondary
sources to explore the structural transformation of Arab television, from distinct national systems to a regionally integrated satellite
industry, and to examine related cultural and political changes. He is currently working on three book projects: the first,
Global Media Studies (under contract with Polity, with Toby Miller) seeks to elaborate truly worldwide bases for global media
studies; the second project, The Contentious Politics of Arab Music Videos, focuses on the pan-Arab music video industry.
Through an examination of the production, aesthetics and politics of sub-genres (commercial, patriotic, Islamic), the book seeks
to understand the music video form as a crossroads of commerce, nationalism and Islamism. The third book is Real Worlds:
The Global Politics of Reality Television (Routledge, 2011, co-edited with Katherine Sender).Prof. Kraidy’s
scholarly articles have appeared in the Journal of Communication,
Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication Theory, Media, Culture and Society,
Television and New Media, First Monday, Journal of International Communication, Transnational Broadcasting Studies,
International Journal of Communication, Global Media Journal, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle East
Journal of Culture and Communication, Arab Media and Society. He has served
on the editorial boards of Journal of Communication, Communication Theory, Critical Studies in Media Communication, International
Journal of Communication, Journal of International and Intercultural Relations, Popular Communication: International Journal of
Media and Culture, Middle East Journal of Communication and Culture and Arab Media and Society, among others.Professor
Kraidy has authored two major commissioned reports: Arab Media and U.S. Policy: A Public Diplomacy Reset, The Stanley Foundation,
http://stanleyfdn.org/publications/pab/PAB08Kraidy.pdf, and Public Media in the Arab World: Exploring the Gap Between Reality
and Ideals. Washington, DC: Center for Social Media, http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/files/pdf/arab_public_media.pdf
[funded by the Ford Foundation through the Center for Social Media]. Other non-scholarly publications have appeared in
the Arab Reform Bulletin (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, U.S.A.), The Daily Star (Egypt and Lebanon), the
DesMoines Register (U.S.A.), TelevIZIon (Germany), Common Ground News Service (U.S.A.).Prof. Kraidy is a regular expert
guest on U.S. public media programs like The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, On the Media,
All Things Considered, NPR News, The World, and Day to Day, and The Diane Rehm Show,
in addition to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); he has given interviews
to the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, Forward Magazine, El Mercurio (Chile),
and La Croix (France), among others.
Reality Television and Arab Politics: Contention in Public Life
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date: 2009 (October)
ISBN: paper 13 9780521749046; cloth 13 9780521769198
Description: What does it mean to be modern outside the West? Based on a wealth of primary data collected over five years, Reality Television and Arab Politics analyzes how reality television stirred an explosive mix of religion, politics, and sexuality, fueling heated polemics over cultural authenticity, gender relations, and political participation in the Arab world. The controversies, Kraidy argues, are best understood as a social laboratory in which actors experiment with various forms of modernity, continuing a long-standing Arab preoccupation with specifying terms of engagement with Western modernity. Women and youth take center stage in this process. Against the backdrop of dramatic upheaval in the Middle East, this book challenges the notion of a monolithic “Arab Street” and offers an original perspective on Arab media, shifting attention away from a narrow focus on al-Jazeera, toward a vibrant media sphere that compels broad popular engagement and contentious political performance.
Arab Television Industries
(with Joe F. Khalil)
Publisher: British Film Institute/Palgrave Macmillan
Date: 2009 (November)
ISBN: paper 978-1-84457-302-8; cloth 978-1-84457-303-5
Description: Arab television has undergone a transformation from terrestrial, government-owned, national; to satellite, privately owned, transnational—The latter is the Arab television that matters today, economically, socially and politically. The resulting pan-Arab industry is vibrant, diverse, and fluid—far from the prevailing opinion in the West, obsessed with al-Jazeera. Based on a wealth of primary Arabic language sources, interviews with Arab television executives, and the authors’ personal and professional experience with the industry, this book tells the story of that transformation, depicting compelling portraits of major players and institutions, and captures dominant trends in the industry. Readers learn how the transformation of Arab television came to be, the different kinds of channels, how programs are made and promoted, and how they are regulated. Throughout, the analysis focuses on the interaction of the television industry with Arab regimes, business, societies and cultures.
Hybridity, or the Cultural Logic of Globalization.
Publisher: Temple University Press
ISBN: paper 1-59213-144-1; cloth 1-59213-143-3.
Description: The intermingling of people and media from different cultures is a communication-based phenomenon known as hybridity. Drawing on original research from Lebanon to Mexico and analyzing the use of the term in cultural and postcolonial studies (as well as the popular and business media), Marwan Kraidy offers readers a history of the idea and a set of prescriptions for its future use. Kraidy analyzes the use of the concept of cultural mixture from the first century A.D. to its present application in the academy and the commercial press. The book's case studies build an argument for understanding the importance of the dynamics of communication, uneven power relationships, and political economy as well as culture, in situations of hybridity. Kraidy suggests a new framework he developed to study cultural mixture—called critical transculturalism—which uses hybridity as its core concept, but in addition, provides a practical method for examining how media and communication work in international contexts.
Global Media Studies: Ethnographic Perspectives.
(Co-edited with Patrick D. Murphy)
ISBN: paper 0-415-31441-0; cloth 0-415-31440-2
Description: Global Media Studies explores the theoretical and methodological threats that are defining global media studies as a discipline. Emphasizing the connection of globalisation to local culture, this collection considers the diversity of modes of reception, reception contexts, uses of media content, and the performative and creative relationships that audiences develop with and through the media. Through ethnographic case studies from Brazil, Denmark, the UK, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey and the United States, the contributors address such questions as: what links media consumption to a lived global culture; what role cultural tradition plays globally in confronting transnational power; how global elements of mediated messages acquire class; and regional and local characteristics.
2009 My (Global) Media Studies, Television and New Media, 10(1), pp. 88-90,
2008 Shifting Geertz: Toward a Theory of
Translocalism in Global Communication Studies, (First co-author with Patrick D.
Murphy), Communication Theory, 18, 335-355,
2008 Arab States: Emerging Consensus to Muzzle
Media? Arab Reform Bulletin, 6 (2) [March]. Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, Washington, DC, available http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=19968&prog=zgp&proj=zdrl,zme#kraidy.
2008 Arab Media and U.S. Policy: A Public
Diplomacy Reset, Policy Brief. Muscatine, IA: The Stanley Foundation,
January [5000 words]
2007 Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and the Changing Arab
Information Order, International Journal of Communication, 1(1),
2006 Governance and
Hypermedia in Saudi Arabia, First Monday, 11(9), (September), http://firstmonday.org/issues/special11_9/
Television and Politics in the Arab World (Preliminary Observations), Transnational
Broadcasting Studies 2 (1), 7-28, http://tbsjournal.com/Archives/Fall05/Kraidy.html
2006 Syria: Media Reform
and its Limitations, Arab Reform Bulletin, 4 (3) [May]. Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DC, http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/kraidy_may06.pdf
“Too Much Television,” The National (United Arab Emirates), February 29,
“Quran Contest Takes On Reality Shows,” The National (United Arab Emirates),
September 4, http://www.thenational.ae/article/20080904/FOREIGN/891508511
“Reality TV—Psychiatrist,” The Current,
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, to discuss the relationship between reality
television and democratization, December 5, http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2008/200812/20081205.html
2006 “Another Language for Al-Jazeera,” The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Public Broadcasting
Service, November 17, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/july-dec06/aljazeera_11-17.html
2006 “All That Jaz,” On the Media, with Bob Garfield,
National Public Radio, to discuss Al-Jazeera English [replay of a segment of
October 14, 2005 interview], November 17, http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2006/11/17/07
2006 “Al-Jazeera English,” The Diane Rehm Show, National Public Radio (WAMU),
November 16, http://www.wamu.org/programs/dr/06/11/16.php
2006 “Sami Yusef,” (Islamic Music Videos), The
World, Public Radio International,
Arabic and French
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