CARGC 2018 Symposium

Mediating Islamic State
05 Apr 2018 - 3:30pm to 06 Apr 2018 - 5:30pm
University of Pennsylvania
Open to the Public

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About the Symposium

How does the group that calls itself “Islamic State” communicate? How has Islamic State been understood and contested? The Third Biennial CARGC Symposium seeks to explore and understand the players, patterns and practices that have mediated Islamic State: the communicative ways in which the group has been studied, reported on, visualized, narrated, mocked, spoofed, and resisted. We use “mediation” rather than “media” to shift public discourse on Islamic State beyond the focus on technology that has characterized research on media and socio-political change generally, and Islamic State communication in particular. Rather, we seek to understand the historical, ideological, technological, and cultural complexity of Islamic State, meshing translocal struggles with global geopolitics. Mediation connotes a broad approach to media which includes words, images, bodies, platforms, and the expressive capacities and meaning making practices that communicators generate when they deploy these media. Grounded in CARGC’s mission to advance a global media studies that fuses multidisciplinary regional knowledge with theory and methodology in the humanities and social sciences, the symposium spurs a critical conversation that promises a new understanding of the transnational nexus of communication, identity and violence.


Thursday, April 5, 2018 | Annenberg School for Communication, Room 500

3:30 – 4:00 PM
Welcome Reception

4:00 – 4:05 PM
Michael X. Delli Carpini, Dean, Annenberg School for Communication

4:05 – 4:10 PM
Marwan M. Kraidy, Director, CARGC

4:10 – 5:30 PM
Panel I: Journalism, Satire, Drama

Ahmed Albasheer, Writer/Host/Director: Al-Basheer Show

Shereen El Meligi, Senior Manager – Content: O3 Productions, MBC Group

Rafia Zakaria, Author/Columnist: DAWN

Friday, April 6, 2018 | Annenberg School for Communication, Room 109

8:30 – 9:00 AM
Breakfast & Registration

9:00 – 9:15 AM
Introduction & Welcome
Marwan M. Kraidy, Director, CARGC

9:15 – 10:45 AM
Panel II: Rhetoric, Network, Sovereignty

Roxanne L. Euben, Wellesley College
Spectacles of Sovereignty in Digital Time: ISIS Executions, Visual Rhetoric and Sovereign Power

Brian Hughes, American University
Lone Wolf in the Hypertext: The Internet and Pseudo-Ideological Violence

Michael Krona, Malmö University, Sweden
Collaborative Media Practices and Interconnected Digital Strategies of Islamic State (IS) and Pro-IS Supporter Networks on Telegram

Philippe-Joseph Salazar, University of Cape Town
A Caliphate Standing in Time: The Literacy of Terror

Chair: Anne Norton, University of Pennsylvania

10:45 – 11:00 AM

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Panel III: Spectacle, Aesthetics, Temporality

Yara Damaj, American University of Beirut
The Islamic State: Politics by Other Means

Nathaniel Greenberg, George Mason University
Khalifah Ad Absurdum: On the Communicative Aesthetics of the Islamic State Group

Lina Khatib, Chatham House
"Traces" of the Islamic State

Bashir Saade, University of Stirling
ISIS and Game of Thrones: The Global between Tradition, Identity and the Politics of Spectacle

Chair: Samira Rajabi, CARGC, Annenberg School for Communication

12:30 – 1:30 PM

1:30 – 2:45 PM
Panel IV: Image, Sound, Affect

Kareem El Damanhoury, Georgia State University
The Social Media Battle for Mosul: Visual Framing Analysis of Daesh’s Imagery in Ninawa Province

Rayya El Zein, CARGC, Annenberg School for Communication
Hearing Familiar Friends and Foes: Sonic Racialization and the Mediation of IS

Christoph Günther, University of Mainz
Iconic Socioclasm: Idol-Breaking and the Dawn of a New Social Order

Chair: Jamal Elias, University of Pennsylvania

2:45 – 3:00 PM

3:00 – 4:15 PM
Panel V: Body, Gender, Power

Heather Jaber, CARGC, Annenberg School for Communication
Mediation, Moderation, and Melodrama: The Portrayal of ISIS in Al Gharabeeb Al Soud

Weeda Mehran, Georgia State University
“You Will be More Beautiful, Have More Jewelries, and a Wardrobe Full of Fine Dresses”: The Promise of Heavenly Rewards for Female Militancy

Mohammed Salih, CARGC, Annenberg School for Communication
The Islamic State and Biopolitics: Power, Triviality and the Camp

Chair: Yasemin Y. Celikkol, CARGC, Annenberg School for Communication

4:15 – 4:45 PM
Discussion & Concluding Remarks

4:45 – 5:30 PM

Download full program here.

This event is co-sponsored by the Middle East Center and Perry World House.


RSVP for April 5.

RSVP for April 6.

This event may be photographed and/or video recorded for archival, educational, and related promotional purposes. We also video stream many of these video recordings through the Annenberg web site. By attending or participating in this event, you are giving your consent to be photographed and/or video recorded and you are waiving any and all claims regarding the use of your image by the Annenberg School for Communication. The Annenberg School for Communication, at its discretion, may provide a copy of the photos/footage upon written request.