Prof. Kraidy to deliver talk at Temple University on humor and revolutionary acivities
25 Feb 2013 - 12:00am
Marwan M. Kraidy, Ph.D.
Marwan M. Kraidy, Ph.D., Professor of Communication, will be the first speaker in Temple University’s School of Media and Communication’s Spring Speaker Series on Tuesday, February 19, at 2 p.m. in Annenberg Hall. Prof. Kraidy spent the 2011- 2012 academic year traveling throughout the Arab world researching digital activism, music video, graffiti, political humor and the human body as political medium, for a book on creative resistance in revolutionary times.
On Thursday, February 21, Prof. Kraidy will deliver the Cohen Lecture at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, PA. The following Monday, February 25, he will deliver a talk at Texas A&M. Details on the Texas A&M talk to come.
The title of his talk at Temple University is "Digital Dissent: Revolutionary Humor Between Old and New Media." Abstract Though in ancient Greece Socrates and Aristophanes glimpsed in political humor an uneasy cohabitation of the ludicrous with the solemn, Arabs may have been the first peoples-in the 10th Century-to use humor against their leaders. In the wake of a historically deep tradition of satire, the Arab uprising gave rise to a rich cornucopia of parody and satire. Though theories of humor help us understand the kinds of political humor that existed prior to the uprisings, Arab revolutionary drollery calls for an adaptation of theory to emergent combinations of old and new media. The video web series Top Goon-Diaries of a Little Dictator, which emerged from the Syrian uprising, is such a crossbreed, lampooning Bashar al- Assad and chronicling his regime's brutal repression of the rebellion. An examination of one episode of Top Goon, "Who Wants to Kill a Million?" reveals the series' nature as a hybrid of multiple media and art forms (puppetry, theater, video, and digital) that compel a different understanding of "digital." Multimedia hybridity, and the peculiar aesthetics of puppetry explain much of Top Goon's appeal and ability to cut through the thick chatter of the uprising, opening a vista on how articulations of emerging technologies and old media enable symbolic resistance in revolutionary times.