As part of the Annenberg Scholars Program for Culture & Communication, Marwan M. Kraidy, Assistant Professor of International Communication and International Relations at American University, and Robin Wagner-Pacifici, Gil and Frank Mustin Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College, will be Scholars-in-Residence at the Annenberg School for the Spring 2007 semester.
Dr. Kraidy will teach a course titled "Culture and Modernity in the 'Arab Media Revolution.'" Dr. Kraidy is currently writing two books. Screen of Contention: Reality Television and Arab Politics is an in-depth, empirically based, theoretically grounded study of the reality television culture wars in the Arab world, including Bahrain, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Arab Television Industries, co-authored with Joe Khalil and under contract with British Film Institute, focuses on production, programming, distribution, advertising, and audiences in Arab satellite television. This spring, Dr. Kraidy will present a public lecture, titled "Contesting Reality: Arab Television and the Problem of Authenticity," on April 10, 2007.
Dr. Wagner-Pacifici will teach a semester-long course titled "Discourse and the Nation." Dr. Wagner-Pacifici is the author of The Art of Surrender: Decomposing Sovereignty at Conflict's End (Chicago, 2005), as well as Theorizing the Standoff: Contingency in Action (Cambridge, 2000), which won the 2001 Culture Section of the American Sociological Association's Best Book Award. Her work analyzes violent events, focusing on the language and images by way of which these events are accomplished, represented, and managed. The Art of Surrender analyzes the conventions and ceremonies of military surrenders as former antagonists quit the violence of war and resume pacified relations. The book performs its analysis by exploring surrender documents, history paintings, photo-journalism and other media that make peace happen. Theorizing the Standoff examines Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Republic of Texas, and other clashes between anti-system groups and authorities. Two earlier works, Discourse and Destruction: The City of Philadelphia vs. MOVE and The Moro Morality Play: Terrorism as Social Drama focused, respectively, on the 1985 MOVE disaster in Philadelphia and the kidnapping of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro by the Red Brigades in 1978. Dr. Wagner-Pacifici's current project involves analyzing the recent transformation in the conception of "national defense" in the United States. She received her B.A. from Brown University in 1976 with a concentration in Comparative Literature, and her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. This spring, Dr. Wagner-Pacifici will present a public lecture titled, "The Defense of the Nation: Reading the 9/11 Commission Report," on February 20, 2007.