Kraidy, Mourad Win ICA Top Paper Award

Marwan M. Kraidy, Ph.D., Professor of Communication; and doctoral student Sara Mourad received the top faculty paper award from the Feminist Scholarship division of the International Communication Association for their paper “Bold Red Line: Media, Patriarchy, and National Identity in Saudi Arabia.”   Abstract:   In July 2009, the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation aired an episode of the talk-show Bold Red Line titled “Sexual Pleasure,” in which a Saudi man bragged about his sexual exploits. A wave of protest broke out in Saudi Arabia clamoring for the punishment of the man who would heretofore be known as the “LBC sex braggart.” Saudi authorities brought suit against him and prosecuted two Saudi women who worked for LBC. Drawing on a rich corpus of primary, Arabic-language sources (119 articles from mostly Saudi newspapers), this paper uses the BRL polemic and Lauren Berlant’s work on the “intimate public sphere” to analyze the articulation of patriarchy and nationalism in Saudi public discourse. The controversy, we conclude, reflects how the redefinition of political-economic issues in moral terms depends on an intentional re-articulation of the private-public nexus.