Project for Advanced Research in Global Communication Releases PARGC Paper 2 by Donatella Della Ratta


The Annenberg School for Communication’s Project for Advanced Research in Global Communication Press (PARGC Press) announces the publishing of PARGC Paper 2, “Making Real-Time Drama: The Political Economy of Cultural Production in Syria’s Uprising,” by former PARGC Fellow Donatella Della Ratta.

“Making Real Time Drama” grew out of a February 2014 PARGC Postdoctoral Colloquium  presented by Della Ratta during her residence at Annenberg. It builds on Della Ratta’s dissertation about the pan-Arab and national political and economic forces shaping television production in Syria, and feeds on the unparalleled access that she acquired among Syrian drama makers through extensive field research in Damascus and elsewhere.

“Though tempting, it would be unfortunate to read this publication as a snapshot of cultural production in the Syrian conflict. That it is,” notes Marwan M. Kraidy, Ph.D., the Anthony Shadid Professor of Communication and Director of PARGC. “But Della Ratta’s in situ examination of the ‘production’ and ‘reception’ controversies surrounding Al-Wilada min al-Khasira analyzes the fraught imbrications of transnational financing with national ideological projects, and the multiple pressures experienced by cultural producers in a highly polarized environment. What is more, PARGC Paper 2 provides insight about the nature of wartime cultural work and the contested norms of representing reality.” 

Della Ratta served as the first PARGC Postdoctoral Fellow from 2013-2014. She joined PARGC from the University of Chicago, where she held another postdoc at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. A few months earlier, she obtained her doctoral degree, after defending a dissertation on the politics of Syrian TV drama at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, New Islamic Public Sphere Program, University of Copenhagen. She currently is back at the University of Copenhagen as a post-doctoral fellow.

Download paper here.