"Contention and Circulation in the Digital Middle East: Music Video as Catalyst, Television and New Media." Television & New Media, 2012.

Marwan M. Kraidy

This article explores music video as a catalyst of public discourse in the digital age through an analysis of heated online controversies fueled by Wa‘d ‘Arqoub (WA), a video featuring a romantic relationship against the backdrop of the plight of Iraq under U.S. occupation. It puts forth the argument that music videos stimulate public discourse because of their capacity to (1) promote ideas and make them visible, (2) conjure up several meanings and interpretations, and (3) circulate through “hypermedia space,” a communicative space created by networked broadcast, mobile, and online platforms. The analysis of the circulation of contentious public discourse around WA leads to the conclusion that music videos are best understood as instruments of visibility in a symbolic economy that suffers from attention scarcity.

Published in Volume 14, Issue 4, pages 271-285