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The Department of Communication and Media offers many kinds of events, most free and open to the public. We organize and sponsor numerous lectures, workshops and conferences over the course of the academic year. Our programming covers a wide range of topics and features presenters from diverse disciplines and is designed to foster an understanding of the mass media and emerging media.


FALL 2016 COMMUNICATION & MEDIA SPEAKER SERIES The Naked Blogger of Cairo: Towards an Inclusive Global Media Studies

Marwan M. Kraidy, Professor, Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania
Thursday, September 15, 2016
4:00-5:30 PM
2435 North Quad Map
Uprisings spread like wildfire across the Arab world from 2010 to 2012, fueled by a desire for popular sovereignty. In Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and elsewhere, protesters flooded the streets and the media, voicing dissent through slogans, graffiti, puppetry, videos, and satire that called for the overthrow of dictators and the regimes that sustained them.

Investigating what drives people to risk everything to express themselves in rebellious art, The Naked Blogger of Cairo uncovers the creative insurgency at the heart of the Arab uprisings. While commentators have stressed the role of social media, Marwan M. Kraidy shows that the essential medium of political expression was not cell phone texts or Twitter but something more fundamental: the human body. Brutal governments that coerced citizens through torture and rape found themselves confronted with the bodies of protesters, burning with defiance and boldly violating taboos. Activists challenged authority in brazen acts of self-immolation, nude activism, and hunger strikes. The bodies of dictators became a focus of ridicule. A Web series presented Syria’s Bashar al-Assad as a pathetic finger puppet, while cartoons and videos spread a meme of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak as a regurgitating cow.

The rise of digital culture complicates our understanding of the human body in revolutionary times. As Kraidy argues, technology publicizes defiance, but the body remains the vital nexus of physical struggle and digital communication, destabilizing distinctions between “the real world” and virtual reality, spurring revolutionary debates about the role of art, and anchoring Islamic State’s attempted hijacking of creative insurgency.

Marwan M. Kraidy is the Anthony Shadid Chair in Global Media, Politics and Culture, and Founding Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC) at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, where he is also affiliated with the Middle East Center. An expert in global communication and a specialist in Arab media and politics, he also researches the relationship between culture and geopolitics, global media industries, theories of identity and modernity, and the political symbolism of the human body in the public sphere. Currently he is also an Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

Kraidy’s work is distinctive for its deep reliance on primary materials, theoretical grounding in a multilingual literature, and a comparative approach across historical periods, geographical sites, cultural forms, and media platforms. Ongoing research focuses on war machines in the digital age (particularly Islamic State), speed, spectacle and security in global communication, and the rise and fall of Turkey in Arab public culture. He teaches courses on globalization, culture and revolution, the body in digital culture, contentious publics, and the geopolitics of popular culture.

Kraidy has published 10 books, penned 120 essays and chapters, won 50 awards for teaching and scholarship, delivered keynote addresses and named lectures worldwide, and advised universities, civil society organizations, foundations, and governments. Notable books include Hybridity, or the Cultural Logic of Globalization (Temple University Press, 2005), and Reality Television and Arab Politics: Contention in Public Life (Cambridge University Press 2010), supported by a Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a grant from the United States Institute of Peace, and winner of three major prizes: the Diamond Anniversary Best Book Award and the Roderick P. Hart Outstanding Book Award in Political Communication, National Communication Association; and Best Book Award in Global Communication and Social Change, International Communication Association.

Co-Sponsored by the Global Media Studies Initiative
Building: North Quad
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Activism, Arab, Blog, Citizen, Communication, Culture, Digital Culture, International, Politics, Rebellion, Uprising
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Communication and Media

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