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Jaafar Aksikas, ‘Beyond Al Jazeera and the “Arab Spring”: Media, Politics and the Struggle over Modernity in the Arab World Today’
April 28, 2020 at 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Recent accounts of Arab media, both in the Arab world and in the West, tend to focus on Al Jazeera or on social media during and after the “Arab Spring” of 2011. Jaafar Aksikas considers how other newly popular forms of media, such as reality TV, use the ideals of modernity – such as citizenship, democracy, freedom and equality – to present corporate culture as a champion for globalization and modernization and as an ally for younger audiences especially. Holding on to the specificity of contemporary Arab societies and cultures, Aksikas explains how commercial media increasingly articulate both to the energies and strengths of emerging Arab modernities and to the production of global neoliberal Arab subjects.
Aksikas is a Moroccan-born American academic, whose work focuses on media, culture, law and politics in the Middle East and North Africa. He is currently associate professor of humanities and cultural studies at Columbia College Chicago. He also frequently serves as consultant and expert witness on Middle Eastern and North African societies, cultures and politics.
Discussion and catered reception to follow. This event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the African Studies Center, Department of Asian Studies, Cultural Studies Program, Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, Department of Geography, Curriculum in Global Studies and Department of Religious Studies. For more information, please email Michael Palm.