This book seeks to both showcase and further develop innovative research and debates on contemporary Arab cultural production. Popular culture in the form of cinema, popular music, literature, visual media and cyber-cultures, both local and imported, enjoy a central role in Arab cultural life, and the contributors to this innovative collection showcase the tremendous cultural output emerging from the Arab world. They present sensitive, conceptual readings whilst remaining mindful of the place of this work within a wider framework that seeks to prevent isolationist readings of cultural phenomena. Making sense of the place of culture in the Arab world, and agreeing upon a broadly recognisable and commonly accepted set of terms within which to discuss this output, is a new and urgent challenge. Arab Cultural Studies aspires to understand, communicate and theorise these forms. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal for Cultural Research.
Anastasia Valassopoulos is a Lecturer in World Literature at the University of Manchester, UK. Her research interests include postcolonial literature, culture of the Middle East and North Africa and the wider cultural production and reception of Arab women's film and music. She is the author of Contemporary Arab Women Writers (2007), and has also published work on Arab film and music, Middle Eastern feminism and Arab-American Writing.
Foreword Dina Matar 1. Introduction: Arab Cultural Studies Anastasia Valassopoulos 2. Arab Cultural Studies - Thinking Aloud: Theorizing and Planning for the Future of a Discipline Anastasia Valassopoulos, Tarik Sabry, Caroline Rooney, Mark Westmoreland, Adel Iskandar and Rasha Salti 3. Impossible Witness: Israeli Visuality, Palestinian Testimony and the Gaza War Rebecca L. Stein 4. A History of New Media in the Arab Middle East Walter Armbrust 5. Impossible Intimacies: Towards a Visual Politics of "Touch" at the Israeli-Palestinian Border Anna Ball 6. Consuming Palestine: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in Metropolitan Popular Culture Anna Bernard 7. Broken Heart of the City: Youssef Chahine's Bab al-Hadid (Cairo Station) Joel Gordon 8. Satellite Arcades: Three-Dimensional Puppets and the Coin-Operated Interface Iman Hamam 9. Popular Culture and Nationalism in Egypt: 'Arab Lotfi and Egyptian Popular Music Dalia Said Mostafa 10. Life Is Like a Bowl of Fish: The Aquarium, the French New Wave and the Urban Reflection of the Cairene Self Karim Tartoussieh 11. The Moderation of Creative Dissidence in Syria: Reem Ali's Documentary Zabad Stefanie Van de Peer
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