Music Videos and Arab Public Life: Contention and Circulation



Marwan Kraidy, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Date and Time

February 9, 2011 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


Levinthal Hall

Music videos are ubiquitous in contemporary Arab public life. As captivating audio-visual blurbs, music videos attract attention; they are interesting not only because of their provocative aesthetics, but because they spotlight controversial issues and elicit impassioned reactions from public figures and ordinary people alike. Discussing religious videos that elaborate an Islamic vision of globalization, pop videos that subvert dominant social norms, play with Christian imagery, and create a fantasy world, in addition to focusing the discussion on videos about the US occupation of Iraq, Kraidy considers music videos as instruments of visibility in a saturated media economy suffering from attention scarcity.

Marwan M. Kraidy is Associate Professor of Global Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. His publications include Reality Television and Arab Politics: Contention in Public Life (Cambridge, 2009), which won the 2010 Best Book Award in Global Communication and Social Change, from the International Communication Association, Arab Television Industries (BFI/Palgrave, 2009, with J. Khalil), Hybridity, or, The Cultural Logic of Globalization (Temple, 2005), and the edited volumes Global Media Studies: Ethnographic Perspectives (Routledge, 2003), and The Politics of Reality Television: Global Perspectives (Routledge, 2010).

Sponsored by:

  • Program on Good Governance and Political Reform in the Arab World, CDDRL
  • Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies
  • Humanities Center
  • African and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures Program
  • Bowen H. McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society