Visualizing Political Struggle in the Middle East

Thursday, January 24, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Encina Ground Floor Conference Room
  • Lina Khatib


Marking the publication of Lina Khatib's latest book Image Politics in the Middle East: The Role of the Visual in Political Struggle, this seminar focuses on the evolution of political expression in the Middle East over the past decade, highlighting the visual dimension of power struggles between citizens and leaders in Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, Libya, and Syria.

About the speaker:

Lina Khatib is a co-founder and Program Manager of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. She joined Stanford University in 2010 from the University of London where she was an Associate Professor. Her research is firmly interdisciplinary and focuses on the intersections of politics, media, and social factors in relation to the politics of the Middle East. She is also a consultant on Middle East politics and media and has published widely on topics such as new media and Islamism, US public diplomacy towards the Middle East, and political media and conflict in the Arab world, as well as on the political dynamics in Lebanon and Iran. She has an active interest in the link between track two dialogue and democratization policy. She is also a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London, and, from 2010-2012, a Research Fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School.

Lina is a founding co-editor of the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, a multidisciplinary journal concerned with politics, culture and communication in the region, and in 2009 co-edited (with Klaus Dodds) a special issue of the journal on geopolitics, public diplomacy and soft power in the Middle East. She also edited the Journal of Media Practice from 2007-2010. She is one of the core authors of the forthcoming Arab Human Development Report (2012) published by the UNDP.

She has written two books, Filming the Modern Middle East: Politics in the Cinemas of Hollywood and the Arab World (IB Tauris 2006), which is a study of the link between international relations and film, focusing on 25 years of cinematic representation of politics in the region (1980-2005), from the Arab-Israeli conflict to the Gulf War to Islamic fundamentalism, and Lebanese Cinema: Imagining the Civil War and Beyond (IB Tauris 2008). The book takes a socio-political approach to the study of Lebanese cinema over the last thirty years, focusing on the issues of Lebanese national identity, history, sectarian conflict, and memory of the Civil War.

Lina has recently finished writing a book titled Image Politics in the Middle East: The Role of the Visual in Political Struggle for IB Tauris. The book examines the power struggles among states, other political actors, and citizens in the region that are expressed through visuals, and focuses on case studies from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Libya, and Iran, with a focus on the role of the image as a political tool in the Arab Spring. She has also recently led a multidisciplinary research project on US public diplomacy in the digital age, in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the University of Wolverhampton, the outcome of which will appear in the Middle East Journal in 2012.

Before joining the academic field, Lina worked in broadcast journalism in Lebanon. She is a frequent commentator on the Middle East in the media with appearances on Al-Jazeera (Arabic and English), CNN, BBC, Sky News and other media outlets across the globe.