KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION PROJECT (KPP-US)
This eight-year Knowledge Production Project (KPP) aims at collecting and organizing knowledge produced on the Middle East, primarily in the English-speaking world, since 1979 for analysis. The KPP involves the creation of eight databases that catalog all peer-reviewed articles on the region, all books, and a variety of other print, visual, and online sources of knowledge, including think-tank policy papers, films, and websites, to be made available to the general public. The project is primarily geared towards helping educators, researchers, and close observers of the region understand how knowledge of the Middle East is impacted by its method of creation.
The Peer-Reviewed Articles Database is a compilation of scholarly, peer-reviewed articles produced about the Arab and Muslim world from 1979 to the present. The database provides the unique ability to track the knowledge produced and consumed by academics. The over 150 peer-reviewed journals included in this study are chosen based on journals in JSTOR, open internet searches, and third party lists of journals focusing on the Middle East, as well as disciplinary journals.
Middle East in Cyberspace
The Middle East in Cyberspace database aims to provide a framework for systematically understanding the conversation about the region occurring over the Internet. The database will provide an open listing of the websites and blogs producing knowledge on the region suitable for a hosted interface or analytical software. The Knowledge Production Project categorizes – or codes – these websites based on a variety of characteristics including their format and ownership.
he Films, Documentaries, and Television Show Database is a compilation of visual productions in the form of feature films, television/cable shows (including serials), and documentaries related to the Arab and Muslim world produced or co-produced in the West. While the films and television shows produce fictional content, the documentary database begins its listings from the advent of the cinematic era with special attention to the period before and after September 11, 2001. In addition to works created by independent producers and educational institutions, the United States’ Public Broadcasting Service and the UK’s British Broadcasting Corporation are two apparatuses creating a substantial number of “authoritative” productions on the Middle East. These productions remain in circulation and thus contribute much of the foundational knowledge on the Middle East circulated in educational settings.
The Book Reviews Database is a compilation of book reviews featured in peer reviewed journals. They offer insight into the books that are made popular by journals and will allow users to gain quick insight into books with more impact on academic discourse.
Think Tanks, Policy Institutes, and Civil Society Associations
The Think Tanks Database conveys the ways in which think tanks in the Western world affect policies toward, perceptions about, and analyses of issues related to the Middle East. This database is unique in the way it focuses on measuring the relationships and power dynamics between institutions producing knowledge that have a more direct impact on policy and decision-making. The database is developed from open sources mainly consisting of think tank and government websites. A list of think tanks was retrieved after reviewing multiple studies on the topic of think tanks and policy.
The Books Database provides insight into the knowledge production that requires long-term investment (research and writing) and is consumed by an elite to general audience. The sources used in the database include publishers from well-known books, open Internet searches, and existing sites listing publishers and through academic institutions. In some instances, the KPP team has reviewed the Middle East sections of university libraries.
The Dissertations Database is a compilation of mainly English-language dissertations pertaining to the topic of the Middle East or the field of Middle East Studies from 1979 to the present day. The database’s main source is ProQuest's Dissertations Database, which serves as an archive of nearly 90,000 theses and other graduate works per year through a partnership with over 700 universities globally. For many dissertations, the abstracts are available in full and all dissertations are coded according to an array of topic codes.
The Translated Books Database is a compilation of books that have been translated from original Arabic into other languages from 1979 to the present. This database will demonstrate the impact translation has on knowledge of the Middle East. The database’s main source is UNESCO’s Index Translationum (IT), which is self-described as “an international bibliography of translations.” Books included in this database are those translated from Arabic from 1979 to the present. Secondary sources include publisher websites from North America and Great Britain.
Forum on Arab and Muslim Affairs (FAMA) is the research arm of the Arab Studies Institute. It produces and oversees ASI’s research projects on overarching issues related to the Arab and broader Muslim worlds, including the Middle East and North Africa. The forum is the home of ASI's Knowledge Production Project, the Political Economy Project, among others. All FAMA projects are operated by the Arab Studies Institute, a nonprofit organization that produces and scrutinizes knowledge on matters related to the Arab world and its relations.