20 June 2015 @ 9:00am - 7:00pm
George Mason University
Sponsored by the Arab Studies Institute & George Mason University's Middle East Studies Program
We have held a unique workshop on 20 June 2015 entitled "Journalism Against the Grain: Covering a Divided Middle East.” It highlighted a number of serious shortcoming in reporting on the Middle East, across the board. While there have been many a conference on topics related to journalism and media on the region, few have attempted to bring together reporters and practitioners with scholars and academics to evaluate the discursive dilemmas and narrative complexities that underpin coverage of the Middle East and North Africa. Our intention is not simply to reflect on these conditions but rather to "identify exemplars, examine shortcomings, and chart the possible paths towards a critical revolutionary journalistic practice." We also hope to infuse intellectual debates on the region within the academy with the weight of exceptional reportage and media production.
This first workshop served as the nucleus of a major initiative which will bring to fruition three significant contributions to debates surrounding the representation of the region. The first is a comprehensive report about the state of reporting on the greater Middle East. The second is the production of pedagogical tools that render exemplary reporting from the region an indispensable component of instruction on the Middle East and North Africa. Lastly, and most importantly, we hope to build a long-term network of journalists, media critics, commentators, scholars, editorialists, etc with the purpose of attempting to reflect on and shift the priorities of coverage towards more succinct, elaborate, insightful, and nuanced discussions of the region.
We are currently working simultaneous on these goals and looking forward to our first publication based on this workshop.
June 14, 2015 9:00am - June 15, 2015 6:00pm
SOAS University of London
Sponsored by SOAS, University of London and the Arab Studies Institute
On 15 and 16 June 2015, academics from the Development Studies department at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London) along with the Arab Studies Institute convened a workshop entitled The Arab Uprisings: Class Formation and Class Dynamics. The workshop was bilingual (Arabic and English) and attended by over 30 prominent scholars from the Middle East, Europe and the United States. In lively discussion across two days, paper presentations examined questions such as: to what extent is ‘class’ a useful analytical framework for approaching the ongoing upheaval in the region? What are the specificities of such a class analysis for the Arab world? What are the underlying dynamics characterizing the restructuring of labor-capital-state relations since the period of neoliberal reform began in the 1980s? How are questions such as labour migration, gendered divisions of labour, forms of free/unfree labour, and the massive expansion of informal work best integrated into class analyses of the region? How have regional structures of capital accumulation changed over the last decade and what does this imply for the nature of capitalism in the Arab world?
Forum on Muslim and Arab Affairs
FAMA is the research arm of the Arab Studies Institute.