Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa
A Postcolonial Outlook
Edited by Mounira Soliman, Walid El Hamamsy
Routledge – 2013 – 282 pages
This book explores the body and the production process of popular culture in, and on, the Middle East and North Africa, Turkey, and Iran in the first decade of the 21st century, and up to the current historical moment. Essays consider gender, racial, political, and cultural issues in film, cartoons, music, dance, photo-tattoos, graphic novels, fiction, and advertisements. Contributors to the volume span an array of specializations ranging across literary, postcolonial, gender, media, and Middle Eastern studies and contextualize their views within a larger historical and political moment, analyzing the emergence of a popular expression in the Middle East and North Africa region in recent years, and drawing conclusions pertaining to the direction of popular culture within a geopolitical context. The importance of this book lies in presenting a fresh perspective on popular culture, combining media that are not often combined and offering a topical examination of recent popular production, aiming to counter stereotypical representations of Islamophobia and otherness by bringing together the perspectives of scholars from different cultural backgrounds and disciplines. The collection shows that popular culture can effect changes and alter perceptions and stereotypes, constituting an area where people of different ethnicities, genders, and orientations can find common grounds for expression and connection.
"This volume presents a thoughtful, empirically rich and timely contribution to the fields of Middle East and cultural studies." --Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations
"The triumph and value of Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa comes from its ability to pull together remarkable contributions from an international range of scholars in fields that range from ethnomusicology to Turkish politics…This is a collection that resists the flattening and simplification of the cultural terrain of the Muslim World and will be an oft-cited volume that will find a place on bookshelves. This is a trailblazing effort that sets the standard for balancing diversity and depth of scope through its nuanced analysis of cultural phenomena integrated into their sociopolitical and historical landscape." --Yasmine Motawy, American University in Cairo, Interventions
Part 1: Popular Culture and the Aesthetics of Political Resistance 1. Palestinian Rap: Against the Struggle Paradigm Ted Swedenburg 2. Music Sans Frontières? Documentaries on Hip Hop in the Holy Land and DIY Democracy Caroline Rooney 3. Rai: North Africa’s Music of the Working Class John A. Shoup Part 2: Gender Politics, the Popular, Social Resistance 4. Masculinity and Fatherhood within a Lebanese Muslim Community: Assad Fouladkar’s When Maryam Spoke Out Dalia Said Mostafa 5. Photo-Tattoo as Postmodern Veil: Photography and the Inscription of Subjectivity on the Female Body Walid El Khachab 6. Dancing Without My Body: Cultural Integration in the Middle East Nadra Majeed Assaf Part 3: Tradition and the Popular: New Forms and Trends 7. Satellite Piety: Contemporary TV Islamic Programs in Egypt Omaima Abou-Bakr 8. Büşra: The Veiled Protagonist of a Comic Serial Iren Ozgur 9. The Yacoubian Building and Its Sisters: Reflections on Readership and Written Culture in Modern Egypt Richard Jacquemond 10. Tradition and Modernity: The Globalization of Sufi Music in Egypt Michael Frishkopf Part 4: Cultural Hegemony: Popular Representations of the Middle East in the US 11. American Orientalism after Said John Carlos Rowe 12. Barbaric Space: Portrayal of Arab Lands in Hollywood Films Hania A. M. Nashef 13. Alternating Images: Simulacra of Ideology in Egyptian Advertisements Maha El Said Part 5: Popular Culture and Revolution: The Voice of Dissent 14. The Role of New Media in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011: Visuality as an Agent of Change Randa Aboubakr 15. The Aesthetics of Revolution: Popular Creativity and the Egyptian Spring Walid El Hamamsy and Mounira Soliman
Walid El Hamamsy is Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Cairo University, Egypt.
Mounira Soliman is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Cairo University, Egypt.