Anonymous, 5 Apr 2020
Research on Middle East, Islam and digital media
keyword: identity

Book: Terrorist Transgressions: Gender and the Visual Culture of the Terrorist

This book explores how the terrorist is represented and the processes through which they have subsumed so many popular cultural myths. It discusses how a terrorist's capacity for destruction can be linked to their appropriation or rejection of gender stereotypes and includes essays on masculinities in post-conflict Northern Ireland, gendered insurgency, the colonial state of exception, Oedipal rivalries, the German Red Army Faction, masculinity in Fox television saga 24 and Anders Behring Breivik's sartorial code. In addition to essays that debate the broad imagery that surrounds terrorism's visual cultures it includes pages by artists who question the role of censorship and the physiognomy of evil.

Book: Branding Terror: The Logotypes and Iconography of Insurgent Groups and Terrorist Organizations

The book is the first comprehensive survey of the visual identity of the world’s major terrorist organizations, from al-Qaeda and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to the Tamil Tigers. Each of the 60-plus entries contains a concise description of the group’s ideology, leadership and modus operandi, and a brief timeline of events. The group’s branding – the symbolism, colours and typography of its logo and flag – is then analysed in detail. Branding Terror does not seek to make any political statements; rather, it offers insight into an understudied area of counter-intelligence, and provides an original and provocative source of inspiration for graphic designers.

Book: The Relationship between Rhetoric and Terrorist Violence

This book presents findings from a research which examined whether linguistic content analysis can indicate whether groups will engage in terrorist violence. Specifically, this project brought together several researchers who have developed manual and automated coding systems to analyse documents issued by Central al Qa’ida and al Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, and two non-terrorist comparison groups. The intention has been to test whether linguistic content analysis can first, distinguish the language of terrorist groups from that of non-terrorist groups and second, provide indicators of specific terrorist attacks.

New Book: Representing Multiculturalism in Comics and Graphic Novels

This book presents a wide ranging survey of the ways in which comics have dealt with the diversity of creators and characters and the (lack of) visibility for characters who don’t conform to particular cultural stereotypes. Contributors engage with ethnicity and other cultural forms from Israel, Romania, North America, South Africa, Germany, Spain, U.S. Latino and Canada and consider the ways in which comics are able to represent multiculturalism through a focus on the formal elements of the medium. Discussion themes include education, countercultures, monstrosity, the quotidian, the notion of the ‘other," anthropomorphism, and colonialism.

Book: Paradoxes of Liberal Democracy: Islam, Western Europe, and the Danish Cartoon Crisis

The book shows how the majority of ordinary Danish citizens provided a solid wall of support for the rights of their country’s growing Muslim minority, drawing a sharp distinction between Muslim immigrants and Islamic fundamentalists and supporting the civil rights of Muslim immigrants as fully as those of fellow Danes—for example, Christian fundamentalists. Building on randomized experiments conducted as part of large, nationally representative opinion surveys, Paradoxes of Liberal Democracy also demonstrates how the moral covenant underpinning the welfare state simultaneously promotes equal treatment for some Muslim immigrants and opens the door to discrimination against others.

Book: Arab TV-Audiences: Negotiating Religion and Identity

The empirical based case studies in this interdisciplinary volume explore audience-media relations with a focus on religious identity in different countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, and the United States. Today the relations between Arab audiences and Arab media are characterised by pluralism and fragmentation. More than a thousand Arab satellite TV channels alongside other new media platforms are offering all kinds of programming. Religion has also found a vital place as a topic in mainstream media or in one of the approximately 135 religious satellite channels that broadcast guidance and entertainment with an Islamic frame of reference. How do Arab audiences make use of mediated religion in negotiations of identity and belonging?

New Book: Bangladesh Cinema and National Identity: In Search of the Modern?

This book investigates the roles of a non-Western "national" film industry in Asia in constructing nationhood and identity within colonial and postcolonial predicaments. Drawing on the idea of cinema as public sphere and the postcolonial notion of formation of the "Bangladesh" nation, interactions between cinema and middle-class Bengali Muslims in different social and political matrices are analyzed. The author explores how the conflict among different social groups turned Bangladesh cinema into a site of contesting identities. In particular, he illustrates the connections between film production and reception in Bangladesh and a variety of nationalist constructions of Bengali Muslim identity.

Book: Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life

The book shows that many residents now use virtual worlds to re-imagine their traditions and work to restore them to authentic sanctity, or else replace religious institutions with virtual communities that provide meaning and purpose to human life. For some online residents, virtual worlds are even keys to a post-human future where technology can help us transcend mortal life. The author argues that World of Warcraft and Second Life are virtually sacred because they do religious work.

New Book: Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People

The author, noting that only Native Americans have been more relentlessly smeared on the silver screen, painstakingly makes his case that "Arab" has remained Hollywood's shameless shorthand for "bad guy," long after the movie industry has shifted its portrayal of other minority groups. In this comprehensive study of over one thousand films, arranged alphabetically in such chapters as "Villains," "Sheikhs," "Cameos," and "Cliffhangers," Shaheen documents the tendency to portray Muslim Arabs as Public Enemy #1-brutal, heartless, uncivilized Others bent on terrorizing civilized Westerners. Shaheen examines how and why such a stereotype has grown and spread in the film industry and what may be done to change Hollywood's defamation of Arabs.

Book: Digital Media and Society: Transforming Economics, Politics and Social Practices

Referencing key contemporary debates on issues such as surveillance, identity, the global financial crisis, the digital divide and Internet politics, this book is a critical intervention in discussions on the impact of the proliferation of digital media technologies on politics, the economy and social practices. Divided into three parts, the first highlights the way in which digital media challenges normative conceptions of the public sphere and discusses this in relation to the creation of new forms of knowledge through the digitization of scholarly resources and the impact of digital media on traditional conceptions of identity. The second part focuses on the digital economy, emphasizing the opportunities it affords through the creative industries, as well as the threat posed by the computerization of the financial industry, and the third part focuses on uses of digital media through a number of case studies relating to online reading, the new social movements, surveillance and the developing world.
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