American Univesity of Beirut



Media Infrastructures in the Middle East

American Universit​y of Beirut

January 9 to 11, 2020​​​​

Conference Program

Thursday January 9, 2020​             (West Hall, Auditorium B)​​


3.30pm: Opening and welcome
            Nadia El Cheikh Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences, AUB           
            Nabil Dajani, Professor of Media Studies, AUB         
4pm: Keynote address
         “Generators & the Production of Technical Systems"
          Brian Larkin
          Barnard College, Columbia University

5.30pm: Welcome reception (Second floor West Hall)        

Friday January 10, 2020​   (West Hall, Auditorium B)             

9am – 11am, Panel 1: Visual Culture and War 
Chair: Zeina Tarraf, AUB

  • “Circulation, Infrastructure, and Concealment: The Multiple Vectors of Media Events" Hatim El-Hibri, George Mason University.  
  • “Digital Imaginaries: Precarity and the 'Good Life' in the Visual Culture of Tyre " - Reem Joudi, American University of Beirut.                                                                                        
  • “Humanitarianism and the Life of Cinema Infrastructures" - Viviane Saglier, McGill University.     
  • “Online Revolutionary Animation of the Arab Uprisings and Its Impact on the Arab Mediascape " – Omar Sayfo, Utrecht University.  

11 – 11.30: Coffee break

11.30am – 1.00pm,
Panel 2: Surveillance and Counter-Surveillance 
Chair: Sara Mourad, AUB     
  • ​​“You are on camera, smile for the police state" - Maya El Helou, University of Toronto.          ​
  • “Social media infrastructures in Occupied Palestine" - TBA
  • "'This Is Lebanon' : Theorizing Pressure in the Lebanese Pressure Group" - Heather Jaber, University of Pennsylvania.                                                                                                                    

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch​

2.00 – 3.45, Panel 3: Sovereignty and the State
Chair: Josh Carney, AUB

  • “Inmate Generated Footage and Modern State Warfare in Lebanon" - Chafic Najem, Stockholm University.                                                                                                                                                 
  • “When A Dish Is Not A Dish: Preliminary Notes on Infrastructure and Affect" - Marwan Kraidy, University of Pennsylvania.                                                                                                                    
  • “Politics, Policing, and Policies at Film Festivals in Turkey"- Melis Behlil, Kadir Has University
  • “Memorializing Media Use: reflexivity, spectacle and power in the commemoration of Turkey's failed coup attempt" - John McManus, Qatar University.                                                                                                         ​                                                                
4.00pm – 5.30​pm, Panel 4: Media Borders
Chair: May Farah, AUB
  • “Black Skin, White Cameras:​ African Asylum-Seekers in Israeli Documentary Film" - Greg Burris, American University of Beirut.  
  • “Ecologies of Risk: Mapping the Ethical Imperatives of geo spatial intelligence in the Mediterranean Sea" – Monika Halkort, Lebanese American University.     
  • “Bollywood needs the sound of Arabic: Soft power, media flows and transnational cultural economics of dubbed Hindi content in the Middle East" - Sreya Mitra, American University of Sharjah​​​.                                                                                                                                                                

Saturday January 11, 2020   (West Hall, Auditorium B)

9.00 – 11.00, Panel 5: Industries
Chair: Greg Burris, AUB

  • “Combatting Projects of 'Infiltration' & 'Sedition': The Post-2009 Securitization of Media Content in Iran" - Nahid Siamdoust, Yale University​.                                
  • “Cinema and the Infrastructures of Secularism" – Baran Germen, Colorado College.               
  • “Behind the Scene/Seen: Media's Demand of an Anthropological Political Economy" - Mariz Kelada, Brown University.               
  • “Advertising Infrastructures in the Middle East" - Ilhem Allagui, Northwestern University in Qatar.    ​  
  • “The Structures of the Kurdish Media System in Northern Syria/Rojava" - Kerem Schanberger, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich​​.

11.00-11.30: Coffee Break

11.30 –1.00pm: Panel 6: Material Histories
Chair: Blake Atwood, AUB

  • “Historicizing Digital Media in the Middle East: Geopolitical Aesthetics of Imperial Infrastructures and Neoliberal Symptoms" - Ozgun Eylul Iscen, Duke University.                   
  • ​“An Egyptian Enterprise, for Egyptians: The Locality of Egypt's First Arabic Newspapers, 1870-1885" - N.A. Mansour, Princeton University.  
  • “Radio Yerevan, TRT, and the Sonic Insurgencies of the Early Cold War" - Nicholas Glastonbury, CUNY Graduate Center.

1.00 – 2.30: Lunch​

2.30 – 4.30: Closing Roundtable: Live from the Street: The October Revolution in the Media  (West Hall, Bathish Auditorium)
Moderator: Sara Mourad, Media Studies Program​​​

  • ​Joelle Boutros, Legal Agenda

  • Jad Ghosn, New TV

  • Jean Kassir, Megaphone

  • Diana Moukalled, Daraj Media 

(This session will be in Arabic with simultaneous translation)​

7:30pm: Closing dinner 

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