Media Infrastructures in the Middle East

American Universit​y of Beirut

January 9 to 11, 2020​​​​

Conference Program

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


3pm: Opening and welcome
           Nabil Dajani, Professor of Media Studies, AUB
           Nadia Cheikh Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences, 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 A)             

9am – 11am, Panel 1: Visual Culture and War 

  • “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.                                                                                                               
  • “Digital Fetishisms of War in Syria and Palestine: A Materialist Critique of the Fiction-Reality Conundrum" – Fabio Cristiano & Donatella Della Ratta, Leiden University & John Cabot University.
  •  “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 – 1.30pm, Panel 2: Surveillance and Counter-Surveillance

  • “Infrastructures of Disorientation: Surveillance Technologies and Fiction in Egypt" - Karen Alderfer, Duke University.                                                                                                                                                
  •  “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.                                                                                                                              
  • “Journalism in the Age of WikiLeaks: Contemporary Investigative Reporting in the Middle East" - Amani Ismail, University of Hertfordshire- Egypt.

1.30 – 2.30pm: Lunch​

2.30 – 4.15, Panel 3: Sovereignty and the State

  • “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.                                                                                                         ​                                                                


4.30pm – 6.15pm, Panel 4: Media Borders

  • “Online news flows and Arab diasporas" - Andrea Hauptli, University of Zurich.                                      
  •  “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 A)

9.00 – 11.00, Panel 5: Industries

  •  “The Post-2009 Securitization of Online Spaces and Media Content in Iran" - Nahid Siamdoost, Yale University​.                                                                                                                                                    
  • Vurun Kahpeye (1949) and Turkish Film History" – 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 –1.15pm: Panel 6: Material Histories

  • ​“Digital Media as Archival Infrastructures" - Paolo d'Urbano, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies​.  ​
  • “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.

​1.30 – 2.30: Lunch​

2.30 – 4.30: Closing Roundtable: Media and Lebanon's protests

(West Hall, Bathish Auditorium)

Participants: TBA

7:30pm: Closing dinner