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About me

I am a Reader in media and communication theory at the University of Westminster where I am a member of the Communication and Media Research Institute and Director of the Arab Media Centre.

I am the author of Cultural Encounters in the Arab World: On Media, the Modern and the Everyday (2010, I.B. Tauris); Editor of Arab Cultural Studies: Mapping the Field (2012, I.B. Tauris) and Co-Editor of Arab Subcultures: Reflections on Theory and Practice (I.B. Tauris 2016).

I am Co-Founder and Co-Editor of the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication and Co-Founder of the journal Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. I am currently working on a co-edited volume entitled: Arab Cultural Temporalities: Media, Publicness and Post-Modernity (I.B. Tauris 2017) and a co-authored book entitled: Children And Screen Media in Changing Arab Contexts: An Ethnographic Perspective (2018).

My research interests include Arab audiences, Arab children and the media, Arab popular cultures, Arab contemporary philosophical thought and cultural policy. I conducted a number of ethnographic studies exploring the relationship between global media and the dynamics of hybrid identities in Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco.

I have recently finished working on two separate ethnographic research projects: the first was an AHRC, three-year (2012-2015) research project focusing on children and the media in the Arab world. The second was a two-year (2013-2015) research project, funded by ACSS (Arab Council for the Social Sciences) focusing on media, publicness and time in contemporary Arab societies. 

Teaching

Since 2003 I have led 10 different Media Studies modules. My subject expertise is International migration, Arab popular cultures, tans-national audiences and the philosophy of communications. I led one of the two core 30 credit Level 4 modules, Story, Sound Image and Text, taught over two semesters for over 160 students. I also co-led the BA dissertation module for 4 years. This module has the highest credit rating in the degree (45 credits). I am now teaching an MA module entitled: Media Audiences, which provides a global overview of media audience research, focusing on cases from Africa, China, Europe, the US, Japan and the Middle East. In 2014-2015 I will be co-leading a new core undergraduate module entitled: Media, Time and Space.

Research

Children and the media in the Arab world

I am Co-Investigator with Professors Sakr and Steemers in an AHRC funded three-year research project (2012-2015). The award brought £419.000 to the school of Media, Arts and Design. Entitled 'Orientations in the Development of Pan-Arab Television for Children', it is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for the period 2013-15 inclusive. The project covers the production, distribution and reception of Arabic-language satellite TV programmes for children. It aims to investigate changes in the creation, commercialisation and reception of pan-Arab television for children over the last 15-20 years, paying particular attention to the decade since 2000.

Producing publics in contemporary Arab spaces

I am both researcher and research coordinator on a two-year research program (2013-2015) funded by ACSS (Arab Council for the Social Sciences) focusing on the following aspects of the public and the interrelations between them: a) The conditions and factors that shape public life in Arab societies, including its cultural, religious, political and socioeconomic aspects, b) the ways in which individuals and groups participate in public, including their desire and ability to change the quality of public life and c) The spaces and mediums through which such participation takes place. The broad rubric of "the public in Arab societies" will enable projects to examine political, social and cultural issues in relation to one another while focusing on specific topics.

Media, activism and the new political: Interasian perspectives

I am research coordinator on a two-year programme (2013-2015) funded by SSRC (Social Science Research Council) focusing on the interrelationship between media and politics within and across Inter-Asia, a spatially and historically networked region stretching from the Middle East through East Asia. A central question concerns how the new networks of mobile, social and digital media alter capabilities of physical "amassment" and "amplification"-the spontaneous scaling up or conversion of individuals into collective, visible, and vocal public presences-and whether and how they can unsettle and even overturn established political orders.

Publications

For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.