The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies is proud to present
America as Chimera:
Public Diplomacy between Journalism and Transculturalism
The 2013-2014 Qatar Post-Doctoral Fellow
In the run up to the war on Iraq in 2003, the United States' media outreach to the Middle East underwent a significant overhaul that entailed the expenditure of tens of millions of dollars, a restructuring of services, a shift from news to entertainment, and a reorientation towards younger audiences. While this was described as a structural reorganization to meet new challenges in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the outcome seems to suggest that the transformation was not simply institutional but discursive as well.
Having conducted research on US government public diplomacy for the past decade, Dr. Adel Iskandar argues that the discourses of news and hybridity in the government's new outfits--Al-Hurra and Radio Sawa--were no less than a shift in the way America was branded and exported in the Middle East. Dr. Iskandar’s study examines these discourses on the Iraq war, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and Lebanese-Syrian political dynamics. In addition to showcasing patterns of reporting and editorial choices that informed US government broadcasting to the Middle East during this critical juncture in contemporary US-Arab relations, his study demonstrates policy priorities that were consistent with US national interests as opposed to regional priorities and sometimes came at the expense of journalistic principles.
Dr. Adel Iskandar is a scholar of media and international communication. He holds a PhD in communication studies from the University of Kentucky, an MA in communications and creative arts from Purdue University, and a double Bachelor of Science in Biology and Social Anthropology from Dalhousie University. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Kentucky, American University, and the University of Texas-Austin. He is the author and coauthor of several works, including the recently published Egypt in Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution (OUP/AUC Press, 2013.)
The Qatar Post-Doctoral Fellowship was established by a generous grant from the State of Qatar to the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University. The annual fellowship supports a recent PhD working on the topic of US-Arab relations, Arab studies, or Islamic studies.
Light refreshments will be served.
Elisabeth Sexton, Public Affairs Coordinator