Call for Papers / NYUAD Conference: “Film and Visual Media in the Gulf”, New York University Abu Dhabi (28–30 October 2018) – LIMITE : 15/07/2018

Film and Visual Media in the Gulf:  Images, Infrastructures, and Institutions connecting Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the world

28–30 October 2018 | New York University Abu Dhabi
Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Submission Deadline (abstracts): 15 July 2018

Over the past two decades, the Gulf has begun to harness media’s power to reframe and even reset debates about its position within the world, perhaps most visibly and audibly in Arabic- and English-language news media. The historically asymmetrical balance in favor of foreign perspectives, notably Egyptian, Hollywood, and Indian stereotypes of Gulf Arab, remains with narrative film and visual media.

Film and visual media in the Gulf, however, extend beyond feature-length films screened at malls, streamed online, or served as in-flight entertainment. Gulf film and visual media makers have garnered international attention on platforms like YouTube and Instagram. Moreover, Gulf audiences screen and stream a diverse array of media, including Bollywood and Hallyuwood films, Khaleeji musalsals and K-dramas (Gulf and South Korean television dramas), Saudi web series, and Turkish soap operas. Media culture also includes social media practices that communicate through video and visual images.

This conference addresses the marginalization of the Gulf within film studies and the marginalization of film and visual and social media, including television and on-demand programming, within area studies to (a) redefine conceptual frameworks to render images and stories from the Gulf more legible, (b) theorize political economy within Gulf media ecologies and (c) strategize ways to support a sustainable film and visual media culture in the Gulf that acknowledges its connections with Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the world.

The conference brings together media scholars, professionals, and educators to promote conversations between academic scholarship and professional best practices to facilitate research in both media studies and area studies, as well as to encourage the development of culturally aware and nuanced practices in media education, production, and programming.

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