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[ecrea] CFP: Visual Media in the Gulf Hosted by NYU Abu Dhabi
Mon Jun 11 23:43:43 GMT 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
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.
This conference addresses the marginalization of the Gulf within film
studies and the marginalization of film and visual 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.
The conference will be structured around three critical focuses of analysis:
*Images and stories*:
This section analyzes images and stories that resonate with audiences
living in the Gulf, as well as perceptions of Gulf productions from
outside the region. Images and stories from the Gulf must contend with
multiple assumptions, including stereotypes, as well as the limitations
various socio-economic, national, transnational, and family factors that
can impose on Gulf stories.
*Institutions and cultures*:
This section investigates how thinking about images and stories within
the context of developments by the state and by transnational
corporations in free zones, as well as grassroots efforts, to understand
the limitations and opportunities for developing sustainable cultures
for locally conceived and produced media. One of the greatest challenges
remains the problem of building capacity for sustainable media cultures.
As multiplexes open in Saudi Arabia and the government embraces a visual
media industry, neighborhood cinemas close elsewhere else in the Gulf,
thereby reducing the diversity of media on offer. Moreover, the lavish
film festivals, which imported practices and personnel from places like
Cannes or New York, have failed to capture interest among Gulf audiences.
*Infrastructure and platforms*:
This section explores the opportunities and limitations of new media
paradigms, which includes both informal media distribution on “pirated”
DVD, but also media that is conceived, produced, distributed, and
exhibited for multiple digital platforms. The latter appeals to “digital
natives” whose expectations and experiences of film and visual media are
often structured in fragments or algorithmically, rather than linearly
or causally, as in the media practices of analogue generations and
The conference aims to produce an anthology and/or special journal issue
of scholarly research developed from papers presented at the conference.
The conference will also include workshops with media professionals and
educators with the aim of producing a small media handbook that offers
strategies to adjust dominant practices and pedagogies to reflect the
specificities of the Gulf.
Please send 300-word abstracts and a short bio by *15 July 2018* to:
Alia Yunis, Zayed University ((Alia.Yunis /at/ zu.ac.ae)
<mailto:(Alia.Yunis /at/ zu.ac.ae)>)
Dale Hudson, NYU Abu Dhabi ((dale.hudson /at/ nyu.edu)
<mailto:(dale.hudson /at/ nyu.edu)>)
Notifications will follow by *01 August 2018*.
For pre-circulation to conference participants, complete drafts of 10–15
pages are due by
*14 October 2018*. Conference presentations will be limited to 10 minutes.
The NYUAD Institute will pay for roundtrip economy airfare, as well as
accommodations and meals during the conference.
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