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[Commlist] CFP – The Arabic press published outside the Arab world: Context effects on an allophone press

Wed Nov 04 13:47:49 GMT 2020

Call for Papers

The *Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée* is announcing a call for papers for a special Autumn/Winter 2022 issue :

**The Arabic press published outside the Arab world: Context effects on an allophone press** <>

*Submission schedule* <>

1 December 2020: Deadline for submission of proposals - not exceeding 4000 characters - with author(s) name(s), institutional affiliations(s) and e-mail address(es). Proposals should be sent to: (asmaa.azizi /at/ <mailto:(asmaa.azizi /at/>, (franckmermier /at/ <mailto:(franckmermier /at/> and (diana.cooper-richet /at/ <mailto:(diana.cooper-richet /at/>.

1 January 2021: The scientific committee will notify authors as to the acceptance of their proposal.

1 September 2021: Final copy is due.

Autumn/Winter 2022: Publication of the special issue of the REMMM journal, vol 2022-2.

This call for papers concerns the Arabic press published outside the Arab world. It includes all periodical publications (daily newspapers and reviews) published in Arabic in countries where this language is not one of the dominant languages.

For the needs of this call for papers, we will use the expression « the Arabic press ». However, this press is not a homogeneous entity. It is, in fact, heterogenous and displays multiple contents arising in multiple temporalities and contexts, but also the result of the various paths followed by its instigators (Arabs or Arabists), their motivations, as well as the evolving status of the Arabic language. This diversity is also linked to the different locations of this press and the relationships that these contexts maintain with both the Arab area and the Arab diasporic communities. Thus, the central elements of our thinking reflect the interactions that this Allophone press maintains with the social, political and cultural configurations in which it operates.

Very little research has been devoted to this press in France and elsewhere. In general, the works that examine this research object are case studies that focus on one or another specific publication. Most of the in-depth work concerns the content of specific titles and fails to take into consideration the general mapping of this type of publication.

Yet the study of this press is crucial for understanding both the national history and the history of the press of the countries where it was or is still published. Just like the role that print plays in the construction of national imaginaries (Anderson, 1996), this work would probably lead to a new approach concerning national identifications and cultures, (re) writing process in the countries where these titles were or are published, as well as to a better grasp of the diplomatic and political issues that these editorial productions raise.

This press conceals numerous temporal and geographical logics. It is both an old and a topical phenomenon, closely linked to the social and historical context of its publication. This call for papers therefore covers a large period of time (the publications that emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries but also those more recent, that have ceased to exist or continue to exist), various political contexts in the Arab world (Ottoman Empire, colonisations, independence followed by the building of the modern Nation-State) and in the countries where these press titles were born.

This call is not limited either to Europe or the United States. Historically, France and the United Kingdom have been the two key areas for an Arabic press seeking freedom and a favourable environment (Elias, 1993, p. 44). A large number of titles were published in Paris, including "/Al Urwa Al Wuthqa/", launched in 1884 by Jamal Eddine Al-Afghani and Mohamed Abduh, and the satirical title "/Abu Naddara Zarqa/", which Yaqub Sannu continued to publish after his exile from Egypt in 1878 and in which he pleaded for Egyptian nationalism among Europeans (Fahmy, 2008). However, the ambiguity of Paris' role in the existence of this Arabic press needs to be emphasized. While it offered a space for freedom of speech for journalists and other intellectuals who found refuge there, the French political authorities published titles in Arabic languages for propaganda purposes, thus reaffirming France's positions vis-à-vis the Ottoman Empire and exposing its colonial ambitions. The main example of this type of press is "/Al Mustaqbal/" (/The Future/) published in Paris in 1916.

On the other side of the Channel, as early as the second half of the 19th century, several titles hostile to the Ottoman Empire were published, such as "/An-Nahla/" (/The Bee/). Originally published in Beirut, it moved to London in 1876, following the exile of its founder, Louis Sabounji (Zolondek, 1978) (Visser, 2014). In the same way, propaganda titles were published by the Ottoman administration in London to counter hostile ideas circulated in the British capital. This task was fulfilled among other titles by « /Al Ghayra/ » (Elias, 1993, p. 45).

To further complicate matters, Syrian and Lebanese communities in the New World established their own multifunctional (educational, learning, integration and savoir-vivre) press in Arabic. In 1910, there were more than fifteen Arabic newspapers published in the United States (Cadinot, 2013). « /Kawkab/ /Amrika/ » (/Planet/ /America/) founded in 1888 in New York is a good example of this type of periodical (Abu Laban, 1981). It should also be noted that this press, particularly in South America, was an important vehicle for nationalist ideas, such as Pan Syrian and Lebanese nationalism and played an important role in « transnational political mobilisations » (Logrono Narbona, 2014).

In the mid-1970s, as a result of the war in Lebanon, many journalists and periodicals emigrated to Paris and to London. London became the centre for the Arabic press in Europe. Several pan-Arab newspapers were launched thanks to Saudi capital (El Oifi, 2005), such as "/Ach-charq Al Awsat/" (1978-) and "/Al Hayat/" (1989-). More recently, the daily "/Al Araby Al Jadeed/" was published in London, Doha and Istanbul, thus extending, to the written press, Qatar's policy of influence in the television sector, thanks to its satellite channel Al-Jazeera. After 2011, the Arab Spring brought about deep transformations in the Arab mediascape and the proliferation of press titles in both Arabic speaking countries (Tunisia) and the diasporic spaces created by forced displacements resulting from repression and/or war (Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Iraq).

This issue of REMMM aims to examine the conditions in which this Arabic press is produced as well as the social and historical contexts in which it developed. We will identify its editors and journalists, examine its readers, and geographical extent of circulation, examine its contents and explore ideological influences. This issue’s goal is to analyse the role of this press in the promotion and formation of nationalist and community identifications, in relations between host cultures and the countries from which immigrant communities arise, considering all aspects, from political mobilisations and the formulation and dissemination of intellectual debates to the articulation and dissemination of new forms of linguistic and cultural expression.

Article proposals may examine, for example, one or more of the following issues:

*Area 1. Production and organisation <>: *The authors and publishers behind these editorial experiences have varied profiles that cannot be dissociated from the local contexts in which they carried out their activities and their press enterprises. What is / was their status? Are they immigrants, refugees, political activists, intellectual groups, a globalized elite, political authorities, or professional journalists? Research could also focus, more specifically, on the genera of these editorial productions, their material identities (newspaper, newsletter, leaflet, etc.), their media (paper, digital), their frequency and their business models. Are they private initiatives or were they financed by homeland and / or host authorities? Did / does the legislative framework in the countries where these titles are published facilitate or, on the contrary, hinder the publication of this type of press?

*Area 2. Contents and stakes, notably the question of the language <> : *Research could also focus on topics and editorial lines set out in these titles. What can be said about the instigators of this press and the periods during which it was published? What about the linguistic diversity of this press? What variant of the Arabic language is used in these titles? Which Arabic form(s) was / were used? The literary, vernacular or modern ones? What symbolic referents accompanied the choice of language? Is Arabic the only language used in these periodicals or are they multilingual editorial productions? Is the Arabic language an object of study in these titles? Particular attention will be paid to the nationalist and community dimensions of the content in order to identify those elements characteristic of the different periodicals at different times, as well as the cultural and political references they mobilize.

The stakes for such a press are multiple and vary according to the contexts and relations between diaspora communities and their countries of origin. We will therefore examine the evolution of this press during particular periods, in relation to identity, social, cultural and political mobilization and the differentiated anchoring of this press in host countries or in the larger Arabic space.

*Area 3. Circulation and reception <> : *The modes of circulation of this press are multiple and depend on whether its circulation is limited to the national territory in which it is published or if it covers transnational zones? What are the distribution channels and methods of distribution employed by this press (sale by issue, subscriptions)? What channel intermediaries are employed in this distribution model: booksellers, intellectuals, associations or political groups …?

The question of readership, although often difficult to ascertain, is a privileged point of entry for understanding relations between the cultural/political project of this press, its content and readership. Who are its readers? Are they heterogeneous?

Proposals that question the terminology used to characterize this type of press are also welcome. Between self-attribution and identity assignment, how should this press be designated? Can it be considered a “community press” or as a "minority" press? How can it be positioned in the wider spectrum of the national press in the countries in which it was born?

This call is open to researchers in the Human and Social Sciences including Anthropology, Sociology, Information and Communication Sciences, Political Sciences, History … Researchers using multidisciplinary approaches are strongly encouraged to submit proposals. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies are welcome. Thus, articles proposing reviews tracking methodological difficulties concerning these periodicals are consistent with this call, as well as those proposing a transversal study of these titles according to their geographical and historical contexts.

Please, read the guidelines that the authors should meet : <>

No payment from the authors will be required.

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