Call for Papers: Handbook of Media and Culture in the Middle East

Editors : Gholam Khiabany, Tarik Sabry, Helga Tawil-Souri

The aim of the Handbook of Media and Culture in the Middle East is to direct attention to the multivalent and multi-local characteristics of knowledge production, media, and culture in the region. It highlights the necessity, once again, of the need and the possibilities of going beyond the false binaries, and of speaking with a ‘third voice’. It addresses key questions such as:

  • Is Middle Eastern Media Studies a periphery or should it be regarded as part of a wider project of (social) science of society?
  • Does it have a particular hermeneutics?
  • How do we address the particularities of the region while also considering broader socio-cultural and media shifts?

While challenging the provincialism of perceived ‘universal’ theory of media and society, this handbook also highlights the perceived ‘alternative’, i.e. militant particularism, which is just the flipside of the vacuous  universalism it deplores, rather than a genuine alternative to it.

The handbook will articulate the questions of media and culture in the Middle East beyond the limitations of presentism by focusing on the symbiotic relationship that exists between both old and new media. It also promises to highlight the role (and meaning) of culture as a dynamic site of struggle and contestation. The handbook is also an attempt to test some prevailing approaches regarding the role of empire, among other exogenous and endogenous factors, and its consequences for culture and politics.

The handbook takes an interdisciplinary approach to media and culture in the Middle East and brings together internationally recognised scholars from around the world. The more recent revolutionary fervour in the Arab World has further brought the region into the attention of the world like never before. However, while this collection will certainly be an attempt at ‘catching history on the wing’, to quote Benjamin, we are seeking contributions, from various disciplines, that advance our understandings of the past and present and the struggle for the future of media and cultural resources, forms of organisations and expressions, as well as production, distribution, and consumption.

This volume will be published by Blackwell as part of the prestigious series The Global Handbooks in Media and Communication Research, designed to define an intellectual terrain: its historic emergence; its key theoretical paradigms; its transnational evolution, its key empirical research and possible future directions.

Submissions will be assessed for their scholarly merit and the extent to which they contribute to our greater understanding of the mediated cultures in the Middle East. Contributors should limit their articles to between 6000 and 8000 words (including references).

Abstracts (250 words) are due by 28 March 2014.

Upon acceptance, full articles will be due by 20 October 2014.

For further information about the handbook, or to submit your abstract, please contact the editors:

Gholam Khiabany, Goldsmiths, University of London (

Tarik Sabry, University of Westminster (

Helga Tawil-Souri, New York University (