(Re-)Framing the Arab/Muslim: Mediating Orientalism in Contemporary Arab American Life Writing

(Re-)Framing the Arab/Muslim: Mediating Orientalism in Contemporary Arab American Life Writing

by Silke Schmidt

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Overview

Media depictions of Arabs and Muslims continue to be framed by images of camels, belly dancers, and dagger-wearing terrorists. But do only Hollywood movies and TV news have the power to frame public discourse? This interdisciplinary study transfers media framing theory to literary studies to show how life writing (re-)frames Orientalist stereotypes. The innovative analysis of the post-9/11 autobiographies »West of Kabul, East of New York«, »Letters from Cairo«, and »Howling in Mesopotamia« makes a powerful claim to approach literature based on a theory of production and reception, thus enhancing the multi-disciplinary potential of framing theory.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783837629156
Publication date: 05/15/2015
Series: Culture & Theory , #55
Pages: 446
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Silke Schmidt (Dr.) studied American Studies, Political Science, and Communication Studies in Germany and the U.S. Her research focuses on Arab American Studies, Culture and Economics, and Gender.

Table of Contents

Preface 11

1 Introduction 13

2 Life Writing Theory: Constructing Life, Claiming Authenticity 47

2.1 Reconstructing the Construction of Self: Autobiographical Theory Today 48

2.2 Media Framing Theory 96

2.3 Framing Lives; A Mediated Theory of Life Writing 120

3 The Framed Arab/Muslim: Mediated Orientalism 137

3.1 The Ideological Frame: Orientalism 137

3.2 The Political Frame; Everlasting War on Terror 152

3.3 The Issue Frames: Race, Religion, and Gender 170

4 (Re-)Framing the Afghan Fundamentalist in West of Kabul, East of New York 191

4.1 Journalistic Agency between East and West (V1) 192

4.2 Refraining the Muslim Fundamentalist (V2 and V3) 204

4.3 Reception: The (Re-)Framed Muslim Fundamentalist and His Audience (V4) 240

5 (Re-)Framing the Egyptian Belly Dancer in Letters from Cairo 259

5.1 Scholarly Agency (V1) 259

5.2 Reframing the Egyptian Belly Dancer (V2 and V3) 271

5.3 Reception: The (Re-)Framed Egyptian Belly Dancer and Her Audience (V4) 305

6 (Re-)Framing the Iraqi Terrorist in Howling in Mesopotamia 317

6.1 Legal Agency (V1) 318

6.2 Refraining the Iraqi Terrorist (V2 and V3) 325

6.3 Reception: The (Re-)Framed Iraqi Terrorist and His Audience (V4) 357

7 (Re-)Mediating Orientalism 373

7.1 The (Re-)Framed Arab/Muslim 374

7.2 Mediated Orientalism 380

8 Conclusion 401

Bibliography 419

Index of Graphs

Graph 1 Media Framing on the Basis of Cognitive Schemata 107

Graph 2 Retrained Theory of Production and Reception 134

Graph 3 Frame Levels in Historical Perspective 187

Graph 4 Multi-Level Framing Model 189

Graph 5 Frame Model of West of Kabul, East of New York 237

Graph 6 Frame Model of Letters from Cairo 303

Graph 7 Frame Model of Howling in Mesopotamia 356

Graph 8 Model of (Re-)Framed Arab/Muslim American Identity in Mediated Orientalism 393

Index of Tables

Table 1 Functional Comparison of Literary versus Journalistic Framing 124

Table 2 Binary Vocabulary of Orientalism 147

Table 3 Frame Resonance Matrix of West of Kabul, East of New York 257

Table 4 Frame Resonance Matrix of Letters from Cairo 315

Table 5 Frame Resonance Matrix of Howling in Mesopotamia 372

Table 6 Comparative Frame Matrix 375

Index of Images

Image 1 "David with the Head of Goliath" 115

Image 2 "Israeli David and Goliath" 158

Image 3 "There Is Nothing 'Other' about Us" 174

Image 4 Women Protestors in the Arab Spring 184

Image 5 Book Cover of West of Kabul, East of New York 241

Image 6 Audiobook Cover West of Kabul, East of New York vs. Press Photo 9/11 243

Image 7 Belly Dancers in the Past and Present 279

Image 8 Book Cover of Letters from Cairo (back and front) 308

Image 9 Television Is Our World 339

Image 10 Book Cover of Howling in Mesopotamia 359

Image 11 The Media World as Market of Ideas 410

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