Arab Television Drama between Secularism and Islamization


ACLS Fellowship Program



Named Award

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow named award


This project examines the processes of regionalization, liberalization, and Islamization through the cultural politics of Arab television drama. Series produced in Syria reach vast audiences via satellite stations owned by wealthy, religiously conservative Gulf Cooperation Council states and citizens. Drama creators must accommodate new markets and censors. The demise of secular socialism, the perceived failures of nationalism, and the rise of Islamism affect both production and consumption of television programs. Globalization, driven by the spread of satellite technology, gives rise to new institutional structures and creative strategies. This study maps the cultural terrain in which politics, religion, and markets converge. It explores how the television drama industry both accommodates and resists the Islamization of the Arab public sphere.