This essay grapples with Arab celebrity as an overtly political, inherently transnational phenomenon and explores how revolutionary celebrity may expand our understanding of celebrity writ large. Through the prism of a media battle between the singer Assala and the Assad regime in the Syrian uprising since March 2011, a politics of celebrity is explored that pits the body of the star against the body of the sovereign, at the nexus of revolution, transnationalism, and circulation across media.
The Politics of Revolutionary Celebrity in the Contemporary Arab World
Marwan M. Kraidy is the Anthony Shadid Chair in Global Media, Politics and Culture and director of the Project for Advanced Research in Global Communication (PARGC) at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. His latest book is Reality Television and Arab Politics: Contention in Public Life (2010). Some of the research in this essay was supported by a Guggenheim fellowship and by the Edward Said Chair in American Studies at the American University of Beirut.
Marwan M. Kraidy; The Politics of Revolutionary Celebrity in the Contemporary Arab World. Public Culture 1 January 2015; 27 (1 (75)): 161–183. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-2798391
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