Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication Releases CARGC Paper 8
Rayya El Zein develops an approach to aesthetics in cultural production from the vantage of global media studies.
The Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication is proud to present CARGC Paper 8, “Vamping the Archive: Approaching Aesthetics in Global Media,” by CARGC Postdoctoral Fellow, Rayya El Zein.
Drawing inspiration from Metro al-Madina's Hishik Bishik Show in Beirut, El Zein weaves assessments of local and regional contexts, aesthetic and performance theory, thick description, participant observation, and interview to develop an approach to aesthetics in cultural production from the vantage of global media studies that she calls “vamping the archive.”
In his introduction, CARGC Director and Anthony Shadid Professor of Communication Marwan M. Kraidy notes that El Zein’s emphasis on aesthetics “constitutes an important step into an area that has unfortunately not received adequate attention in global media and communication studies to date.”
Rayya El Zein holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research concerns processes of live cultural production, popular culture and media, and audiences in urban Arab contexts and diasporas. In her work, she examines the political economy of consumption and leisure as an important part of the politics of reception and spectatorship. To date, this research has centered on these dynamics in live music and the media representations of hybrid cultural phenomena amid patterns of neoliberal growth in the Levant. Her first book is concerned with emergent politics in rap and hip hop concerts in Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan. El Zein’s ongoing research at CARGC examines notions of affect, materiality, the popular, and the sonic in Arabic. Her writing has appeared in Lateral, the Journal of Palestine Studies, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Ethnomusicology Forum, and on the e-zine Jadaliyya.