A new book, co-authored by Qatari intellectual Dr Amal Al Malki, exploring the roles and representations of Arab women in the media will be launched at the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar on Sunday, March 25. The book, titled Arab Women and Arab News: Old Stereotypes and New Media, is published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP), the University said in a media statement. The Doha-based BQFP is owned by Qatar Foundation and managed by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc in London. Dr. Al Malki, lead author of the book and professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, will talk about the book, which will be followed by a book signing and reception at 4.30pm. Historically, western readers have come to stereotype Arab women as 'passive'. When Arab women are portrayed in western images, they have traditionally appeared veiled and voiceless, their words spoken for them in captions and voice-overs. Where do Arab women stand in Arab news? Are the Western stereotypes reinforced or complicated? In this comprehensive survey of Arab women in Arab news the authors provide systematic answers to these and other questions. Using a detailed text-mining methodology, the authors build up a picture through which Arab women can be analysed. They then position their findings in a lively and accessible exchange with leading scholars on gender and human rights. The research is supported by case studies, giving a human face to the statistical research which research demonstrates the unheralded achievements of Arab women and also highlights the continuing challenges that Arab women share with women worldwide. Commenting on the study, Columbia University, USA, Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies, Lila Abu-Lughod, said, "Starting with a broad vision of the contentious politics of representing Arab women, this unique study uses innovative methods to reveal patterns in the ways women feature in the Arab press; then, like a good novel, it takes us deeper into the lives of these Arab women who appear in the news." University of Westminster, UK, Arab Media Centre, Professor of Media Policy and Director, Naomi Sakr, said, "It is an intriguing picture of contradictions and paradoxes in contemporary Arab society."
University of California, USA, Professor of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies, Suad Joseph said, "Turning the representational lens inward to the Arab world Amal Al Malki et al reveal complex and riveting images of Arab women in Arab news. They explode Western media's active/passive binary, finding Arab women’s achievements and challenges not unlike those of Western women a path-breaking and evocative study." Lead author of the study, Dr. Al Malki is an Assistant Teaching Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. She teaches courses in writing composition, postcolonial literature, theories of translation, and Islamic Feminism. Her research interests include the negotiation of identity between east and west, media representations of Arab women and postcolonial literature. She has published articles in numerous journals in the United States and UK. Her edited book "The Writer’s Craft: Teaching Creative Writing in Qatar" has been published as a part of Doha the Arab City of Culture of 2010. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of London. Co-author of the new book Dr David Kaufer is Professor, Former Head of the Department of English at Carnegie Mellon, and a current member of the Executive Board of the Rhetoric Society of America. His research interests span rhetorical theory, discourse and corpus analysis. He is the author or co-author of six books and over 100 refereed articles. Along with the Qatar National Research Fund, his research has been supported by the American National Science Foundation and the Gates Foundation. His Ph.D. is from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. The second co-author, Dr. Suguru Ishizaki is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Communication Design in the Department of English at Carnegie Mellon. Prior to that, he was on the faculty of the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon. His current research interests cover a broad range of questions surrounding the pedagogy of multimodal communication skills. His professional experience ranges from user interface design to information visualization to traditional print design. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. at MIT. Third co-author Kira A. Dreher is a Visiting Instructor of English at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. She holds an MA in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Her current research is an investigation into recent trends in the research and application of genre theory. The book launch and signing event is open to the public, the university said.