2010-03-17 Christina Slade: Transnational Television Cultures: Reshaping Political Identities in the European Union

Christina Slade - Dean of Arts and Sciences,City University

Wednesday 17th March 2010, 5pm – 6.30pm

Founders West 101

This paper deals with the case of Arabic speakers in the EU, and the results of a seven nation (FP7 funded) enquiry into the ways they use Arabic television and its impact on their identities as citizens of the EU. In the EU Arabic speakers have access to a wide range of transnational television, as well as hundreds of rebroadcast national television channels. Our study is the first broadly based quantitative and qualitative study of these audiences, and raises fundamental questions about the new landscapes of cultural citizenship in the EU. This paper addresses both descriptive and analytic problems that have arisen from the data. How do we describe super (and sub-) national public spheres of this sort, and how do we analyse that data? Some of the conclusions were unexpected:  some communities are primarily bicultural (or translocal) watching local media from the their two nations of belonging, while others engage with  transnational media in Arabic, English and other languages and develop a more archetypally  ‘cosmopolitan’ viewpoint. Paradoxically it is those who travel regularly to their country of origin who are often bicultural, while refugees, students and others more firmly rooted in the EU are transnational in view.

Christina Slade is Dean of Arts and Social Sciences at City University London. She was Dean of Humanities at Macquarie University from 2003-8 and has taught at a number of universities including Universiteit Utrecht, as Professor of Media Theory, New York University, La Universidad Ibero Americana and the ITESM, in Mexico City. Her research interests range from issues in the philosophical foundations of communication theory, through issues of the global public sphere and its fragmentation under the impact of new technologies to questions relating to the development of reasoning skills using television product. She leads a seven nation EU-funded FP7 project entitled Media & Citizenship: Transnational Television Cultures: Reshaping Political Identities in the European Union.

For further information about the seminar please contact Ben.OLoughlin@rhul.ac.uk.