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Marwan M. Kraidy: The Torch and the Hearth - The Pyropolitics of 'Islamic State'

Event Details

February 5, 2019
12:15 pm

Integrative Learning Center

Room: Comm HUB, 3rd floor

UMass Amherst Campus

Handicap access available
Free admission
Communication Graduate Student Association

Marwan M. Kraidy is the Anthony Shadid Chair in Global Media, Politics and Culture and Founding Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication, at the University of Pennsylvania. The recipient of Andrew Carnegie, Guggenheim, NEH, ACLS, Woodrow Wilson and NIAS fellowships, Kraidy has published 130+ essays and 13 books, notably Hybridity, or the Cultural Logic of Globalization (Temple UP, 2005), Reality Television and Arab Politics (Cambridge UP, 2010), which won three leading prizes, and The Naked Blogger of Cairo: Creative Insurgency in the Arab World (Harvard UP 2016), which won three major awards.

His presentation will be based on his upcoming book "The Torch and the Hearth: The Pyropolitics of 'Islamic State'". Fire is a prevalent visual, textual and discursive trope in "Islamic State"'s own literature and imagery. Drawing on a book project supported by a 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, this talk grapples with three related questions: Why is fire a dominant motif in IS depictions of itself? What does the prevalence of fire in the group's cultural production reveal about IS? And finally, what does the ubiquity of fire in IS propaganda tells us about the world we live in? Focusing on half a dozen audio-visual and textual primary sources, and interpreting them through elemental philosophy and a transhistorical literature in the War Machine, Kraidy explains the importance of fire to the IS's vision of itself and its enemies, and explore what this tells us about the turbulent era we live in.


The Integrative Learning Center is located in the center of campus, between the campus pond and the Campus Center.