Title: Islam: Making Morocco: Colonial Intervention and the Politics of Identity
Author: Jonathan Wyrtzen.
How did four and a half decades of European colonial intervention transform Moroccan identity? As elsewhere in North Africa and in the wider developing world, the colonial period in Morocco (1912–1956) established a new type of political field in which notions about and relationships among politics and identity formation were fundamentally transformed. Instead of privileging top-down processes of colonial state formation or bottom-up processes of local resistance, the analysis in Making Morocco focuses on interactions between state and society.
Jonathan Wyrtzen demonstrates how, during the Protectorate period, interactions among a wide range of European and local actors indelibly politicized four key dimensions of Moroccan identity: religion, ethnicity, territory, and the role of the Alawid monarchy. This colonial inheritance is reflected today in ongoing debates over the public role of Islam, religious tolerance, and the memory of Morocco’s Jews; recent reforms regarding women’s legal status; the monarchy’s multiculturalist recognition of Tamazight (Berber) as a national language alongside Arabic; the still-unresolved territorial dispute over the Western Sahara; and the monarchy’s continued symbolic and practical dominance of the Moroccan political field.
Title: New Voices in Arab Cinema
Author: Roy Armes
New Voices in Arab Cinema focuses on contemporary filmmaking since the 1980s, but also considers the longer history of Arab cinema. Taking into consideration film from the Middle East and North Africa and giving a special nod to films produced since the Arab Spring and the Syrian crisis, Roy Armes explores themes such as modes of production, national cinemas, the role of the state and private industry on film, international developments in film, key filmmakers, and the validity of current notions like globalization, migration and immigration, and exile. This landmark book offers both a coherent, historical overview and an in-depth critical analysis of Arab filmmaking.
Title: Ten Arab Filmmakers: Political Dissent and Social Critique
Author: Josef Gugler
Ten Arab Filmmakers provides an up-to-date overview of the best of Arab cinema, offering studies of leading directors and in-depth analyses of their most important films. The filmmakers profiled here represent principal national cinemas of the Arab world―Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Syria. Although they have produced many of the region’s most-renowned films and gained recognition at major international festivals, with few exceptions these filmmakers have received little critical attention. All ten share a concern with giving image and voice to people struggling against authoritarian regimes, patriarchal traditions, or religious fundamentalism―theirs is a cinéma engagé.
The featured directors are Daoud Abd El-Sayed, Merzak Allouache, Nabil Ayouch, Youssef Chahine, Mohamed Chouikh, Michel Khleifi, Nabil Maleh, Yousry Nasrallah, Jocelyne Saab, and Elia Suleiman.
Title: After the American Century: The Ends of U.S. Culture in the Middle East
Author: Brian T. Edwards
When Henry Luce announced in 1941 that we were living in the “American century,” he believed that the international popularity of American culture made the world favorable to U.S. interests. Now, in the digital twenty-first century, the American century has been superseded, as American movies, music, video games, and television shows are received, understood, and transformed.
How do we make sense of this shift? Building on a decade of fieldwork in Cairo, Casablanca, and Tehran, Brian T. Edwards maps new routes of cultural exchange that are innovative, accelerated, and full of diversions. Shaped by the digital revolution, these paths are entwined with the growing fragility of American “soft” power. They indicate an era after the American century, in which popular American products and phenomena―such as comic books, teen romances, social-networking sites, and ways of expressing sexuality―are stripped of their associations with the United States and recast in very different forms.
Arguing against those who talk about a world in which American culture is merely replicated or appropriated, Edwards focuses on creative moments of uptake, in which Arabs and Iranians make something unexpected. He argues that these products do more than extend the reach of the original. They reflect a world in which culture endlessly circulates and gathers new meanings.