Representing Islam and Muslims in the Media: An Academic Debate

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In 5-6 September 2008 the Universities of Manchester and Surrey organised in Manchester an international conference "Representing Islam: Comparative Perspectives".

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In 5-6 September 2008 an international conference Representing Islam: Comparative Perspectives was organised jointly by the Universities of Manchester and Surrey. The meeting, in which over 100 eminent national and international speakers participated, was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of Britain.

Initially, the "call for papers" of the conference claimed that representations of Islam have a profound influence on political cultures and national identities, as well as on attitudes to immigration, security and multiculturalism. The complexity of the notion of 'Islam' and the heterogeneous responses that it elicits are such that there is no uniform approach to its representation and social construction. The conference addressed this complexity by treating the comparative dimension of recent representations of Islam, encompassing different nations, political institutions, media institutions, and cultures. The conference was primarily concerned with the press, television, radio, film and the internet. However, it also included other channels of communication, such as translations, speeches or pamphlets, political discourse, and the visual arts.

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Figure 1: From the poster of the Conference.

 

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