9780932885326

The Moral Resonance of Arab Media: Audiocassette Poetry and Culture in Yemen

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780932885326

  • ISBN10:

    0932885322

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-09-30
  • Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr
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Summary

In a groundbreaking study of contemporary Arab political poetry, Flagg Miller provides a wide range of insights into the ways that modern media aesthetics are shaped by language and culture. Investigating a vibrant audio-recording industry in southern Yemen, The Moral Resonance of Arab Media shows how new forms of political activism emerge through sensory engagements with Arabic poetry and song. From the 1940s onward, a new cadre of political activists has used audio-recording technologies, especially the audiocassette, to redefine traditional Muslim authorship. Cassette producers address conflicted views about the resurgence of tribalism by showing Yemenis how to adapt traditional mores toward more progressive and pluralistic aims. Skilled bards continue to perform orally marked tribal verse. As Miller demonstrates through an analysis of several centuries of changing media ecology, however, oral performance is anything but static. Much of the power of orality stems from its relation to writing, print, and audiovisual media that link tribal ideals with metropolitan and national discourses. Through an examination of the lives and works of individual poets, singers, and audiences, Moral Resonance shows how tribalism becomes a resource for critical reform when expressed in tropes of community, place, person, and history. Yemenis' use of audiocassettes turns such tropes into cultural resources for morally evaluating political liberalism.

Table of Contents

Folk-poetry cassettes : between community and conflictp. 70
"Metropolitan tribalism" : in the bid' wa jiwah qasidah : a social history of media aestheticsp. 134
"Cars of all styles and colorful ways" : the emergence of the recording industry and its denizens of songp. 216
From pen to polyester and backp. 280
Signs and songs of the poet : moral character and the resonance of authorshipp. 346
The significance of history's personalities : the legacy of the 'Abd al-Naser seriesp. 380
Transliteration of qasidahs by Husain 'Ubaid al-Haddad and Shaikh Rageh Haithem Bin Sab'ahp. 463
Translation of qasidahs by Ahmad 'Ali al-Qaifi and Shayef al-Khaledi on Husain 'Abd al-Naser cassette 7/3p. 468
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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