Marwan Kraidy

Associate Professor

Annenberg School for Communication


Marwan M. Kraidy is Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. A scholar of global communication and an expert on Arab media and politics, Kraidy was previously a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the founding director of the Arab Media and Public Life (AMPLE) project at American University, both in Washington DC. More recently, Kraidy was Scholar-in-residence in the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication at Annenberg.

Professor Kraidy’s scholarly interests center on the role of media institutions in shaping social experiences of modernity in the non-West. He has written extensively on how local and national societies cope with cultural globalization. His first book, Hybridity or the Cultural Logic of Globalization, (2005, Temple University Press) focused on the trope of hybridity in the social and human sciences. Grounded in case-studies of young Lebanese viewers, Mexican children’s television, and the U.S. prestige press, the book challenges dominant understandings of cultural globalization and elaborates “critical transculturalism” as a framework for worldwide flows of media and culture. His second book, Reality Television and Arab Politics: Contention in Public Life (2009, Cambridge University Press, in press), explores the elaboration of locally resonant forms of modernity through the contentious politics of reality television. Based on five years of fieldwork and a wealth of primary sources from half a dozen countries, Professor Kraidy argues that the pan-Arab reality television polemics are best understood as a laboratory in which various versions of what it means to be modern are elaborated, contested, and appropriated. His third book, Arab Television Industries (2009, British Film Institute/Palgrave Macmillan, in press, with Joe Khalil) draws on a variety of primary and secondary sources to explore the structural transformation of Arab television from distinct national systems to a regionally integrated satellite industry, and to examine related cultural and political changes. He is currently working on three book projects: the first, Global Media Studies (under contract with Polity, with Toby Miller) seeks to elaborate truly worldwide bases for global media studies; the second project, The Contentious Politics of Arab Music Videos focuses on the pan-Arab music video industry. Through an examination of the production, aesthetics and politics of sub-genres (commercial, patriotic, Islamic), the book seeks to understand the music video form as a crossroads of commerce, nationalism and Islamism. The third book is Real Worlds: The Global Politics of Reality Television (forthcoming with Routledge, co-edited with Katherine Sender).

Professor Kraidy’s scholarly articles have appeared in the Journal of Communication, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication Theory, Media, Culture and Society, Television and New Media, First Monday, Journal of International Communication, Transnational Broadcasting Studies, International Journal of Communication, Global Media Journal, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, Arab Media and Society. He has served on the editorial boards of Journal of Communication, Communication Theory, Critical Studies in Media Communication, International Journal of Communication, Journal of International and Intercultural Relations, Popular Communication: International Journal of Media and Culture, Middle East Journal of Communication and Culture and Arab Media and Society, among others.

Professor Kraidy has authored two major commissioned reports: Arab Media and U.S. Policy: A Public Diplomacy Reset, The Stanley Foundation, Kraidy.pdf, and Public Media in the Arab World: Exploring the Gap Between Reality and Ideals. Washington, DC: Center for Social Media, [funded by the Ford Foundation through the Center for Social Media]. Other non-scholarly publications have appeared in the Arab Reform Bulletin (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, U.S.A.), The Daily Star (Egypt and Lebanon), the DesMoines Register (U.S.A.), TelevIZIon (Germany), Common Ground News Service (U.S.A.).

Professor Kraidy is a regular expert guest on U.S. public media programs like The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, On the Media, All Things Considered, NPR News, The World, and Day to Day, and The Diane Rehm Show, in addition to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); he has given interviews to the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, Forward Magazine, El Mercurio (Chile), and La Croix (France), among others.


B.A., Notre Dame University (1992); M.A., Ohio University (1994); Ph.D. Ohio University (1996).


Arabic, French, Spanish

Research Interests:

Global communication studies, media institutions and public discourse, Arab media, politics and culture, The Iranian Media Project.

Recent Publications:

Reality Television and Arab Politics: Contention in Public Life (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Arab Television Industries, with Joe F. Khalil (British Film Institute/Palgrave MacMillan, 2009).

  • Culture and Modernity in the "Arab Media Revolution"
  • Global and Comparative Media Systems
  • Arab Uprisings: Local and Global Representations