Dr. Jack Shaheen, a 75-year-old author, media critic and former professor who has been widely honored for his career studying and contesting negative stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims in American media, will speak at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, in Woulfe Alumni Hall in Anderson Student Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.
His talk, “Reel Bad Arabs: Images of Arabs and Muslims in Popular Culture,” is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served and more information can be found on this website.
Shaheen is a professor emeritus of mass communication at Southern Illinois University and has given more than a thousand lectures throughout the world on the damaging racial and ethnic stereotypes of Asians, Jews, Latinos, African Americans, American Indians and others. He has spoken at Oxford, Harvard, Emory, Amherst, the University of Southern California and West Point, and in London, Berlin, Paris, Prague, New Delhi and Cairo. He has consulted with the United Nations, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, national news organizations, and the New York and Los Angeles civil rights commissions.
In addition to chapters in college textbooks and essays in publications such as Newsweek, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, he is the author of Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People; Nuclear War Films; The TV Arab; Arab and Muslim Stereotyping in American Popular Culture; and GUILTY: Hollywood’s Verdict on Arabs After 9/11.
His most recent book, A is the Arab: Archiving Stereotypes in U.S. Popular Culture, features photographs of objects and materials from the Jack G. Shaheen Archive at New York University. The book documents U.S. popular-culture representations of Arabs from the early 20th century to today. The archive contains 4,000 items – ranging from motion pictures to toys – that feature anti-Arab and anti-Muslim depictions.
Last year Shaheen was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor; he also has received the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the University of Pennsylvania’s Janet Lee Stevens Award, and two Fulbright teaching awards.
Shaheen is the son of Lebanese immigrants to the United States and lives with his wife in South Carolina.
His April 22 lecture is sponsored by St. Thomas’ International Student Services, University Lectures Committee, Luann Dummer Center for Women, Student Diversity and Inclusion Services, Campus Ministry, Muslim Student Association, Globally Minded Student Association, Dean of Students Office, Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center, Islamic Resource Group, and the Communication and Journalism, International Studies, Political Science, Theology and History departments.
The lecture also is funded by a Loftus Mini-Grant. These grants, established in 2006 by Bob and Mary Jo Loftus, support St. Thomas programs that focus on health care and diversity issues.