Global Islamophobia and the News Media, Entertainment Media, and Social Media

Muslim Studies Program 14th Annual Conference
Michigan State University, International Center, East Lansing, MI, USA
April 8-9, 2021
Global Islamophobia and the News Media, Entertainment Media, and Social Media

Michigan State University is hosting an international conference on "Global Islamophobia and the News Media, Entertainment Media, and Social Media." This conference will present work related to Muslim portrayals in the media (e.g., news, entertainment, social media) and evaluate how Islamophobia manifests on these platforms.

Significance of theme: The media is an important conduit for conveying messages to the public, shaping public attitudes, influencing the national discourse, and generating stereotypes. Past research suggests the ways in which outgroups are represented in the media impacts the public’s perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors toward them, as well as shaping support for policies that harm members of these outgroups. Scholarship is only now beginning to extend this line of research to Muslims, and to specifically explore how the media is shaping discrimination against Muslims globally. For instance, Muslims are increasingly occupying a more prominent role in the American cable news media. For instance, they were mentioned in 28.46% of all CNN broadcasts, 31.53% of FOX broadcasts, and 41.65% of MSNBC broadcasts in 2016. This conference will invite panelists to present work related to Muslim portrayals in the media (e.g., news, entertainment, social media) and evaluate its effects either on the public or on Muslims themselves.

Panelists from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds—including, among other possibilities, computer science, sociology, anthropology, religious studies, political science, communication, media studies, and psychology—will be invited to apply to attend and present their research on Islamophobia in the news media, entertainment media, and on social media. By bringing together leading scholars who study how Islamophobia manifests on each of these platforms, we will develop a more comprehensive understanding of the pervasiveness of anti-Muslim sentiment, measure its effects, and develop recommendations to address it. The conference will build a mentoring network of scholars interested in Muslims, leading to stronger future data collection and research efforts, and will help underrepresented members of the profession (including women and people of color) to succeed in their scholarship.

Conference format: The two-day conference will take place on April 8-9 and will include a networking dinner, panels, posters, and a keynote. The precise format will be announced at a later date.

Call for abstracts: Scholars in sociology, anthropology, religious studies, political science, communication, psychology, computer science, media studies, and other relevant fields are welcome to apply, including junior scholars (e.g. graduate students and postdocs). The deadline to apply is September 30, 2020, and accepted papers and posters will be announced by October 31, 2020.

For more information, please visit https://muslimstudies.isp.msu.edu/about/conference.

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