Culture Made in Arabia


WHEN April 5-8, 2021
5-7 PM WHERE Zoom Webinar WHO NYU Abu Dhabi Institute By Invitation Interested scholars please contact

Since the turn of the 21st century, the Arabian Peninsula has presented itself both as a major producer of cultural goods and a hub of cultural presentation, exchange, and commerce. State-sponsored as well as private endeavours have moved the region from the margins of contemporary Arabic culture towards its centre, thus shaping a distinct Khaleeji identity. The conference gathers scholars, cultural entrepreneurs, and practitioners to analyse the Arabian Peninsula’s new role as a contender on the regional cultural scene. Looking at various cultural sectors it examines state-led cultural policies and raises the question of the existence of a Khaleeji “pop culture”, understood both as commercial entertainment and as the grassroots cultural forms produced by local youth and by diverse migrant communities.


The conference includes three public lectures, by prominent scholars working on Arabic cultural productions, co-organized by Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and CEFREPA. Please find the registration links below:

Monday, April 5, 5 - 6:30pm: Tarek El Ariss, Professor and Chair, Middle Eastern Studies, Dartmouth College “The Development of Arabic Culture from the Nahḍa to the Digital Age” - Register here.

Wednesday, April 7, 6 - 7:30pm: Walter Armbrust, Albert Hourani Fellow, Professor of Modern Middle Eastern Studies, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford “Archives and History in Media Studies, the Gulf example” - Register here.

Thursday, April 8, 5 - 6:30pm Franck Mermier, Senior Researcher, CNRS, Paris and Institut Français d’Etudes Anatoliennes, “The Arab Cultural Field from National Arenas to Cultural Pan-Arabism” - Register here.

Convened by
  • Laure Assaf, Assistant Professor of Arab Crossroads Studies and Anthropology,, NYUAD
  • Frédéric Lagrange, Chair Professor of Arabic Literature, SUAD and Delegate, CEFREPA
  • Clio Chaveneau, Assistant Professor, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi
Hosted by
  • NYU Abu Dhabi Institute

In Collaboration with

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi

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