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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Global Popular Culture: Middle East and North Africa Studies

A guide to popular culture materials and scholarship from around the world.

Search Terms

In addition to searching by country and language (which will get you the most specific resources), you can try these geographic terms to narrow your subject searches in the catalog. Add these terms after your seach terms (e.g., Popular Culture - Middle East)

  • Middle East
  • Africa, North
  • Arab countries
  • Islamic countries

General Resources

On the Web:

Books and Journals:

resources by genre

Preview: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Ana Lily Amirpour's 2014 A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is "the first Iranian Vampire Western," and was featured in the "Next" program at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Critics have lauded the film's genre-bending sensibilities and fresh take on the trope of the vampire love story. Stream the whole film for free on Kanopy (University of Illinois login required), and explore other feature films and documentaries from the Middle East and North Africa.

Films and Research Resources in the Library:

To find films in the Library catalog, do a subject search for feature films + country. The countries most represented in the library collection include Iran, Israel, Algeria, Egypt, and Turkey.

LibGuides:

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Web Resources:

Hip hop has had a strong influence in the Middle East and North Africa, with the art form influencing social movements across the Arab world. The short film Hip Hop and the Tunisian Revolution, below, explores how Tunisian musicians have used the genre as a way to protest the government and spread their message.

Palestinian rappers are highlighted in the documentary feature Slingshot Hip Hop. Watch the trailer below, and check out the DVD from the library.

Learn more about popular music in the Middle East and North Africa:

Web Resources:

The 2008 documentary Zanzibar Soccer Queens follows a group of women in the Muslim nation who fight restrictive gender norms to play soccer. Check out the trailer below and then watch the whole film, available to stream via Alexander Street Press (link goes to the Library catalog).

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Street Art and Revolution in the Middle East

This interview with Christane Gruber, Associate Professor of Islamic Art and Visual Culture at the University of Michigan and curator of "Creative Dissent," an exhibit that put street art on display at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan in 2013, and Nazeer, an Egyptian street artist whose work was featured in the show, explores the political and creative dimensions of street art. Click on the title above to access a transcript and see a slide show of art from the exhibit.

On the Web:

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