Pretty Liar: Television, Language, and Gender in Wartime Lebanon

TitlePretty Liar: Television, Language, and Gender in Wartime Lebanon
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKhazaal, Natalie
Number of Pages325
PublisherSyracuse University Press

This book explores the rise of language and gender politics on Lebanese television to tell the untold story of the co-evolution of Lebanese television and its audiences and how the civil war of 1975-1991 affected that co-evolution. The shift in public interest in television has been widely acknowledged and interpreted within an institutional context as a victory of the neo-liberal entrepreneurship of a new, agile brand over the government inefficiency of Lebanon's national station, Télé Liban. Yet, the role of the Lebanese Civil War in reshaping national television and broadcasting in Arab media following the emergence of the Lebanese Broadcasting Company in 1985 has been unexplored. Based on empirical data and grounded in theory by Arab and global researchers, "Pretty Liar" offers textual analyses of five Lebanese fictional series, three major and several additional periodicals, and nine literary works, and provides context from unscripted interviews with television administrators, anchors, actors, and freelance contributors, print journalists, and audience members. Khazaal seeks to offer new insight into how entertainment television became a site for politics and political resistance, feminism, and the cradle for post-war Lebanon, due to the shift in practices and standards of legitimacy. The history of television in Lebanon is not merely the history of technology and business, Khazaal argues, but rather the history of a people and their continuing quest for a responsive television even during times of civil unrest

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