Non-Muslim understandings of Islam and Muslims in the Media

Wed, 2017-09-06 13:00
Dr Laurens de Rooij, a post-doctoral Fellow, will present the Department of Religious Studies seminar with a talk entitled, "Non-Muslim understandings of Islam and Muslims in the Media".  Inspired by the apparent overtly negative coverage of Islam and Muslims by the mainstream press, this thesis asks the research question: In what ways do depictions of Muslims and Islam in the News inform the thoughts and actions of non-Muslims in Europe? As the media plays an important role in society, the analysis of the influences of the media on a person’s ideas and conceptualisations of people of another religious persuasion is an important social issue. News reports about Islam and Muslims commonly relate stories that discuss terrorism, violence or other unwelcome or irrational behaviour, or the lack of integration and compatibility of Muslims and Islam with western values and society. Yet there is little research on how non-Muslims in Europe engage with and are affected by media reports about Islam and Muslims. To address this gap of knowledge, a content and discourse analysis of news stories was undertaken and then verbal narratives or thoughts and actions of participants were elicited through fieldwork using focus groups.  Laurens de Rooij (post-doctoral research fellow, University of Cape Town) completed his PhD at Durham University, UK, in 2017. His present research analyzes how the media discourse on religious minorities (particularly Muslims and Islam) affects how they are conceptualized, understood, and treated. This work is based on the research supported in part by the National Research Foundation of South Africa. He was a visiting researcher and scholar at Jakarta’s Graduate School Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (March-April 2013), Duke University’s Department of Religion (fall 2013), the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Centre for Media, Religion, and Culture (spring 2014), and at Brazil’s Fundação Joaquim Nabuco (summer 2016). 

Wasserman honoured by Humboldt Foundation

Fri, 2017-08-11 10:01 -- 01401867

Herman Wasserman, professor of media studies and director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies, has been awarded the prestigious Georg Forster Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award, granted in recognition of a researcher’s entire career achievements, includes a cash award and an invitation to undertake prolonged research in Germany. 

New Art Exhibition at Castle of Good Hope features Michaelis artists and staff

Thu, 2017-08-03 14:05 -- 01401867

Several award winning artists and staff from the Michaelis School of Fine Art are participating in a project steered by the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape. This collaborative project between UWC and UCT, entitled, 'Athlone in Mind' is a group show curated by Dr Kurt Campbell and Professor Jane Alexander has developed a new site-specific installation at the Castle of Good hope, where the exhibitions are presented side-by-side.

Creative Works win for Beethoven marathon

Fri, 2017-07-21 15:24 -- 01401867

Associate Professor François du Toit, from the South African College of Music at UCT, has won this year’s Creative Works Award for the Five Beethoven Concerti, played on two consecutive nights with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. He described the six-month preparation (five to six hours daily) for the 90-minute concerts as being like “practising for a marathon”.