Date of Award

11-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Mass Communication

First Advisor

Ali Noor Mohamed

Second Advisor

Ayo Oyeleye

Third Advisor

Mohammed Aboelenein

Abstract

Literary journalism is an art form that combines storytelling techniques with the verifiability of standard journalism. Research in the field is recent and predominantly Western. Unlike Anglo-American literary journalism, there are no studies on Arabic literary journalism as a stand-alone art form in Arabic and only one in English, which examines the reasons for its scarcity. This study aims to prove otherwise. The objective of this research is to combine history and criticism in exploring Arabic literary journalism; examine its predecessors, characteristics, motives and how it relates to its Anglo-American counterpart; and determine whether the two are fundamentally different or show any parallels. This study will not only illuminate the Arabic side, thereby providing a fresh perspective on several texts, but will also help deepen the understanding and appreciation of literary journalism as a global phenomenon rather than a Western one. Theories and definitions by such Anglo-American scholars in the field as Norman Sims, Thomas Connery, John Hartsock, Ben Yagoda, Kevin Kerrane, Mark Kramer, Barbarah Lounsberry, and Tom Wolfe will be utilized as a backdrop to analyze the style and purpose of a sample consisting of pieces written by 24 established Arab journalists and/or literary figures across different eras. The research will also benefit from a small group of theories relating to humor studies, sociolinguistics, literature, and definitions of literary journalism as provided by certain Arab journalism scholars such as Mar’e Madkour and Mohammed Sayed Mohammed. This study will ultimately contribute to current debates about international literary journalism in addition to introducing a new field of study to the Arab region, one that provides a better interpretation for texts that possess both literary and journalistic qualities.

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