Western Libraries Reading Series: Brian J. Bowe
Western Washington University Assistant Professor of Journalism Brian J. Bowe will discuss his research on how media coverage shapes perceptions of Muslim-Americans from 4-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb.15 in Western Libraries Special Collections on the 6th Floor of Wilson Library.
This presentation, "Framing Islam: How media coverage shapes perceptions of Muslim neighbors and Islamic threats," is free and open to the public.
In recent years, growing communities of Muslim-Americans have faced tensions over practicing their faith against the backdrop of global conflict and terrorism, which is represented on local levels in media coverage when Muslims assert their philosophical right to exist within American society.
Bowe’s talk will examine the ways routine decision-making processes of media workers shape the public’s perceptions of Muslims in the United States, and he will discuss the tendency for media discourse to treat Muslims as monolithic others, rather than individuals with a range of beliefs and experiences.
Bowe will focus on his research into the coverage of a series of recent controversies, including debates over mosque construction or proposals to preemptively ban Shariah from American jurisprudence. He will also explore how some reporting exhibits Islamophobia, (or indiscriminate negative attitudes directed at Islam), while other coverage shows evidence of Islamophilia, (which is the stereotypical "good Muslims” who are model citizens, in contrast to "bad Muslims," who serve as rhetorical enemies).
Bowe is a veteran journalist, author, and educator whose work examines the interplay of journalism and culture in multiple settings. Bowe earned his doctorate from Michigan State University’s Media and Information Studies program; his research specialty is media framing, and particularly news coverage of Muslims in the U.S.
Before entering academia, Bowe worked at newspapers in Michigan and New Hampshire and spent a decade in public relations. He has written extensively about music, publishing books about Judas Priest, The Ramones and The Clash. He co-edited the anthology CREEM: America’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll Magazine (2007 Collins) and has written liner notes for releases by Iggy & the Stooges, the MC5 and Was (Not Was).
This event is being offered as part of the Western Libraries Reading Series, dedicated to showcasing the scholarly and creative work of Western faculty and staff by featuring diverse speakers from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines who are engaged in research, writing, and teaching at Western.