A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Remembering Jack Shaheen

Jack Shaheen died July 10 at the age of 81. Jack had a full career as Professor of Mass Communications at the University of Southern Illinois at Edwardsville, but his great accomplishment was his critique of Arab stereotypes in American media, especially film and television. Jack was the son of Lebanese Greek Catholic immigrants, but became a savvy interpreter of US media culture. His several books, including Reel Bad Arabs, about film stereotypes, and The TV Arab, were entertaining but serious critiques, and Jack famously persuaded Disney to drop an offensive line from a song in the film Aladdin.

Jack was a superb raconteur with a great sense of humor.

I posted about Jack's career several years ago, and the post includes a film clip. We saw each other rarely, but I considered him a friend, and he will be missed.

1 comment:

David Mack said...

Jack had warm feelings toward MEI, back when it was mostly WASPs who welcomed his scholarship and participation as a speaker in MEI programs. His work revealing conscious and unconscious stereotypes fit well with the MEI educational mission.