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  CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: Feb. 7, 2006

Jack Shaheen to discuss ethnic stereotypes in Hollywood films

DEARBORN---Author and media critic Jack Shaheen will visit the University of Michigan-Dearborn as part of the Center for Arab and Arab American Studies program "Hollywood's Arabs and Muslims after 9/11: Images as Lesson Plans, Teaching Us Whom to Love, Whom to Hate" beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14 in Lecture Hall B of the campus's Social Sciences Building.

The program, which is free and open to the public, will feature a film, a lecture by Shaheen, a panel discussion and a reception and book signing.

The evening kicks off with the film Casting Calls, a Discovery Channel University program that explores the history of film's ethnic "bad guy," looking at sociopolitical and economic forces that create, perpetuate and rehabilitate these characters, with special attention to current depictions of Muslims onscreen.

After the film, Shaheen will present "Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People" at 7:30 p.m. His talk will offer insights on stereotypic images of Bedouin bandits, submissive maidens, sinister sheikhs and gun-wielding evil Arab "terrorists." Shaheen will explain why these stereotypes persist and discuss the impact on people, opinion and policy.

Shaheen serves as a film consultant to companies such as DreamWorks SKG, Warner Bros. Studios, Hanna-Barbera Productions and the Showtime network.
Following his lecture, Shaheen will participate in a panel discussion with UM-Dearborn faculty members and Arab American filmmakers. A reception and book signing will follow at 9 p.m.

Funding for the event is provided by Ned Fawaz of Energy International; a Diversity Challenge Grant from the Office of the Provost, UM-Dearborn; and a Distinguished Faculty and Graduate Student Seminar Grant from the Office of the Vice President for Research at U-M Ann Arbor.

For more information, contact the Center for Arab American Studies at (313) 583-6334 or caasumd@umd.umich.edu.

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