PhD thesis

January 11th, 2014

Identities in Early Arabic Journalism. The Case of Louis Sabunji
The second half of the nineteenth century witnessed the emergence of private Arabic journalism, in places such as Beirut and Cairo. Among the earliest entrepreneurs in this new industry was a Catholic priest from Northern Mesopotamia, Louis Sabunji (1838-1931). He published various –sometimes highly polemical– magazines and pamphlets in various cities, including Beirut, Istanbul, Cairo, and London. The second half of the nineteenth century is also the period of emerging and evolving discourses of identity in the Arab world. Partly responsible for these developments was the nascent journalistic industry, which addressed their readership as Arabs, Syrians, Lebanese, or Easterners. This study approaches identity as something that people do in communication with others, by referring to an identity. In the context of evolving discourses of identity, the question is how Sabunji referred to identities in his journalistic writings of the period between 1870 and 1880.

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