AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

Media (Mis)Representations and the Muslim Body: A Lived Curriculum

by Krista Sarah Baliko

Institution: University of Regina
Year: 2014
Record ID: 2025449
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10294/5467


My research explores the ways in which dominant media (re)presents, embodies, and constructs Omar Khadr in contradistinction to ???real??? Canadians, reflects upon the potential consequences of such representations for both ???strangers??? and ???exalted subjects,??? and contemplates as well ways to disrupt both these dominant and oppressive narratives. I also provide a framework for Khadr???s case as it relates to the biopolitical ??? that is the management of bodies by regimes of truth. To do this I analyze the larger context under which Omar Khadr???s case has unraveled by considering the ways that different techniques of management (re)produce bodies in complex ways and how a politics of fear and states of exception manifest in these exalted subjects and strangers. Further, despite the persistence of dominant national narratives ??? of Canada as a fair, tolerant, equitable and accepting nation ??? we are still at a time in Canadian history when many examples point to the opposite being true. Thus, as the rhetoric persists while the paradoxical reality exists, it is crucial to critically examine how race, colonialism and nationhood work and intersect to oppress non-white bodies in relation to dominant discursive narratives of the nation, racialized governance, and citizenship formation. In order to investigate how these often exclusionary practices articulate with one another I analyze their materialization in media accounts of the complex case of Canadian citizen Omar Khadr through a close reading of two documents: a letter that Omar Khadr wrote to his Canadian lawyer, Dennis Edney, dated May 26, 2010, and Margaret Wente???s Globe and Mail editorial entitled, ???Welcome Back Khadr, You Lucky Guy.??? I then think about the ???big picture??? that surrounds Khadr???s case to better illustrate how a politics of fear is manifested in the bodies of exalted subjects and strangers and what some of the consequences of doing so are by considering how populations of bodies are managed and controlled. In this section I analyze how the Muslim body has been produced as a dangerous body that is separate from ???real??? Canadians by exploring how techniques of control ??? such as risk management, safety, security ??? are enacted upon the social body in order to obtain/maintain optimization where such regulation further establishes a separation between the exalted and the stranger.