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The Colorblind ScreenTelevision in Post-Racial America$
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Sarah Nilsen and Sarah E. Turner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479809769

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479809769.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

Representations of Arabs and Muslims in Post-9/11 Television Dramas

Representations of Arabs and Muslims in Post-9/11 Television Dramas

(p.140) 6 Representations of Arabs and Muslims in Post-9/11 Television Dramas
The Colorblind Screen

Evelyn Alsultany

NYU Press

This chapter maps out the representational strategies used by television writers and producers after 9/11 to represent Arabs and Muslims as terrorists while avoiding Arab/Muslim terrorist stereotypes. It identifies a list of representational strategies used to illustrate how schematized they have become, and discusses the ideological work performed by them through “simplified complex representations”—the appearance of seemingly complex images and storylines that are in fact quite predictable and formulaic. While some of these strategies are used more frequently and more effectively than others, they all help to shape the many layers of simplified complexity. Simplified complex representations are the representational mode of the so-called post-race era, signifying a new era of racial representation. These representations appear to challenge or complicate former stereotypes and contribute to a multicultural post-race illusion or colorblindness.

Keywords:   representational strategies, television dramas, Arabs, Muslims, Arab/Muslim terrorist stereotype, post-9/11, simplified complex representations, post-race era, post-race, colorblindness

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