Sut Jhally

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Sut Jhally (born 1955) is a professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst whose work focuses on cultural studies, advertising, media, and consumption.[1] He is the producer of 40+ documentaries on media literacy topics and the founder and executive director of the Media Education Foundation.[2]

The Media Education Foundation (MEF) is a non-profit established in 1992 which "produces and distributes documentary films and other educational resources to inspire critical reflection on the social, political, and cultural impact of American mass media." Their aim is to inspire students to think critically and in new ways about the hyper-mediated world around them.[3]

Also the author of 6 books and numerous scholarly and popular articles, Jhally is a public speaker and teacher. He has won the "Distinguished Teacher Award" at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where the student newspaper has also voted him "Best Professor." He has shown his films and lectured at many colleges and universities nationally and internationally. He was named one of New Woman magazine's "People of the Year" in 1992.[4]

Jhally was born in Kenya, and raised in England. After completing his undergraduate work at the University of York in England, he moved to Canada after accepting a scholarship to the University of Victoria. He continued his studies at Simon Fraser University, where he received his PhD[5]

Works[edit]

Jhally is often highly critical of popular culture, advertising, as well as various aspects of US foreign policy.

In his 1991 video "Dreamworlds" he describes the image of women in music videos as male adolescent fantasies: young and pretty, willing and eager to please men, saying no when meaning yes, often reduced to outward appearances and body parts. He concludes that an unhealthy attitude towards sexual violence can be fostered by these videos, and calls for balancing them with other cultural representations of sexuality. When MTV complained about his use of parts of copyrighted music videos, he claimed fair use and contacted the media about the story.[6]

In his essay "Advertising at the Edge of the Apocalypse" and his video "Advertising and the End of the World" he argues that the major cultural force today, pervasive advertising, by constantly reinforcing a bogus association between consumerism and happiness and by focusing on individual immediate needs, stands in the way of a discussion of societal and long-term needs and leads to a squandering of resources. The video "Killing Us Softly III", created with Jean Kilbourne, is a critique of the image of women in advertising.

In the 2004 video "Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land" he shows the influence of Israeli propaganda and PR on the United States public opinion regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In the 2004 video "Hijacking Catastrophe" he argues that the "war on terror" has been used by U.S. officials as a pretext to project military power across the world.[7]

In his 2006 video "Reel Bad Arabs" he explores the vilification of Arabs in American cinema, following Jack Shaheen's 2001 book Reel Bad Arabs.

Video documentaries[edit]

Books[edit]

Articles[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]