Jack George Shaheen Jr.
September 21, 1935
|Died||July 9, 2017 (aged 81)|
|Reel Bad Arabs|
Jack George Shaheen Jr. (September 21, 1935 – July 9, 2017) was a writer and lecturer specializing in addressing racial and ethnic stereotypes. He is the author of Reel Bad Arabs (adapted to a 2006 documentary), The TV Arab (1984) and Arab and Muslim Stereotyping in American Popular Culture (1997).
Early life and education
Shaheen graduated from Clairton High School in 1953. In 1957, he graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. In 1964, he received a master's degree from Pennsylvania State University. In 1969, Shaheen received a PhD from the University of Missouri.
Shaheen's work focused on racism and orientalism, particularly in popular culture such as Hollywood films. He delivered over 1,000 lectures on the issue across the United States and on three continents. He described his life's work in 2015, to Tavis Smiley, as "dedicated to trying to humanize Arabs and Muslims and to give visibility to American Arabs and American Muslims — to have us being projected no better, no worse, than anyone else."
Shaheen was a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, often walked along the beaches of Hilton Head Island and was a former member of the Hilton Head Orchestra board of directors. He also attended, as one obituary describes, "services at Holy Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church in Bluffton. He married Bernice Rafeedie, a Palestinian-American in 1966 and had two children, Michael and Michelle, along with scores of grandchildren and step-children.
Shaheen died on July 9, 2017 at the age of 81. People who praised his work include Ralph Nader, who said that Shaheen "provided the incriminating evidence directly from the biased media, unedited", and Ali Mirsepassi, director of New York University’s Iranian Studies Initiative, wrote in 2012 that "Jack Shaheen approaches his critical work with little personal or intellectual bitterness, moral arrogance or intellectual superiority."
Works and publications
- Shaheen, Jack G. (1979). Nuclear War Films. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 0809308436. OCLC 317396635.
- Shaheen, Jack G. (1984). The TV Arab. Bowling Green, Ohio: Popular Press. ISBN 0879723092. OCLC 581867731.
- Shaheen, Jack G. (2012). Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People (Revised and updated ed.). New York: Olive Branch Press, Interlink Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-623-71006-4. OCLC 928572276. – originally published in 2001
- Shaheen, Jack G. (2012). Guilty: Hollywood's Verdict on Arabs After 9/11. Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, Interlink Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-623-71020-0. OCLC 828794510.
- Jack Shaheen to Discuss Stereotyping of Arabs in the Media
- Jack Shaheen: A life dedicated to fighting racism
- "Jack Shaheen, who worked to dismantle Arab stereotypes in media, dies at 81". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- "Jack G. Shaheen Jr. Obituary". Legacy.com. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- "Jack Shaheen, Who Resisted and Cataloged Stereotyping of Arabs, Dies at 81". New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- "George Gerbner Archive". Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
- "Jack Shaheen Biography". Michigan State University. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- The Jack G. Shaheen Archive Comes to NYU
- THE KEVORKIAN CENTER MOURNS THE PASSING OF DR. JACK G. SHAHEEN
- "A Powerful Voice Against Arab Stereotyping, Jack Shaheen, Dies". NPR. July 10, 2017. Retrieved July 11, 2017.