SOAS University of London

Centre for Global Media and Communications

Katharina Schmoll

BA (Germany) MA (SOAS)
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  • Teaching
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Katharina Schmoll
Miss Katharina Schmoll
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Thesis title:
Envisioning a Democratic Future: Voice, Recognition and Citizenship in Morocco post Arab Spring
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

Drawing upon extensive fieldwork in Rabat and Casablanca, this research explores the changing (mediated) public sphere in Morocco post Arab Spring. The protagonists are the female members of the democracy-oriented Justice and Development Party (PJD) who, as members of a rising urban middle-class, have been particularly affected by the changes. Weaving together narratives about Morocco’s past, present and imagined future, this study examines both how recent changes have influenced these women’s everyday lives and what their personal and political visions for Morocco look like. Rather than merely tracing the women’s inclusion in the public sphere, it ethnographically explores the women’s own views towards socio-political change and the role media play in the public (mis)recognition of these female voices. As another focal point, the research will also explore in how far the latter’s family and gender ideals influence and explain their visions of and attitudes towards change. Building on and extending conceptualisations such as voice and recognition, this research aims to gain fresh perspectives on how media, women and society in the MENA may be analysed and understood beyond empowerment and self-expression.


  • LSE Media and Communications PhD Symposium (2016): Everyday Politics and Media & Communications - New approaches for theories and methods in the 21st Century. Paper given on: “Gender and the 'Justice and Development Party' (PJD) in Morocco: Perspectives on Voice and Empowerment in a moderate Islamist context.
  • Seminar with Centre Jacques Berque in Rabat, Morocco. Paper given on: Autonomisation féminine ou changement socio-politique? Ethnographie médiatique auprès des femmes politique du PJD (2017).


  • Centre for Global Media and Communications
  • Centre for Gender Studies
  • London Middle East Institute (LMEI)
  • British Moroccan Society
  • The Muslim Institute



Arab/ Muslim public spheres, voice and recognition, (digital) citizenship, audiences, ethnography, the everyday, political Islam, gender, empowerment, modernities, Muslims in Europe, Morocco, MENA.