SOAS University of London

Centre for Global Media and Communications

Miss Katharina Schmoll

BA (Germany) MA (SOAS)
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Research


Katharina Schmoll
Miss Katharina Schmoll
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Thesis title:
Envisioning a Democratic Future: Voice, recognition and citizenship in contemporary Morocco
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

Building on and extending conceptualisations such as voice and recognition, this research investigates the public inclusion of educated women from Morocco’s rising Islamic-oriented and urban middle classes from a media and communication perspective.
Weaving together narratives about Morocco’s past, present and imagined future, this study uses ethnographic research to examine what public participation and having a voice means to a group of Moroccan middle-class and Islamic-oriented women affiliated with the Moroccan Justice and Development Party (PJD).
Following Morocco’s own little version of the ‘Arab Spring’ in 2011 and the subsequent adoption of a new constitution, the PJD reached its so far most successful period after being elected into office for the first time since the party’s founding in 1996. This research investigates Morocco’s ‘post Arab spring’ political opening period as well as the political stalemate following the 2016 general elections.
Concretely, based on extensive fieldwork between Rabat and Casablanca during and after Morocco’s 2016 general elections, and using narrative analysis as its main method, this research explores the following units of analysis:
a. the women’s everyday lives in the public as well as their personal and socio-political aspirations and struggles, focusing on understandings of gender relations and family ideals, democracy, citizenship and development;
b. the role of regimes of power (politics, media, patriarchy) as barriers to voice and recognition;
c. the protagonists’ understandings of voice and recognition.
By exploring these units of analyis, the 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.


‘This is not about self-expression’: Rethinking women’s participation in the Arab public sphere. DAVO Conference, Frankfurt, Germany 10/2018


Students as Audiences: Experiences from teaching the contemporary Middle East with a media and cultural studies lens. WOCMES Conference, Seville, Spain, 07/2018


Media as Fields of (Mis)recognition: Women of the PJD and quality of participation in the Moroccan public sphere, BRISMES Annual Conference, London 06/2018


Autonomisation féminine ou changement socio-politique ? Ethnographie médiatique auprès des femmes politique du PJD. Seminar, Centre Jacques Berque, Rabat, Morocco 11/2017


Gender and the PJD in Morocco: Perspectives on Voice and Empowerment in a moderate Islamist context. LSE Media and Communications PhD Symposium on ‘Everyday Politics and Media and Communications’, London 06/2016


  • 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.