Date of Award

May 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

Committee Member

Cynthia Haynes

Committee Member

Todd May

Committee Member

Cameron Bushnell

Committee Member

Mashal Saif


This research is a re-imagination of Edward Said’s landmark scholarship Orientalism from a Pakistani perspective. The study focuses on the construction and creation of ideologies positioned in mass media (both US and Pakistani) messages. In doing so, I consider Edward Said’s Orientalism as a set of two distinctive theories: (i) the theory of representation, and (ii) the theory of power. For the former, I study the production and promotion of ideologies in the representation of events and case studies. These case studies include: (i) the Malala Yousafzai case (2012), (ii) the US Drone Strikes case (2010), (iii) the Daniel Pearl case (2002), and (iv) the Raymond Davis case (2011).

Employing the methodology of critical discourse analysis, I study the American newspapers’ stereotypical portrayals of Pakistan that depicts the country as a place that is backward, overtaken by benightedness, and civilizationally inferior. For the latter, I study the ideology of English language supremacy in Pakistan through the critical discourse analysis of newspaper advertisements. Here, I study this ideological dominance by examining repressive and ideological apparatuses in Pakistan. The core of my thesis is that the phenomena of imperialism and exploitation is also replicated within a nation wherein those within the circle of power and privileges tend to exploit/exclude marginalized groups, thus, rendering them as ‘others.’ Essentially, I study how language works in the frameworks of power. This research project entails consideration from multiple perspectives: rhetoric, media studies, cultural and critical studies, postcolonial theory, and rhetorical analysis and criticism, among others.



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