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The Middle East on Stage: Representation of Arabs & Muslims in American Theater

Semester and Year FA 2018
Course Number ARTS-UG1054
Section 001
Instructor Leila Buck
Days M
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 4
Level U



In this arts workshop, students will explore the process and politics of creating theatrical work involving Arab, Muslim and other under- and mis-represented groups in the U.S. Students will engage with works and visits from leading Arab and Muslim American playwrights including Heather Raffo, Mona Mansour, Ayad Akhtar, Ismail Khalidi, Steven Karam, and others, as well as key theatrical works about Arabs and Muslims by non-Arab, non-Muslim creative teams. Other key readings will draw from Edward Said’s  Orientalism;  Evelyn Al Sultany’s  Arabs and Muslims in the Media;  and Michael Malek Najjar’s  Arab American Theatre  among others. Through engagement with the works above and creating their own short pieces involving Muslim and Arab characters, students will explore the complexities and challenges of the process from multiple perspectives, centered around the following questions: What is the responsibility of a theater-maker in creating work that represents a particular culture? How does or should that change when the culture is largely mis– or underrepresented—or if it is not their own? How do current events and the pressures of commercial success influence these decisions? How do our responses to these questions and our choices as storytellers impact perceptions of and actions toward Arabs, Muslims, and other groups both here and abroad?


All Syllabi

Course Type

Arts Workshops (ARTS-UG)