Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Theatre Encounters: A Politics of Performance in Palestine
by Jawad, Rania, Ph.D., New York University, 2013, 279; 3557005
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation analyzes how theatrical practices in Palestine are directly connected to the ways politics are performed. Focusing on questions of representation and performance in the context of ongoing Zionist-Israeli settler colonialism, I highlight the play between the artistic and the political, between acting and 'real-life' experiences, to demonstrate how each are constitutive of the other. Drawing on framing strategies that have played a defining role in the struggle over Palestine, shaping our understanding of socio-political realities on the ground, I analyze performance as a site through which power operates.

As strategies of performance have been mobilized throughout the decades in Palestinians' fight for international recognition, legitimacy and self-determination, political solutions have been based on how Palestinians perform. My readings of theatre plays and performances are thus contextualized within a larger frame of performance politics. Palestine is treated as a stage on and through which politics are performed and a reality that is continually staged. I specifically address how theatre is mobilized as a representational and pedagogical tool, as a way to make visible the performance in the everyday, and as a strategic means to confront the colonial power. By critically reflecting on questions of culture, nation, resistance, and violence, this study offers a contextualization of the under-studied and under-theorized field of theatre practice in all of Palestine. In exploring politics as staged and enacted in the everyday and taking into account the multiple registers of performance—from the artistic to the political, from military to 'nonviolent'—this analysis makes visible what is at stake in how Palestinians perform.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shohat, Ella
Commitee: Halim, Hala, Lockman, Zachary, Tawil-Souri, Helga, Taylor, Diana
School: New York University
Department: Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Theater, Middle Eastern Studies
Keywords: Cultural studies, Palestine, Performance, Representation
Publication Number: 3557005
ISBN: 978-1-267-99583-4
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