College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Women's and Gender Studies > Faculty > Laila Farah

Laila Farah

Dr. Farah attended Lebanese American University and Eastern Michigan University while working toward her BA in Theatre and Communication Arts and her MA in Performance Studies and Communication. She received her Doct​orate in Performance Studies from Southern Illinois University. She is currently an Associate Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at DePaul University and working on future performance pieces in Chicago, nationally and internationally, as well as touring with her latest production of “Weaving the Maps,” based on refugee women’s narratives from Syria, Iraq, and Palestine. She has performed two previous one woman shows nationally and internationally, entitled, “Shaping the World With Our Hands” and “Living in the Hyphen-Nation.” Her research interests include research with and the performance of “Third World” women and women of color, postcolonial identities and “alien-nation,” and ethnographic and auto-ethnographic performance. She is dedicated to her activism toward social justice, with an emphasis on gender justice and anti-racist and anti-imperialist and anti-settler-colonial oppressions. Dr. Farah has taught such courses as the Cultural Politics of the Performing Arts, Women in the Middle East, Gender, Agency, and Social Change, Women and War, and Transnational Women’s Studies and Performance Studies at Eastern Michigan University, Southern Illinois University, SUNY Potsdam, and DePaul University.

Courses Taught

  • WGS 200 Women's Studies in Transnational Contexts
  • WGS 290 Gender & Performance
  • WGS 307 Women in the Middle East
  • WGS 324 Women in Theatre
  • WGS 336 Women and Film
  • ISP 100 Women in Chicago Theatre
  • ISP 200 Immigrants or "Alien Others?"

Areas of Interest

  • Performance as Political and Social Resistance
  • Cultural Identification and Personal Narratives
  • Transnational Feminist Organizing
  • Cultural Constructions and Re-constructions
  • Gender and Identity

Major Publications

  • "Dancing on the Hyphen: Performing Diasporic Subjectivity", in Modern Drama
  • "Shaping the World with Our Hands", in "Voices Made Flesh: Performing Women's Autobiography", Miller and Taylor, eds. University of WisconsinPress, 2003.
  • "Marking Cultural Membership", in "Women in Language"
  • "Living in the Hyphen-Nation", in "Talking Back and Acting Out: Women Negotiating the Media Across Cultures", Jackson and Russo, eds. Peter Lang, 2001
  • "Nawal el-Saadawi," Feminist Encyclopedia Lorraine Code, ed. Routledge, 1999

Selected Listing of Performances and One-person Shows


"Living in the Hyphen-Nation" has been performed in various incarnations at the following universities and spaces [selected listing]:
  • Hofstra University , Hempstead , New York
  • Lebanese American University
  • National Women's Studies Association Conference
  • University of Iowa
  • New York University
  • University of Texas , Austin
  • University of Illinois : Urbana-Champaign
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Connecticut College
  • DePaul University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Wesleyan University
  • University of Michigan-Dearborn
  • Women in Theatre Conference
  • Guild Complex-Chicago
  • Public Square

"Shaping the World with Our Hands" has been performed at the following universities and spaces [selected listing]:

  • Hamilton College
  • Brandeis University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Dartmouth
  • SUNY-Potsdam