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 PhD in Performance Studies from Southern Illinois University. She is currently an Associate Professor in Women's and Gender Studies at DePaul University and engaged in creating future performance pieces to perform in Chicago, nationally and internationally. She is currently 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, Arab American identities, “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. 

Courses Taught

  • WGS 200 Women's Studies in Transnational Contexts
  • ISP 200 Immigrants or "Alien Others?"
  • WGS 395 Senior Capstone
  • WGS 307/407 Women in the Middle East
  • WGS 345/445 Women, War, and Resistance
  • WGS 485 Gender, Agency, & Social Change

Areas of Interest

  • Performance as Political and Social Resistance
  •  Cultural Identification and Personal Narratives
  • Transnational Feminist Organizing
  • Cultural Resistance as Anti-Imperial & Anti-Racist Intervention
  • 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 University
  • Southwest College
  • St. Cloud State University
  • Purdue/Calumet
  • Eastern Communication Association
  • Hosftra University
  • Saulk Valley Community College
  • Central States Communication Association
  • SUNY-Potsdam
  • SUNY Albany

​Professional Affiliations

  • National Women's Studies Association (NWSA)
  • International Studies Association
  • Palestinian Feminist Collective
  • Arab American Studies Association