Ammar Al-Maani Al-Maani

School of English & Media Studies
College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Profile

Thesis Title
Postcolonial Arab Theatre of Trauma and Resistance

Research Description
This research responds to calls to reconceptualise trauma theory and to consider its applicability to postcolonial societies by exploring a range of manifestations of trauma in Arab theatre. Just as exploration of the multidirectionality of power and responsibility has been a gap in trauma studies, so has Arab theatre been largely overlooked in postcolonial theatre and performance studies. The research addresses both these gaps together, analysing contemporary Arab theatre, rituals of mourning, spiritual performances and the use of satire and storytelling devices, as discourses of trauma. The study aims to contribute new understandings to the project of decolonising trauma studies, by examining how Arab theatre is a site for negotiating and representing traumatised people and silenced histories in the Arab world.

Research Importance
This study is important as it covers a wide range of contemporary theatrical productions and performances from several Arab Spring countries narrating the momentous Arab Spring period in Arab contemporary history. Few theatre and performance studies have shown interest in theatrical movements in many Arab countries such as Jordan.

Research Benefit
As the aim of this critical investigation is to offer better understanding of politics and its expression in theatre for Arab theatre-makers and theatre goers, the outcomes of my research will benefit theatre-makers in the Arab world or any who have similar socio-political conditions.

Personal Description
I have studied and taught at several different universities, including as a Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant at Duke University (North Carolina), completing my Master of Arts at University of North Florida, US, teaching at Isra University (Amman), and King Faisal University (Saudi Arabia), and completing a BA at Hashemite University, Jordan. Having experiences from different cultural, economic, political, and educational systems adds to my personality. I chose Massey University for various reasons; a first experience in the Pacific, availability of supervisors, tuition fees (soaring housing prices, though). On completion I would like to be an author and a critic.

Supervisors
Associate Professor Elspeth Tilley
Dr Rand Hazou

Publications

Al-Maani, A. (2017, April 12). Post-colonial Arab Theatre of Trauma and Resistance. School of English & Media Studies Research Seminar. Massey University: Manawatu, SGP3.64; Albay, AT2.51; Wellington, 7C34

Al-Maani, A. (2017, June 23). A stab in the waist of life: Performance as a site of intervention in colonial Imperialism and neo-colonial complicity. Review of Fire in the Water: Fire in the Sky, by Miria George. https://www.theatreview.org.nz/reviews/review.php?id=10358 

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