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Group Description

This group is the unofficial discussion list of the Arabic Theatre Working Group at The International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR/FIRT).

The aim of the Arabic Theatre Working Group is to broaden international understanding of the theatre and performance traditions of the Arab and Islamic world. Subjects can be drawn from all areas of theatre activity as well as from performance work that lies outside the traditional European concept of theatre. Insights from the fields of cultural and postcolonial studies will doubtless be represented in the work of the group, but all approaches that will provide a better understanding of this large field of studies are welcome.

The word "Arabic" in the name of the group is not meant to be exclusive but is rather used as shorthand for a number of diverse groups and ethnicities united by politico-cultural commonalities and symbiotically shared histories. The sphere of the WG's activties should thus include cognate Islamic non-Arab traditions (such as Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, etc.) as well as non-Arab communities in the Arab World (such as the Berber and Nubians).

The Arabic Working Group was proposed in the IFTR/FIRT World Congress 2006 in Helsinki and conevend for the first time and was officially approved in the IFTR/FIRT 2007, which was held in Stellenbosch, South Africa in July.

Membership is open to all scholars and practitioners willing to contribute to the activities of the Working Group and to endorse the overall aims of the IFTR/FIRT.

This list is moderated by Hazem Azmy (University of Warwick, UK), with input and guidance from Professor Marvin Carlson (CUNY, USA)


PICTURE: Belly dance was introduced to America when a dancer known as Little Egypt performed at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Another American fascination with "the exotic orient" thus began.

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