Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 2012-2014
Department of Theater and the Women's & Gender Studies Program
Spring 2013 and Spring 2014
|Dr. Maral Yessayan|
As a feminist performance ethnographer and analyst, I work in the fields of dance and performance, cultural anthropology, star and media, and Middle East studies on gender and women. My area of focus is Jordan where I am interested in the intersections between monarchy, performance, and branding. In my book manuscript I combine my own embodied experience as a performer with ethnography and political history to examine Jordanian national dancers not just as aesthetic bodies but as temporary workers and hobbyists who negotiate patriarchy, gender issues, and Islamic beliefs while materializing the monarchal vision of a modern Muslim Jordan. I am currently working on another project that focuses on Queen Rania and her humanitarian performances of activism to understand how her image is constructed, through what mechanisms and institutions it is produced, in what ways it is consumed and received, to whom it appeals, and what role does it play in the lives of different Jordanian and global audiences.
My teaching interests include topics on women in Muslim cultures and postcolonial nation states; western and world dance history; methods and theories of writing and performing ethnography; Arab and Muslim stereotypes from colonial periods to present U.S. popular culture. As a trained performer, instructor, and choreographer, I work with different movement practices including Jordanian national dance, oriental dance, ballet, modern dance, contact improvisation, Pilates and yoga. In my spare time, I enjoy the great outdoors of New England. To view my resume, click here.
Last Updated: 2/12/14