Producing Algerian Publics: Theater, Ideology, and Civic Life


ACLS Fellowship Program


Communication and Culture

Named Award

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow named award


This project examines Algerian vernacular theater as a pedagogical vehicle used by both secularizing and Islamist political movements to model new practices of citizenship. It studies theatrical initiatives from two periods when the ideological cleavage between Islamist and secularist currents was particularly acute: the struggle between Reform Islam and communism in the 1930s, and the conflict between Islamist and secularist movements of the 1990s-present. At both moments, theater emerged as a privileged site where Algerians of opposed ideological and political persuasions could give voice to shared concerns about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Research includes archival and ethnographic components and takes place in France and Algeria.