Strange/rs Together: Arab Women Art, Displacement, and Narrative

Open Access
Abu Bakr, Sarah W
Graduate Program:
Art Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
February 14, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Karen Treat Keifer-Boyd, Dissertation Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • Karen Treat Keifer-Boyd, Committee Chair/Co-Chair
  • Charles Richard Garoian, Committee Member
  • Kimberly Anne Powell, Committee Member
  • Gabeba Baderoon, Outside Member
  • Arab
  • Arab Women
  • contemporary art
  • Displacement
  • Palestine
  • Arab identity
  • Women of Color
  • Feminist Theory
  • Postcolonial
  • Decolonial
  • Women's Studies
  • Mona Hatoum
  • Ghada Amer
  • Ghadah Alkandari
  • Hanaa Malallah
  • Bahia Shehab
  • Muslim Women
  • Exile
  • Refugee
  • Death
  • Narrative Inquiry
  • Autobiography
  • Storytelling
In this dissertation, I examine meanings of displacement through a process of re-collecting and re-narrating stories of Arab women, as well as theorizing the artwork of Arab women artists. The Arab women discussed in this dissertation are Mona Hatoum, Ghada Amer, Ghadah Alkandari, Bahia Shehab, and Hanaa Malallah. The dissertation uses creative writing as a methodology of constructing an alternative narrative about Arab women that goes beyond the reduction committed by global media stereotypes. I also use the art encounter (or lack of) as a way of knowing, and discuss limits of access that Arab bodies need to negotiate in our current historical moment, where Arab refugee bodies in specific are causing a global crisis. My dissertation aims to shift the knowledge produced about Arab women from its historically Orientalist discourse towards an open-ended inquiry that regards situated knowledge and personal experience as its epistemic fuel.