theater, artistic practice, & civic life in algeria

dr. jane e. goodman


About the Author

Jane E. Goodman

Associate Professor

Department of Anthropology

Indiana University


Research and Teaching Interests

Performance Studies

Textuality and Discourse

Power and Violence

Identity and Difference

Ethnography and Social Theory

Colonial and Postcolonial Studies

Ethnographic Methods

North Africa and the Middle East


Current Research Projects

Algerian Tempest: An ethnographic study of the adapatation and performance of Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” by the Algerian theatrical troupe “El Moudja.” El Moudja is adapting The Tempest as part of an aesthetic reflection on art and politics. The troupe underwent its own “tempest” in June 2009, when their theater was demolished to clear the way for a public works project. Since then, like Shakespeare’s characters who found themselves marooned on a remote island following a shipwreck, the El Moudja actors have been working to reconstruct a new theater and relaunch their artistic program. This book will juxtapose an account of the demolition and reconstruction of the theater with an analysis of El Moudja’s adapation and performance of Shakespeare’s play.


Theater, Pedagogy, and Civic Life in Algeria: An ethnographic study based on my research with four amateur theater troupes in Algeria in 2008-2009. It will highlight theater as a pedagogical site where young Algerians are learning new forms of civic practice, self-discipline, and gender relationships through their participation in theatrical activities.


Reformist-Nationalist Theater in Algeria: A historical project on the use of theater by groups associated with the Islamic Reform movement of the 1930s to 1950s.


Recent Scholarship


2009. Bourdieu in Algeria: Colonial Politics, Ethnographic Practices, Theoretical Developments.  Coedited with Paul Silverstein. University of Nebraska Press.


2007.  A Cultural Approach to Interpersonal Communication: Essential Readings. Coedited with Leila Monaghan. Blackwell/Wiley Publishing.


2005. Berber Culture on the World Stage: From Village to Video. Indiana University Press.


Selected Articles

2010. “Berbers on Trial: Human Rights and the ‘Freedom of Association’ in Algeria 1985.” In Berbers and Others: Shifting Parameters of Ethnicity in the Contemporary Maghrib.Susan G. Miller and Katherine E. Hoffman, editors.Pp. 103-125. Indiana University Press.


2009. “Performing ‘LaÑ—cité’: Gender, Agency and Neoliberalism among Algerians in France.” In Politics, Publics, Personhood: Ethnography at the Limits of Neoliberalism. Carol J. Greenhouse, editor.  Pp. 195-206. University of Pennsylvania Press.


2007. “Local Songs, Global Circuits: Berber Culture on a World Stage.” InNorth African Mosaic: A Cultural Reappraisal of Ethnic and Religious Minorities. Nabil Boudraa and Joseph Krause, editors. Pp. 90-103. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


2004.  “Reinterpreting the Berber Spring: From Rite of Reversal to Site of Convergence.” Journal of North African Studies 9(3):60-82.


2002.  The Half-Lives of Texts: Poetry, Politics, and Ethnography in Kabylia, Algeria. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 12(2):157-188.


2002.  “Writing Empire, Underwriting Nation: Discursive Histories of Kabyle Berber ‘Oral Texts’.”  American Ethnologist29(1):86-122.


2002.  “’Stealing Our Heritage?’:  Women’s Folk Songs, Copyright Law, and the Public Domain in Algeria.”  Africa Today 49(1):84-97.