Jane E. Goodman has long been fascinated by cultural forms of expression. She began researching Algerian theater in 2008, when she spent a year in Algeria working with five theater troupes in the cities of Oran and Mostaganem. When one of the troupes, Istijmam Culturelle, was selected by the Center Stage program of the U.S. State Department to tour the United States in 2016, she knew she wanted to write about the experience. The tour is the focus of her new book Staging Cultural Encounters: Algerian Actors Tour the United States. In a previous project, she followed women’s songs as they moved from mountain villages in Algeria’s Kabyle Berber region to a global stage (Berber Culture on the World Stage: From Village to Video). The author is herself a singer of world music, having performed for more than two decades with Libana and Kaia.
Goodman is on the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University, where she teaches courses on performance, intertextuality, power and violence, and identity and difference, with particular focus on North Africa and the Middle East.
Theater, Artistic Practice, & Civic Life
This site features Goodman’s work with the El Moudja Theater in Mostaganem, Algeria between 2009 and 2013. It provides footage of the events the author discusses in her research articles “Before the Ruins” and “The Man Behind the Curtain.”