Michael Najjar

Michael Najjar profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor, Theater Arts
  • Phone: 541-346-2237
  • Office: 209 Villard Hall
  • Office Hours: M W F 10am-1130am
  • Departments: IRES, Theatre Arts
  • Affiliated Departments: Middle East and North African Studies
  • Interests: Contemporary Arab-American Theatre and Performance, Contemporary Theatre, Ethnic Studies, Critical Race Theory, Arab-American Studies.
  • Website: Website
  • Research Website: Research
  • Curriculum Vitae

Research and Teaching

Courses:

Majors Seminar, Theatre History, Playwriting, Contemporary Arab-American Theatre, and Middle Eastern Theatre.

Pedagogical Statement:
The classroom and rehearsal hall are places for intellectual growth, creative expression, and open dialogue. I am dedicated to a pedagogy that encourages students to achieve their highest potential through collaboration, exploration, and inspiration. I believe that the theatre is a necessary forum in society that transforms audiences and theatre artists alike.

Research Interests:
Contemporary Arab-American Theatre and Performance, Contemporary Theatre, Ethnic Studies, Critical Race Theory, Arab-American Studies.

Awards and Accomplishments:

Certificate of Merit, Directing, Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, 2022, Fund for Faculty Excellence Award, 2021, Faculty Research Mentor Award, 2021.

Fund for Faculty Excellence Award University of Oregon, 2021,Faculty Research Mentor Award University of Oregon, 2021, Summer Stipend for Humanities University of Oregon, 2020

Ernest G. Moll Faculty Research Fellowship in Literary Studies, 2019, NEH Summer Institute, 2017, Humanities and Creative Arts Award, 2016, Working Group/Active Teaching & Learning, 2016, Rippey Innovative Teaching Award, 2016, Global Oregon Faculty Collaboration Award, 2016, Rutherford Initiative for Middle Eastern Studies, 2015, Certificate of Merit, Directing, Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, 2014, Junior Professor Development Award, 2014, OHC/CAS Faculty Author Subvention Grant, 2014, U.C. Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship, 2007-2011, UCLA Summer Research Mentorship, 2009, UCLA Center for World Languages Scholarship, 2008, President’s Award American Druze Society 2007, Master Teacher/Outstanding Service Award, Bend Theatre for Young People, 2003.

Publications:
The Vagrant Trilogy: Three Plays by Mona Mansour. Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2022.

“Female Arab American Solo Performance and Stand-Up: A Burgeoning Genre of Arab American Art,” Sajjilu Arab American: A Reader in SWANA Studies. Edited by Louise Cainkar, Pauline Homsi Vinson, Amira Jarmakani. Syracuse University Press, 2021.

“Arab and Arab American Theatre: A Genre Absent from the American Theatrical Canon,” co-authored with Samer Al-Saber in Troubling Traditions: Canonicity, Theatre, and Performance in the US, ed. by Lindsey Mantoan, Matthew Moore, and Angela Farr Schiller. Routledge Press.

"Middle Eastern American Theatre: Communities, Cultures and Artists." Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2021.

"Heather Raffo’s Iraq Plays: The Things That Can’t Be Said." Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2021.

“Teaching Middle Eastern Theatre: Challenges, Opportunities, and Rewards,” an article, in Theater in the Middle East: Between Performance and Politics, ed. by Babak Rahimi, Anthem, 2020.

"ReOrient 2019: A Homecoming for Golden Thread Alumni” https://goldenthread.org/posts/reorient-2019-a-homecoming-for-golden-thread-alumni/

Epilogue, “Casting a Movement: The Welcome Table Initiative”. Routledge Publishing, 2019.

"The Selected Works of Yussef El Guindi." Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2019.

“Theater: Plays by Women Playwrights, Directors, and Producers in Islamic Cultures” in Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic Cultures, co-authored with Zeina Salame. Koninklijke Brill N.V., 2018.

“The Talented Ones” Review, Theatre Journal 70 (2018), pp. 255-256.

"Six Plays of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," McFarland & Co., Inc. Publishers, 2018.

"Arab American Drama, Film and Performance: A Critical Study, 1908 to the Present." McFarland & Co., Inc. Publishers, 2015.

"Four Arab American Plays: Works by Leila Buck, Jamil Khoury, Yussef El Guindi, and Lameece Issaq & Jacob Kader." McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2013.

“‘There’s Nothing Funny About Your People”: Muslim American Humor in the Post 9/11 World,'” an article, in Muslims in American Popular Culture, ed. by Iraj Omidvar and Anne Rypstat Richards, Praeger, 2014.

“Re-evaluating the Syrio-American School: Gibran, Rihani and Naimy: East-West Interactions in Early Twentieth-Century Arab Literature by Aida Imangulieva,” a Book Review, Al-Jadid Magazine, vol. 16, no. 62 (2010)

“Understanding Who We Are: A Country Called Amreeka: Arab Roots, American Stories by Alia Malek,” a Book Review, Al-Jadid Magazine,vol. 16, no. 62 (2010).

“Loving His Country Through ‘Metadrama’: Alfred Farag and the Egyptian Theater,” a Book Review, Al-Jadid Magazine, vol. 15, no. 61 (2009).

“Embracing Inbetweeness: Race and Ethnicity in the Early Syrian American Diaspora by Sarah M.A. Gualtieri,” a Book Review, Al-Jadid Magazine, vol. 15, no. 61 (2009). http://aljadid.com/books/Embracinginbetweenness.html

“Nahda’s Children: Conscience of the Nation: Writers, State, and Society in Modern Egypt by Richard Jacquemond,” a Book Review, Al-Jadid Magazine, vol. 15, no. 60 (2009). http://aljadid.com/books/NahdasChildren.html

“Restaging Culture: Pacific Overtures 30 Years On,” Thompson Gale Arts & Humanities Community News, March 2005.

“The Shifting Shape of Recent Performance Art,” Thompson Gale Arts & Humanities Community News, January 2005.

“Writing from the Hyphen: Arab-American Playwrights Struggle with Identity in the Post-9/11 World,” Thompson Gale Arts & Humanities Community News, September 2004.

“Thirty-nine Years and Counting: A Look at East West Players’ ‘New Perspectives,’” Thompson Gale Arts & Humanities Community News, July 2004.

“Phoenix Ascending: Seattle’s ACT Theater Rises from the Ashes,” Thompson Gale Arts & Humanities Community News, May 2004.

“Laurence Olivier,” St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, Detroit: St. James Press, 2000.

“Community Theater,” St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, Detroit: St. James Press, 2000.

“Death of a Salesman,” St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, Detroit: St. James Press, 2000.

“The Glass Menagerie,” St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, Detroit: St. James Press, 2000.

Selected Production Credits:

Director, Art, Oregon Contemporary Theatre, 2021.

Director, Zafira and the Resistance, New Arab American Theatre Works @ The Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, 2019. Director, Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World, Minority Voices Theatre @ The Very Little Theatre, Eugene, 2018. Scenes From 70* Years, Golden Thread Productions, San Francisco, 2019. New Threads, Golden Thread Productions, 2017. Lead Director for Semitic Commonwealth, Silk Road Rising, 2017. Director/Writer: Talib, Silk Road Theatre Project, Chicago, 2010; Writer: Farewell Beloved, Royal Jordanian Film Commission Screenwriters’ Lab, Jordan, 2010; Hamlet, Bend Theatre for Young People, Oregon, 2007; The Love of the Nightingale, Portland Community College Theatre Arts, 2007; Urinetown, Portland Community College Theatre Arts, 2006; Precious Stones, Silk Road Theatre Project, 2003; Lysistrata, Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, 2003.