Contemporary Innovations in Arab Biography: A Conversation

Contemporary Innovations in Arab Biography: A Conversation

11 April 2022
Second keynote lecture in the run up to the Summer School Moving Biography
Thursday, 21 April 2022, 4-6pm (UTC+3)
American University of Beirut, IFI Auditorium, Green Oval

A Conversation between Jean Said Makdisi and Lina Saneh Majdalani

In this conversation moderated by Kirsten Scheid, Jean Said Makdisi and Lina Majdalani reflect on their approaches to biographies, with particular reference to their works Teta, Mother, and Me and Biokhraphia.

Jean Said Makdisi taught English and Cultural Studies at LAU and participated in the theatre there, directing the play Gilgamesh in 1995. She is the author of Teta, Mother, and Me (Saqi Books, 2005) and Beirut Fragments: A War Memoir (Persea Books, 1990), and co-editor of Arab Feminisms: Gender and Equality in the Middle East (I.B. Tauris, 2013).

Lina Majdalani is a free independent artist and theatre maker. She has written, acted in, and directed several plays, among them: Les Chaises (1996), Ovrira (1997), Extrait d’Etat Civil (2000), Biokhraphia (2002), Who’s Afraid of Representation (2005), and Pixelated Revolution (2012). She has taught at USJ and USEK in Lebanon

Kirsten Scheid is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Affiliated Faculty in Fine Arts and Art History at AUB.

How to Attend

Live streaming link:

In person: For live attendance at the IFI Auditorium of the American University of Beirut, please note that a full COVID-19 vaccination is necessary.

Watch a recording of Biokhraphia (2002) between 18 and 22 April

We are grateful to Ashkal Alwan for making a recording of the play Biokhraphia by Lina Majdalani and Rabih Mroué available to watch between 18 and 22 April. Please get in touch with us at if you would like to get access to the recording.


You can find a recording of the event here.