Hanna Al-Taher

The University of Kassel

Hanna Al-Taher is PhD candidate at the University of Kassel.

Rhythms of Gendered Citizenship

"Hanna’s doctoral research project lives at the intersection of decolonial and postcolonial aesthetics through the lens of critical feminist theory, with an interest in power dynamics and the state/state theory retained from political science. The working hypothesis is if state power is performative then looking at theatrical/artistic performances of gendered citizenship and belonging can help denaturalize performances that are taken for granted because they are the daily routine. The project takes a wider conceptualisation of performance to include images and interactions within different kinds of institutions (concerned not just with the what, but especially also the how of artistic and socio-political events). Another major pillar of the work is 'border experiences', both within and at the margins of national spaces. Paying close attention to the tensions in supposedly free and independent art spaces that simultaneously continue to sit inside and across legal and societal norms, this project aims to explore the contradictions of reality/fantasy of Jordanian citizenship and belonging to Amman and to complicate the meanings of freedom and coercion. Focusing on performativity, a major interest of the project lies in shedding light on the possibility of gaps in official scripts, in contradicting scripts, and how this opens ruptures for alternatives in creating the fabric of Amman and understanding notions of citizenship and belonging."

-- Hanna Altaher, 2022

Born and bred in Amman, Al-Taher is a political scientist, writer, and researcher. In her doctorate Hanna researches gendered citizenship in Jordan, discussing the convergences and contradictions of claiming, resisting, and imagining belonging. Hanna is a lecturer in political theory and gender studies. Courses she teaches or has taught include: ‘Introduction to Political Theory’ (2021/2022); ‘Witches, bitches, and misfits: Body politics and the state’ (2020/2021), ‘decolonial feminism’, and “Exile and the City” (ongoing). Hanna is a playwright and her plays have been performed in Berlin and Budapest. In Amman, she participated in the Spring Sessions, edition 2017 and participated in art exhibitions at the national gallery for fine arts, and Darat al Funun. She is a co-organizer of the festival against racism in Berlin. Hanna distrusts hierarchies and holds anticolonial knowledge creation close to heart.