Rayya El Zein, PhD

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Director of Partnerships

Rayya El Zein comes to CS&S after a decade of conducting interdisciplinary ethnographic research among artists and activists in Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine. Drawing from performance studies, media studies, and engaged anthropology, her research centered on creative communities undergoing structural change and examined how practitioners imagine, articulate, and enact futures for their work. Since joining CS&S in 2021, Rayya piloted the first cohort of the Digital Infrastructure Incubator, hosted the inaugural season of the Building Laterally event series, and secured funding to expand and deepen this work. Rayya is committed to learning how to decolonize her research and practice and to a continual exploration of how to build solidarity. She organizes with the anti-militarism working group of the grassroots collective Science for the People.

Rayya completed a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2016. Her research was supported by the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, and a Fulbright Fellowship. Before joining CS&S, she held research and teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Wesleyan University. Rayya is also the Forum Editor at Lateral, the open-access journal of the Cultural Studies Association. She lives in Philadelphia and tweets from @rayelz.

Posts by Rayya

Announcing Incubator Cohort

By Rayya El Zein, PhD
Nov 18, 2021

The Digital Infrastructure Incubator Is Live

By Rayya El Zein, PhD
Aug 16, 2021