Performing Memory Class


Layla Zami received the First Prize in the 2017 Teaching Award from Humboldt-University's Faculty of Humanities, Social and Cultural Sciences (Fakultätspreis für gute Lehre).
"Performing Memory: race, gender and diaspora in cultural discourses and practices" is a graduate course of Layla's own design. It also ranked Best Humanities Seminar across Germany (2016) and was funded by the Berlin Teaching Quality Grant (Qualitätsoffensive für die Lehre).

"This was an excellent seminar. The instructor Layla Zami was very knowledgeable and well organized, with excellent grasp of the subject, and always able to adapt to the queries of the students, despite the broad difference in their backgrounds."

"I got a lot of new impulses and ways of looking at things and found a good space to grow in my own learning process."

"I enjoyed Layla's variety of teaching methods - she was able to engage the class both intellectually and physically, while also keeping the material accessible. As a newcomer to the subject, I felt very supported in understanding the material and appreciate the numerous forms of texts used throughout the semester. Would definitely recommend."

 Read more student reviews in English and German

The class offers the opportunity to critically reflect upon and practically engage with cultural memory at a transnational scale. We explore how race and gender are being performed in the production and transmission of contemporary memory discourses and practices. We research how artistic expressions can provide the ground for intervening into dominant narratives from feminist and/or diasporic perspectives. The class occasionally involves an exchange with artists and activists both within and outside of the classroom.

In 2016, the students produced a blog, a publication, and were involved in the organization of the international symposium Moving Memory.


Performing Memory Seminar at Pratt Institute

As a Visiting Assistant Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute, Layla Zami teaches her award-winning seminar, Performing Memory in the Performance + Performance Studies Graduate Program in 2019.


Student Evaluations, Spring 2019 (excerpts)

"Very organized. The content is very rich. Layla is a very gentle and informative teacher."

"Layla has been a fantastic instructor and created such a supportive environment in the class. The wealth of knowledge and resources that she brings to every class discussion is an incredible asset to the department."

"I particularly liked how Layla encouraged students to think about the ways some of the readings (despite having totally different subjects) spoke to one another. It forced us to think across subjects and disciplines. Some really fantastic guest lecturers/artists were brought in."

"Incredibly thoughtful, sensitive, disciplined, generous and knowledgeable. Invaluable to have an international perspective in the program. Layla is a force of light and inspiration."




The workshop "Moving Tongues" was originally conceived together with Oxana Chi for the association LesMigraS for the Series "Tapesh! With Heart and Vision against Violence and Discrimination," funded by the Berlin City Council. It was also subsequently offered for the GLADT Q PoC Summer School. In this workshop about words and body language, we use activities that focus on speaking, moving, and writing to learn how to navigate more easily our daily environment, especially in a foreign language setting. We address traumatic and empowering experiences. Other workshops include the recent "Aus der Reihe tanzen" facilitated for the corporeality series "körper_n" at the association xart splitta.

Upon request, our workshops can be facilitated specially for specific audiences, e.g. women* only, people in exile, LGBT*, and/or people of color.