Dr. Layla Zami (Paris, 1985) is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Performance Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, with an appointment in the Collaborative Research Centre on Intervening Arts (SFB 1512) funded by the German Research Foundation. Her interdisciplinary research orbits around the nexus of performance, cultural memory, diaspora, and spacetime. She is the author of Contemporary PerforMemory (transcript Verlag / CUP, 2020).
Between 2018 and 2022, Zami was based in New York as a Visiting Assistant and then Adj. Associate Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute, where also held research, teaching, and advising responsibilities in the Departments of Art & Design Education, History of Art & Design and in the Graduate Program in Performance + Performance Studies. She served as a Co-Chair of Black Lives Matter at Pratt and as a member of the Institute Curriculum Committee at the Pratt Senate.
Zami obtained her PhD at the Centre for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies at Humboldt-University, where she received the Faculty Teaching Award (First Prize) for her seminar Performing Memory, currently taught at FU Berlin. Her doctoral research was funded by a "Jewish Talents" Doctoral Fellowship from the ELES Scholarship Fund and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2013-2016). During that time, she was a Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University (IRWGS) and at the University of California San Diego (Theatre & Dance Department). Her academic and creative writing in German, English, and French has appeared in Women & Performance, Dance Research Journal, Recherches en Danse, The Brooklyn Rail, MRPJ, Lambda Nordica, among others. She published commissioned essays, chapters and co-edited anthologies for Wendy's Subway, w_orten&meer, Orlanda Frauenverlag, Hentrich & Hentrich and the UNESCO.
Zami is blessed to have toured internationally as an interdisciplinary artist-scholar with the dance company Oxana Chi Dance & Art, creating and performing music, sounds, spoken words and physical theater at institutions including Volksbühne, HAU, Jewish Music and Theater Weeks Dresden, Taipei Fringe Festival, Abrons Arts Center, Dixon Place, 1014 NY, Delhi International Queer Theatre & Film Festival, Théâtre de Belleville. Together with Chi, she co-curated events such as Moving Memory International Symposium-Festival (TU Berlin, 2016), Moving Archives (Center for the Humanities, CUNY, 2018), Black History Month (Dixon Place, 2018 & 2019), as well as programs for the International Human Rights Art Festival and for the Leo Baeck Institute (Dagesh, Transitions, Festival for Contemporary Jewish Arts, Berlin 2021).