Senior Honors Theses Presentations Spring 2022

May 27, 2022

Clay Foye
Advisor: Yasser Elhariry

Hacking Orientalism: Theorizing Arabic Digital Writing

"When two Arabic letters are unable to meet, the impossible happens. Join them on a journey to find themselves and love in the digital age. Watch as they encounter poorly-written English code that pretends to know everything about them without being able to differentiate between them! Look on in horror as every major design suite and word processor has an irredeemable flaw in its rendering of Arabic Text! Enjoy a thrilling techno-ride as the writer parallelizes the Missionary printing presses of the Nahda with modern word processors through a comparative reading of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq's saucy postmodern text Leg over Leg! Stay until the satisfying conclusion which dissects bug reports of Arabic script! Coming to a lecture hall near you."

Kately Zeser
Advisor: Andrew Simon

Rap Beyond 2011: Politics, Society, and Moroccan Hip-Hop

When the Arab Spring erupted in Morocco in 2011, journalists and scholars alike worked to identify the impetus of the movement. One figure in particular captured the mainstream media's hearts and minds: the Moroccan rapper. The rapper, situated as a symbol of resistance and revolution, was both reflective of and conducive to the protests— even though Moroccan hip-hop thrived well before and after the year 2011.

"Rap Beyond 2011: Politics, Society, and Moroccan Hip-Hop" explores the long-term development of the genre without focusing solely on subversion against the state. Instead, alternative themes like gender, religion, globalization, and music production contribute to a multidimensional understanding of hip-hop in Morocco. This project decenters political dissidence and reimagines the role of popular culture in politics and society, prompting us to ask the question: "what does hip-hop actually do in the Middle East and North Africa?"