Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale > 55 | 2021 > The Forms and Meanings of (In)Visibility

The Forms and Meanings of (In)Visibility

Arab-Americans and the State of Terror in Youssef El Guindi’s Back of the Throat and Language Rooms

Cinzia Schiavini    Università degli Studi di Milano, Italia    



This article investigates two well-known plays by Youssef El Guindi, the most important and prolific playwright of 21st century Arab-American theatre. Both plays are related to the consequences of the terrorist attacks on the Arab-American community, and they explore the structures of control enacted by the security state and the strategies of its repressive politics. The article focuses in particular on the tropes of visibility and invisibility and its paradoxes for a minority that moved from ‘invisible citizens’ to ‘visible subjects’ within a few hours. The paradoxes of visibility and invisibility and their divide are here explored in relation to three main issues: the relationship between ethnic identity and citizenship – be it social and/or political; deviancy and the construction of Otherness; and identity and the body.

July 29, 2021
April 21, 2021
April 1, 2021

Keywords: Arab-AmericansContemporary American literatureTheatreVisibility and Invisibility9/11

Copyright: © 2021 Cinzia Schiavini. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.