College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

Liberal Studies


Counter-narratives, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, critical race theory, orientalism, theatre


This thesis examines the counter-narratives Jonas Hassen Khemiri constructs to challenge Orientalism in his play INVASION! Khemiri’s use of oppositional narratives and disidentification challenges the narrow confines of Middle Eastern/Arab stereotypes by using story and performance to decenter the White Western lens. By examining the context of Swedishness from which Khemiri’s work grows, the construct of the Orientalized Other, and the play itself, this thesis demonstrates how Khemiri disrupts systemic racism and creates a stage, both literally and figuratively, to address race and national identity in Sweden and, by implication, in the United States. I show how the storytelling in Khemiri’s play INVASION! and the Chicago production I directed serve to fracture the dominant White narrative and to offer a counter-narrative that puts the ideas of Critical Race Theory into practice.