Dr Roaa Ali

Research Associate

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Roaa Ali is a researcher and educator with a growing research profile in race and the cultural industries, access inequality and the politics of minoritised cultural production. She joined the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) at the University of Manchester as a Research Associate in 2018. Currently, she is researching racial and ethnic inequality in the Creative and Cultural Industries at the intersection of Covid-19 and the Black Lives Movement (in collaboration with Creative Access).

Roaa has a PhD in Drama and Theatre Arts from the University of Birmingham and her thesis explored Arab American and ethnic minority art production within the American cultural and creative industries. Her research in this area will be available through a monograph titled Contemporary Arab American Drama: Cultural politics of ethnicity, Otherness and visibility (with Routledge, forthcoming 2022), and a co-edited volume titled Arab, Politics and Performance (with Routledge, forthcoming 2021). 

She previously taught at the University of Birmingham, and is often invited as a guest lecturer at a number of institutions such as the University of Exeter, University of Warwick and University of Manchester. She teaches on the intersection of race and the cultural sector, theatre and performance and issues of gender and sexuality.

Roaa has published in a number of international journals, co-edited volumes and online publication like The Conversation and Discover Society. Some of her publications appear in the Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance (RiDE)Journal of Arts and CommunityThe Methuen Drama Companion to Theatre and Interculturalism (co-edited by Daphne Lei and Charlotte McIvor), and Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity in Critical Events (co-edited by Rebecca Finkel, Briony Sharp and Majella Sweeney). Roaa serves on the editorial board of the IPED (Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity) journal, and was a guest editor for the Open Access ‘Intersections, Institutions and Inequities: Axes of Oppression in the Cultural Sector’ special issue.

Roaa regularly speaks at national and international conferences. She is a co-founder of the ASTR ‘Transnational Committee’, a member of IFTR, and TaPRA. She is member of the Arts Council’s Reference Group, which is currently developing Anti-racist research guidelines for the CCI, and a member of the Advisory Group for the AHRC project ‘Civic Theatre: A Place for Town’


PhD (Arab American Drama post 9/11: Cultural Discourses of an Othered Identity), University of Birmingham, 2015

MA (Cultural Inquiry), University of Birmingham, 2010

Postgraduate Diploma (English Literary Studies), Damascus Univeristy, 2007

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