Dr. Emily Sahakian

Assistant Professor
Joint appointment with Romance Languages

Ph.D., Northwestern University and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
Specialties & Research Areas: French Caribbean Theatre, Intercultural Theatre, Theatre of the African Diaspora, Community-based Theatre

Email: sahakian@uga.edu

View Full CV (PDF)
Dr. Emily Sahakian teaches theatre history/theory and community-based theatre. She is jointly appointed with Romance Languages, where she teaches French and Francophone literature. She specializes in Francophone Caribbean theatre, and her broader research interests include African diaspora theatre, intercultural theatre, post-colonial and transnational theatre and theory, French-language theatre, race and performance, and translation for the stage. Her first book, Staging Creolization: Women's Theatre and Performance from the French Caribbean (New World Studies Series, University of Virginia Press, 2017), examines seven plays by Ina Césaire, Maryse Condé, Gerty Dambury, and Simone Schwarz-Bart that premiered in the Caribbean or in France in the 1980s and 1990s and soon thereafter traveled to the United States. It argues that these late-twentieth-century plays dramatize and enact creolization— a performance-based process of cultural transformation that reinvents meaning and resists the status quo. The book recasts how we understand these pioneering women playwrights, documents for the first time their global production and reception histories, and puts forth the concept of “creolization” as a way of understanding the broader cultural contributions and aesthetics of Caribbean theatre and performance. Professor Sahakian is the author of essays on Francophone Caribbean theatre and a forthcoming book chapter on French stage adaptations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. With Dr. Andrew Daily at the University of Memphis, she is preparing a critical edition and translation of Histoire de nègre, a Martinican play created collaboratively under Edouard Glissant’s direction. She is also a community-based theatre artist who has worked to cultivate cross-cultural understanding and empower youth in the U.S., Martinique, France, and Morocco.
Dr. Emily Sahakian