Leila Tayeb’s research centers on performance and politics in Africa and the Middle East with a primary focus in contemporary Libya. Her interests revolve around sound and militarism, political authority in daily life, performance ethnography, questions of indigeneity and race in/and northern Africa, Islam and the state, and state-sponsored performance. She also has a background in dance studies.
Tayeb’s writing has appeared in Communication and the Public, The Journal of North African Studies, Walker Reader, and Ethnomusicology Review. Her research has been supported by the Buffett Institute for International and Comparative Studies at Northwestern University, the John Hunwick Fund for Research on Islam in Africa, and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC). She has received support in language training from the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA), the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, and the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS).
She holds a B.A. in Politics from UC Santa Cruz (2004), M.A.s in International Affairs from the New School (2006) and in Performance Studies from NYU (2011), and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University (2018).
As a Stanford H. Taylor Postdoctoral Associate in Music and Islam in the Contemporary World at Cornell, Tayeb will teach courses at the intersection of Islamic studies, music, and performance studies.