Layla Zami

Photo of Lola Zuckerman

Visiting Assistant Professor Humanities & Media Studies (718) 636-3790 p Brooklyn Campus, DeKalb Hall 3

Current Course Listing (2)

20/SP-ADE-650P-01 Cultures of Memory: Performing the Past Transforming the Present

20/SP-HAD-300P-01 Art and Social Justice

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PhD, Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
MA, Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs
Saxophone, Conservatoire de Musique, Le Mans, France


Dr. Layla Zami is an interdisciplinary academic, artist, curator and globetrotter. She is a Visiting Scholar (2018-2019) and a Visiting Assistant Professor (Spring 2019) in the Department of Humanities and Media Studies, teaching in the Performance + Performance Studies MFA Program. Her work orbits around matters of dance/performance/corporeality; cultural memory/trauma; diaspora/race/migration; feminist/queer theory; and spacetime.

A former Visiting Scholar at Columbia University (IRWGS), Zami obtained her PhD at the Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies at Humboldt University (Berlin, Germany) where she also received the First Prize in the 2017 Teaching Quality Award. Her dissertation Contemporary PerforMemory: Moving Through Diasporic Dancescapes in the 21st Century was sponsored by the Talents Program from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the ELES Scholarship Fund.

As a Resident Artist with the dance company Oxana Chi & Ensemble Xinren , Zami creates and performs music (saxophone, kalimba, chalumeau, loops), spoken words and physical theater in dialogue with the choreography. Together with Oxana Chi, she held residencies at Abrons Arts Center, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, and Maison des Arts (Martinique). The duo also directed the award-winning documentary Dancing Through Gardens.
In North America, Layla Zami performed at Dixon Place, Abrons Arts Center, CUNY, University of Toronto, Triskelion Arts, the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), WOW Cafe Theatre, the Wild Project, Rutgers University. She also performed and presented in Germany, France, Canada, Finland, Taiwan, India, Ghana, Martinique, Indonesia, Turkey, and the UK.

Zami curated events for the CUNY Graduate Center, Dixon Place and Berlin Technical University. She is former Assistant Producer and current Co-Curator of Dance at the International Human Rights Art Festival, and serves on two committees at Dance/NYC. Born in Paris and having spent 15+ years in Berlin, Layla Zami is rooted in a multilayered Jewish-German-Russian and Afro-Caribbean-Indian cultural heritage.