Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Craft/Material Studies

First Advisor

A. Blair Clemo


Culture, as defined by Edward Said, is a concept of identity selectively curated through imperialism. Through my ceramic practice, I explore what constitutes my cultural identity as a first generation Arab American. My work, primarily influenced by family narrative was initially expressed through investigations in the figure and viewer relationships with my sculpted figures. As my research progressed into Western Imperialism, I began noticing extensive evidence of colonialism’s lasting effects, especially within Western consumer markets. Interest in the writings of Said, works by French Orientalist painters, family memory, and a general displeasure with the plethora of Middle Eastern design used in Western decor culminates into Arab Americanesque; an installation that explores ideas of cultural obfuscation, power, and belonging.


© Hannah Shaban

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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission