Digital Arts and New Media: MFA: Collaboration, Innovation, Social Impact

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Mohamadreza Babaee

Digital Art and New Media
first-year mfa students

Mohamadreza Babaee, Ph.D., is an Iranian performance and digital media studies scholar and interdisciplinary artist. His research and creative areas of interest include Migration, Surveillance, Critical Race Theory, Iran, and the broader Middle East. He frequently presents at performance studies conferences and contributes articles and book reviews to academic journals. His art practice ranges from collaborating with professional Middle Eastern American theatre companies to producing digital and board games that examine identity politics in diasporic contexts. Mohamadreza holds a Ph.D. in Theatre and is currently working on an MFA project that repurposes the Customs and Border Protection's Global Entry software as a journaling tool.

Research Interests: 

Performance Studies; Interactive Media; Middle East Studies; Migration Studies; Critical Surveillance Studies; Critical Race Theory; Queer of Color Critique.

Selected Publications: 

(preparing for submission) “Securing Iranian Identity: Performance, Muslim Ban, and Covert Border Crossing,” TDR: The Drama Review, Cambridge University Press.


(forthcoming book review) Pahwa, Sonali. Theaters of Citizenship: Aesthetics and Politics of Avant-Garde Performance in Egypt. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2020; pp. 187. Review for Theatre Topics, vol. 32, no 1, Spring 2022.


"Staging Belonging: Performance, Migration, and the Middle Eastern Diaspora in the United States," a doctoral dissertation. Department of Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University, 2020. 


“Performing (In)visible Bodies in Unpacked: Refugee Baggage,” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, vol. 34 no. 2, 2020, p. 53-70.


Kantor, Tadeusz, Marek Świca, Jarosaw Suchan, et al. Tadeusz Kantor:Interior of Imagination, translated by Mohamadreza Babaee and Keyvan Sareshte (Tehran: Namayesh Publication, 2013).

Selected Performances: 

(in-development) Designer and writer, X-Ray Contemplations, Hybrid 2D game/live performance, in collaboration with: Fion Kwok, and Madeline Grass Doss, and Avery Weibel, expected May 2022.


Designer, How to Spot a Terrorist, 3D game, Unity Engine, 2021.


Designer, Celestial Borders, board game, 2020.


Cultural consultant, Donor Salon, Silk Road Rising Company, Chicago, IL, December 2020.


Writer, A Constellation Between US, a multimedia Twitch game, in collaboration with Forest Reid, dani wright, and Waverly Arlene, Digital Arts and New Media, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2020.


Designer, Hamlet: A Landscape, recreated for private viewing, BGSU Department of Theatre and Film, Fall 2019.


Dramaturg, You Got Older, BGSU Department of Theatre and Film 2018 – 2019 Season.


Dramaturg, The Sleeper, BGSU Department of Theatre and Film Elsewhere Season 2018 – 2019.


Designer, Seltzer, online performance posted nightly on Instagram for thirty days, Fall 2016.


Director, Invisible Project series, Spring 2014 - Winter 2015.


Designer and co-director, Sitting in the Dark, 13th Experimental Theatre Festival, University of Tehran, Iran, Fall 2012.


Director; Innocent Abomination of a Phone Call, University of Tehran, Iran, Spring 2011.

Selected Presentations: 

(canceled due to COVID-related concerns) “How to Spot a Terrorist: A Counterintuitive Guide,” Reaching the Station Working Group, American Society for Theatre Research, San Diego, CA, October 2021.


“Choreography of Borders: Performing Middle Eastern Racial Mobility in Saba Zavarei’s Looking for Tehran.” Transnational Performance Working Group, American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), Arlington, VA, November 2019.


Unpacked: Refugee Baggage: Performing Middle Eastern Cultural Memory,” revised, finalists panel, Charles E. Shanklin Award for Research Excellence, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, April 2019.


“Defamiliarizing Color-Consciousness: Casting Catherine Butterfield’s The Sleeper.” Co-presented with Dennis Sloan. Theatre Practice Symposium, Mid-America Theatre Conference (MATC), Cleveland, OH, March 2019.


“Unpacked: Refugee Baggage: Performing Middle Eastern Cultural Memory.” Moving San Diego: Sites, Senses, and Bodies Working Group, ASTR Forum, San Diego, CA, November 2018.


“Tehran to Miami: The (Queer) Performance of Migration,” revised. Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Symposium, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, March 2018.


“Zar: Exorcizing the Demon of Black Slavery in 19th Century Iran.” Theatre History Symposium, MATC, Milwaukee, WI, March 2018.


“Tehran to Miami: The (Queer) Performance of Migration.” Transient Performance Working Group, ASTR, Atlanta, GA, November 2017.

Honors and Awards: 

(declined due to COVID-related concerns) David Keller Travel Grant, ASTR. San Diego, CA, 2021.


F. Lee Miesle Award for Distinguished Thesis/Dissertation, Department of Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University, 2021.


Outstanding International Graduate Student Award, Graduate Student Senate, Bowling Green State University, 2020.


ASTR/Selma Jeanne Cohen Conference Presentation Award, ASTR. Arlington, VA, 2019.


Elizabeth S. Regan Dissertation/Thesis Travel Fund, Department of Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University, 2019.


Charles E. Shanklin Award for Research Excellence, Bowling Green State University, 2019.


Thomas Marshall Graduate Student Award, ASTR. San Diego, CA, 2018.


Women’s, Gender, And Sexuality Studies Graduate Student Essay Contest, “Tehran to Miami – A (Queer) Performance of Migration,” Bowling Green State University, 2018.


The Bright Talents National Fellowship for Graduate Studies, University of Tehran, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Iran, 2012.