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Angela Selena Williams

Associate Director

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in art and knowledge production, and examining the ways in which we can learn about ourselves and others through art. I pay special attention to the artistic expressions of women, the colonized or once colonized, enslaved, incarcerated, “foreign” or “other”.  I regard popular culture artifacts, media and text such as blogs, vlogs, films, fashion, music, literature, poetry and spoken word, visual and performance art, all as art and as mechanisms for creating emancipatory visions.


PhD in Educational Policy Studies ▪ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2017

Dissertation title: “(W)raps of Consciousness: Articulating Women’s Rights in Hip Hop in the Middle East and North Africa Region”

M.A. in Linguistics ▪ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009

B.A. in Linguistics ▪University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006


Courses Taught

Women and Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa

GLBL 296  Fall 2016 and 2019


Additional Campus Affiliations

Associate Director, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Recent Publications

Williams, A. S. (2020). Hip Hop Harem: Women, Rap, and Representation in the Middle East. Peter Lang Publishing.

Williams, A. S. (2010). 'We ain't Terrorists but we Droppin' Bombs': Language Use and Localization in Egyptian Hip Hop. In M. Terkourafi (Ed.), Languages of Global Hip Hop (pp. 67-95). Continuum.

View all publications on Illinois Experts