Assistant Professor, Women and Gender Studies Institute
Situated in the fields of postcolonial, diaspora and queer studies, my work draws on theories of trauma, affect and mourning to think through how political cultures are responses to historic loss. I am particularly interested in how narrative and art articulate the affective topographies of memory and provide the conditions for working through the past for better political futures. My book, The better story: Lessons from postcolonial monsters and Queer affects (SUNY Press), is a conversation among postcolonial studies, queer theory and psychoanalysis. With a focus on the Middle East, I consider the dynamics of political conflict, the histories and subjectivities they produce, and what it means to make an ethical relationship to the terrorized and terrorizing bodies that conflict produces. No language is neutral: Writing on Dionne Brand, a co-edited collection with Katherine McKittrick & Rinaldo Walcott, will come out with Wilfrid Laurier Press in 2012.
On April 13, 2010 Lebanon commemorated the 35th anniversary of the start of its civil war. Since the end of the war in 1990, many lament the failures of Lebanon to narrativize the meaning of the 15-year-old war. My project examines the works of a group of war generation avant-garde Lebanese artists who have been prolifically archiving the war. Walid Raad, Bernard Khoury, Jalal Toufic, Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige, Lamia Joreige, Rawi Hage, Wajdi Mouawad, Jace Salloum and Rabih Mroué are among the artists who have contributed to this body of work. In common to many of these artists is a concern with the limits of memory in representing the civil war. This preoccupation is a response to the almost complete absence of a creative public culture addressing the war¹s imprint on the present. But their work also presents other significant challenges and limits in Lebanese cultural and political life: Lebanon’s long history of religious sectarianism, terrorized and terrorizing masculinities and the legacies of colonialism that profoundly inflect these dynamics. This project is an interdisciplinary study that brings aesthetics, postcolonial studies, and psychoanalysis in conversation.
“Masculinities and the Aesthetics of Love: Reading Terrorism in De Niros Game and Paradise Now”. Studies in Gender and Sexuality. Volume 12 (2011), 134-148.
“What Does the Tree Remember? The Politics of Telling Stories”. TOPIA. 25 (2011), 222-229.
“Bearing Cancer in Graphic Memoir”. Canadian Women Studies. 28 (2/3) (2011), 105- 109.
Georgis, Dina, and Kennedy, RM. “Touched By Injury: Toward an Education Theory of Anti-Racist Humanism”. Education and Ethics. Volume 4(1) (2009), 19-30.
“Moving Past Ressentiment: War and the State of Feminist Freedom”. TOPIA. 20 (2008), 109-127.
“The Perils of Belonging and Cosmopolitan Optimism: An Affective Reading of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict”. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society. 12 (2007), 242-259.
“Hearing the Better Story: Learning and the Aesthetics of Loss and Expulsion”. The Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies. 28 (2006), 1-14.
“Cultures of Expulsion: Memory, Longing, and the Queer Space of Diaspora”. New Dawn: The Journal of Black Canadian Studies. 1(1) (2006), 4-27.
“Falling for Jazz: Desire, Dissonance and Inter-racial Dialogue”. Canadian Review of American Studies. 35(2) (2005), 215-229.