I have chosen to focus on contemporary texts written by authors who live at the crossroads of Europe and the Maghreb. The texts that make up my study material address transnational, transcultural and even transdiasporic subjectivity in a manner that is distinct from previous bodies of work. While the authors who write these novels come out of a specific context, they speak to questions of global importance.
Transforming Family: North Africa, the Francophone Diaspora and Kinship in the 21st Century
My first book-length monograph takes up a philosophical question: what is family? I answer the question using literature as my primary source material. I dedicate my attention to a set of novels specifically curated for this study. This body of work allows me to center questions related to family in current social and political debates, such as those surrounding migration. Through my analysis, I invigorate our attention to the roles of affect, support, obligation and individual choice in the creation of family. The texts I have chosen politicize the family unit and root theories of kinship in a variety of alternate discourses. My book reveals the need to queer our understanding of family altogether.
The research I have conducted on this topic has led to the publication of a couple of scholarly articles. The first, “Surrogacy: Temporary Familial Bonds and the Bondage of Origins in Fouad Laroui’s Une année chez les Français“ was selected for the 2017 Mark Tessler AIMs Graduate Student Paper Prize and published in The Journal of North African Studies.
A second article, which is an off-shoot of my research, is titled “Feminist Theories of Development Farida Benlyazid’s Double-Bildungstory, La vida perra de Juanita Narboni (2005)” and was published in Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures. This publication was part of a special issue dedicated to an analysis of contemporary iterations of the Bildungsroman genre.
I currently have other articles at various stages of the publication process. They will be posted on this site once they are in print.
In addition to writing peer-reviewed articles, I also enjoy engaging a public audience in dialogue about my research interests. For example, I recently interviewed Moroccan-American author Laila Lalami for World Literature Today and am excited to announce this interview will appear in print in the fall of 2019.
I also occasionally publish reviews of books that I find particularly noteworthy.
Some of my recent reviews of academic work include:
- “Our Civilizing Mission: The Lessons of Colonial Education, by Nicholas Harrison.” The French Review. Forthcoming.
- “Post-Migratory Cultures in Postcolonial France” edited by Kathryn Kleppinger and Laura Reeck, in The French Review 92.4.
- “Osons la fraternité ! Les écrivains aux côtés des migrants” edited by Patrick Chamoiseau and Michel Le Bris, in French Studies 73.2
I also review novels and literature in translation:
- “The Other Americans” by Laila Lalami, in World Literature Today
- “‘Do You Hear in the Mountains…’ by Maïssa Bey Probes the Untold Pasts of Algerian History” in Words Without Borders: The Online Magazine for International Literature