I am a scholar of modern and contemporary French culture, society, and politics. While most of my research is focused on the contemporary period, I have experience teaching courses (or “modules” in UK parlance) on French literature, history, culture, society, and politics in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, in addition to Islamic history. My work is interdisciplinary, intersecting with cultural studies, literary studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, and diaspora studies. My primary methodologies are qualitative: discourse analysis, literary analysis, and ethnography. In addition, I occasionally draw on corpus linguistics approaches to aid my discourse analysis research.
In the summer 2020, I will complete my degree requirements for an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester. My thesis, funded by the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, is titled Representations of Jewish-Muslim Relations in Contemporary France. Drawing, in part, on original field and interview data, this research examines the ways in which a polarized, oppositional category of “Jewish-Muslim relations” is constructed in media and political discourse and how and to what extent a variety of French Jewish and Muslim writers and interfaith/intercultural dialogue activists relate and respond to such a category consisting of dominant, reified binary definitions within a contemporary socio-political framework of difference-blind assimilationist republican universalism.
Along with my colleague Katharine Halls, I am also the co-founder and coordinator of the Jewish-Muslim Research Network (JMRN). The JMRN is an interdisciplinary and international initiative bringing together researchers studying Jews, Muslims, Judaism, and Islam in any time period and region. Our network currently comprises over a hundred researchers across Europe, North America, and the Middle East.
My main research interests include Jewish-Muslim relations in France, LGBTQ Muslims, apostasy from Islam and ex-Muslims, as well as, more broadly speaking, gender, sexuality, language, and ethnic/religious minorities. Aside from my PhD research on Jews and Muslims in France, I am currently working on a number of other projects on apostasy from Islam in the French-speaking world, ex-Muslims in Singapore, Pink Dot in Singapore, and queer Muslims and Jews. In addition, I have published on a diverse set of topics, from seventeenth-century French theatre to contemporary French stand-up comedy. I am also a translator, having most recently translated Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed’s Homosexuality, Transidentity, and Islam (Amsterdam University Press).
I teach on first year undergraduate modules in the department of Modern Languages and Cultures and the department of History at the University of Manchester. Before coming to Manchester, I taught in the languages departments at Brooklyn College and the City College of New York.
I received my master’s degree from the Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris, France, where I worked under the supervision of Catherine Brun. Prior to that, I received my bachelor’s degree from Boston University, where I had the privilege of studying under Jeffrey Mehlman, Odile Cazenave, and the late Susan Jackson.