Research

I am currently working on two main projects. The first stems from my doctoral research on the representation of Jewish-Muslim relations in contemporary France. This research takes an interdisciplinary approach to examine 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 range 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. This research builds on a growing body of work on Jews, Muslims, and France from various disciplines by further examining and problematizing the creation and perpetuation of simplified and exclusive identity categories, while re-evaluating Maghrebi Jewish-Muslim relations from beyond mutually exclusive categories.

My second project relates to ex-Muslims and the politics of apostasy from Islam. In a contemporary French (and Western) context where Islam is increasingly politicized, studying these related phenomena, in terms of representation and lived experience, can further illuminate the selective ways in which diverse media and political actors often weaponize Islam and (ex-)Muslims. As a form of preliminary and exploratory inquiry into this subject, I am currently co-editing (and contributing to) a special issue of Contemporary French Civilization on the politics of apostasy from Islam in the French-speaking world. Similar to the approach I take in my research on Jewish-Muslim relations, the special issue provides an anthropological and sociological perspective on individuals and communities, while also examining how apostasy and the figure of the apostate/ex-Muslim are represented in media and political discourse and cultural productions (literature, theatre, and cinema).

I am also co-editing a special issue of the Journal of Language and Sexuality (Jan. 2021) on the topic of Pink Dot, an LGBT movement that began in Singapore in 2009.