Comparative Ethnic Studies
Art, Aesthetics and Visual Culture, Transnational Feminism, Queer/Trans* of Color Theory, Feminist Science and Technology Studies and History of Medicine, Arab/Muslim Disapora, Militarism, Critical Race and Postcolonial Theory, Anthropocene, Extractive Economies and Petrocultures
I am an art historian specializing in contemporary transnational art and visual culture in the Arab/Muslim world with an interdisciplinary research on racial discourse, transnational gender politics, militarism, oil cultures and extractive economies in West Asia. My first book Terracene: A Crude Aesthetics (Duke University Press, 2023), considers the emergence of the Anthropocene as a new geological era in relation to the concurrent declaration of the War on Terror in the early 2000s. Playing on the words “terror” and “terra,” I propose the term “Terracene” in order to think the planetary in conjunction with ongoing militarization of transnational regions under terror. Terracene engages contemporary art and aesthetic productions, paying particular attention to artists navigating the geopolitics of petrocultures and climate change.
Research for my second book project engages histories of medicine, in particular that of Transmedicine and the endocrine system. I am currently conducting archival research to understand visual representations of fluid bodies within Islamic manuscripts prior to the rise of the scientific discipline of endocrinology in the early 20th c. This research has been supported by the Hellman Faculty fellowship and the Social Science Matrix.
I have published articles in Resilience, Signs, Women & Performance, Al-Raida Journal, Fuse Magazine, Fillip Review and Canadian Art Journal. I have also written for exhibition catalogues in Dubai, Sharjah and Istanbul. I was the curator of “Snail Fever,” at the Third Line Gallery in Dubai that explored art as a pandemic bringing together artists from the region whose works consider the embodied, viral and contaminating nature of sonic and visual aesthetics.
“Visions of Immunity” in Visual Studies (Vol.36, 2021).
“On the Terracene” in Routledge Companion to Contemporary Art, Visual Culture and Climate Change, edited by TJ Demos, Emily Eliza Scott and Subhankar Banerjee (Routledge, 2021).
“How Does it Feel To Be an Oil Spill?” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities (2021).
“What Are the Iranians Wishing For? Queer Transnational Solidarity in Revolutionary Iran,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 43:4 (2018): 955-978
“Dermopolitics: Erotics of the Muslim Body in Pain,” Women and performance 27: 1 (2017): 96-103, Special Issue “Sentiment and Sentience: Black Performance since Scenes of Subjection,” edited by Sampada Aranke and Nikolas Oscar Sparks.
“Car Flirting and Morality Cruising: Neurotic Gazes and Paranoid Glances in Contemporary Iranian Art,” Al-Raida Journal 141 (Spring/Summer 2013): 27-38, Special issue “Women and Photography in the Arab World.”