Ph.D. Columbia University
M.A. Georgetown University
B.A. College of William and Mary
My current research is centered on gender studies and how topics of identity, family, and social relationships are portrayed in contemporary Syrian art and the media.
Before joining Davidson in 2009, I lived and conducted research in Syria for close to a decade, focusing on how these issues are affected by politics, economics, and cultural norms.During that time, I became especially fascinated by how gender is presented in television, film, and theatre, and how those art forms developed into opportunities for a more open discussion and reflection on issues that would not otherwise be socially and politically permissible. Some of my research is included in my most recent publication: The Politics of Love: Sexuality, Gender, and Marriage in Syrian Television Drama (Lexington Press, Oct. 2013). Other topics I have studied in the past and remain highly interested in include Iraqi culture in exile and French orientalism.
I am also committed to raising awareness of the voices of Arab and Iranian artists and intellectuals through translations of Persian and Arabic writings (most recently, a translation of Afsaneh by Moniru Ravanipur, Ibex Press, published October 2013) and by hosting Middle Eastern artists here in Davidson. During the summer of 2010, I arranged for my students studying in Damascus to visit the studios of various artists ('Itab Hreib, Walid al-Agha, and Yasser Safi), and while hosting 'Itab Hreib here in Davidson during the spring 2012 and 2013 semester, I organized art workshops with Arab Studies students. My upper level Arab studies courses are also, for the most part, centered around politics and gender in Syrian art, culture, and media.