Research

Areas of Study:

queer theory, transnational feminism, affect studies, activism & social movements, solidarity, attachment, neoliberalism, homonationalism, masculinities, digital media, refugee sponsorship and solidarity, critical race theory, cultural studies, and sexuality studies

Current Research Projects

Solidarity at Risk

The provocation that frames the title of this project aims to intervene in the theorization of solidarity and the practices of transnational solidarity activism in the 21st century. In an era structured by the ideologies of neoliberalism, where free market globalization, privatization and individualism are reshaping the public sphere, the terms and practices of solidarity are shifting. Yet, theories of solidarity have remained embedded in older political frameworks, rooted in early social movement practices in the Marxist tradition or liberal democratic models of civic engagement. In a world changed by neoliberalism, we need new interpretive frameworks for analyzing and practicing solidarity today, not least because contemporary social movements require new ways of envisioning activist solidarity.

Neoliberalism has also changed the geopolitical landscape of human rights. In what some queer theory scholars have called homonational times, we find the political stakes of queer solidarities embedded in the changing discourses of sexual rights. Looking at examples of solidarity at risk in the queer social movement practices, my research maps the political stakes and impact of homonationalism and neoliberalism on activism today. Using interdisciplinary scholarship in feminist, queer and political theory, I consider what binds us in solidarity, how our political attachments are important threads in theorizing solidarity, and how we might rethink our models of solidarity to sustain our political imaginings in neoliberal and homonational times.

Neoliberalism and Humanitarianism in the War on Terror

My new research project, tentatively titled “Neoliberalism and Humanitarianism in the War on Terror,” examines how narratives of survival in the face of the “War on Terror” shape queer and feminist solidarities with refugees. Looking at the outcomes of solidarity activism, gender-based aid work, and refugee sponsorship in three geopolitical contexts (Canada, Greece, and Lebanon), I am interested in how securitization, gender, and sexuality converge in the ideologies that shape and structure what post-conflict survival can look like in the “refugee crisis.” This new work considers the intersections between the geopolitical flows shaping refugee migration and the concepts, values, and ideologies shaping the actions and visioning of those who desire to support, sponsor and act in solidarity with refugees.

Previous Research

Out Against the Occupation

My MA thesis examined relations of transnational solidarity activism in response to the 2006 Lebanon War, through a series of events held in Montreal called “Out Against the Occupation.” Using metaphors of mapping, I charted the movements of solidarity activism and queer belonging to demonstrate how Montreal-based activists responded to the political conditions of war in Lebanon and the simultaneous Pride celebrations in Montreal’s Out Games and World Pride Jerusalem.