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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests are centred on politics and international relations in the Middle East and, in this regional context, in particular on: activism in repressive contexts; student movements and the political role of universities; and transnational solidarity.

1.       Activism in repressive contexts

I am particularly interested in how people pursue activism in contexts of extreme repression, including under military occupation. This work intersects with my broader interest on social movements and mobilisation. As part of this research interest, I have published on Palestinian political activism under occupation, including resistance practiced by university students (in Resistance and the Practice of Rationality) and through cultural institutions. My recent article for Critical Military Studies explores the activism at work in the Palestinian Museum and contributes to emerging academic work that seeks to highlight the role of museums in International Relations.

2.       Student movements and the political role of universities

I have a long-standing research interest in student activism. My doctoral thesis (which was awarded the Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize by the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies) focused on Palestinian student activism in Palestinian, Israeli and British universities. I subsequently led the British Academy funded project in Higher Education and Political Change in the Arab World which focused on the teaching of social sciences at Egyptian, Jordanian and Palestinian universities in the wake of the Arab Uprisings, and the political setting and impact of this teaching. Together with Juliet Millican, I have published work on the role of universities and students in conflict and post-conflict situations and under occupation.

3.       Transnational Solidarity

My research interest in transnational solidarity is currently being pursued through the on-going Radical Sixties project that seeks to bring transnational solidarity (particularly across, and with, anticolonial struggles) to the fore in analyses of politics in the 1960s. Beginning with the 2019 international conference ‘The Radical Sixties: Aesthetics, Politic and Histories of Solidarity’ held at the University of Brighton, the project has continued through a 2020 workshop on radical politics and transnational solidarity in the “Long Sixties”. I am currently co-editing a book, with Dr Zeina Maasri and Dr Cathy Bergin, provisionally titled Transnational Solidarity: Decentring the Radical Sixties, based on papers developed from these events with other selected contributors.

 

Additional roles

I am a member of the managing committee for the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics (CAPPE) at the University of Brighton and, together with Dr Deanna Dadusc, I lead CAPPE’s Social Movements and Radical Global Politics strand. I currently co-convene the “work in progress” seminar series on Social Movements and Radical Politics and I encourage researchers working in these areas who are interested in presenting work in this series to contact me by email.

Scholarly biography

I am a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the School of Applied Social Science where I coordinate modules on Politics in the Middle East and International Relations. Before coming to the University of Brighton in 2014, I worked as a lead researcher on the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, as a British-Academy funded research fellow at the Council for British Studies in the Levant, and taught at the University of Oxford and the University of Jordan.

I graduated with an MA Hons in Politics at the University of Edinburgh, before completing an MSc in International Politics at SOAS, University of London. Focusing on the Middle East, I then undertook an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies (with Arabic) before completing my DPhil in Politics (both at the University of Oxford).

Approach to teaching

I teach Politics and International Relations, with a particular focus on the Middle East. I coordinate two level 6 modules for Politics BA (Hons) degree course in the School of Applied Social Science

  • Politics in the Middle East
  • International Relations

I also currently teach on modules focused on citizenship and nationalism, as well as teaching research methods in the social sciences.

My research-led teaching engages students not only through published academic research but also through extensive use of primary sources including political graffiti and posters, manifestos, political speeches, materials from citizen assemblies, interview transcriptions, archived news footage and televised government statements.

Since 2017, I have been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising students in any area of Middle Eastern politics or international relations, especially projects related to Palestinian and Israeli politics, social movements, student activism and the role of higher education in politics, citizenship, nationalism, mobilisation and resistance.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Oxford

Award Date: 26 Oct 2012

Master, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Sep 2005

Master, SOAS University of London

Award Date: 1 Sep 2003

Bachelor, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Sep 2002

External positions

Research Fellow, Council for British Research in the Levant

1 Sep 201231 Aug 2014

Researcher - Middle East and North Africa, Amnesty International - International Secretariat

1 Jun 200930 Nov 2010

Keywords

  • JA Political science (General)
  • Politics
  • International Relations
  • Middle East Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Social Movements
  • Mobilization
  • Nationalism
  • Research Methods
  • Protest
  • Education
  • Activism

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