My work is situated at the intersection of Queer Theory and Postcolonial Studies. Originally, I focused on representations of non-normative sexualities in Maghrebian literature, but increasingly not only has my work moved into other Francophone regions (Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, Québec, Asia, Louisiana), but it has also become more comparative (including Anglophone African literatures and Southern U.S. cultures, for example).
My current project, Queer Roots, Queer Routes: Sexuality, Diaspora, and the Ghosts of Identity represents this expansion of my interests. In this project, I plan to examine the incorporation of the notion of roots into articulations of lesbian and gay identities in spite of the fact that the concept relies on a notion of the family tree that depends on heterosexual reproduction. A number of African and Caribbean accounts of the origins of identity, for example, propose alternative and even multiple roots, which also make room for dissident sexualities.
I am also interested in questioning what it means to be American, particularly through the study of non-English cultures within the U.S. itself, which is why I have begun to study Louisiana as a way of queering American identity.
Recent and Selected Publications
Comparatively Queer: Interrogating Identities across Time, Crossing Cultures. Ed. and intro. with Margaret Higonnet and William Spurlin.
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
"Queer Roots in Africa." Topographies of Race and Gender: Mapping Cultural Representations.Ed. Patricia Penn Hilden, Shari M. Huhndorf, and Timothy J. Reiss. 2 vols. Spec. issue of Annals of Scholarship 17.3/22.214.171.124/3 (2009): vol. 2, 151-82.
"Approaches to Teaching the Maghrebian Novel: Allegory at the Crossroads." In Teaching the African Novel. Ed. Gaurav Desai. New York: MLA, 2009. 131-53.
“Créolité’s Queer Mangrove.” Music, Writing and Cultural Unity in the Caribbean. Ed. Timothy J. Reiss. Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2005. 307–32.
Recent graduate courses taught:
French 670: African/Caribbean Literature (“Roots: Narratives of Origin and the Fiction of Identity”)
French 670: African/Caribbean Literature (“Combat Literature”)
French 670: African/Caribbean Literature (“African Sexualities”)
French 680: Studies in Literary Theory (“Reading [as] Theory, Theory [as] Reading”)
Romance Languages 681: Introduction to Graduate Study
French 855: Special Topics Seminar (“American Races, French Cultural Studies: Towards a Comparative Approach to Critical Race Studies”)
Recent undergraduate courses taught:
French 274: French and Francophone Societies and Cultures (“Reclaiming French America”)
Women’s Studies 340: Topics in LGBT Studies (“Reading Queer: Textual Strategies for LGBTQ Studies”)
French 342: French and Francophone Cinema Taught in English (“How Do We Look?: Desire, Seduction, and the Filmic Gaze”)
French 362: Québec/French Canadian Studies (“‘Je me souviens’: Memory and History in Québécois Literature, Culture, and Identity”)
French 363: Caribbean Studies (“Métissage, Gender, and Identity in the French Caribbean”)
French 364: African Studies/Maghreb (“Our Nations, Our Selves: Writing Maghrebian Identity”)