Associate Professor and Department Chair of Anthropology
Media, journalism, the Middle East, expressivity, human rights, knowledge production, democracy, ethnography of place
My research revolves around expression, space, media, and settler colonialism. I am currently working on two book projects. The first, tentatively entitled "Permission to Converse: Laws, Bullets, and other Roadblocks to a Palestinian Exchange," addresses the relationship between Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank, two groups that are positioned slightly differently in relation to Israeli settler-colonialism. Through ethnographies of protest as well as of more everyday forms of expression, I analyze the barriers to these two groups speaking to and with each other. I argues that speech is always an embodied and emplaced act.
My second ongoing project examines Palestinian popular politics in a West Bank refugee camp. It examines how Palestinians in this refugee camp strive to resist three authorities, the Israeli occupation, the Palestinian Authority administration, and the United Nations Relief Works Agency through struggles over land, water, bodies, and expression.
My first book, Back Stories: U.S. News Production and Palestinian Politics (Stanford University Press 2013) is an ethnography of production of US news during the second Palestinian Intifada. It asks what we can learn about journalism and popular political action when we place Palestinian journalists at the center of an inquiry about U.S. journalism.
In addition to academic writing, I also regularly write for such outlets as Jadaliyya, Middle East Report. I have produced the documentary "Degrees of Incarceration" (2010), an hour-long documentary that explores how, with creativity and love, a Palestinian community responds to the crisis of political imprisonment. Finally, I have been involved with the production of bilingual Arabic and English children's books about refugee lives, including The Boy and the Wall.
Opera: staging, visuality, theatricality, performance and spectatorship.
Film and Media Studies: sound and music editing; aesthetics and politics of synchronization; aurality of silent film; suture; Foley; Renoir, Ophuls, Visconti and Fellini; music video and animation
Children and media; ethnicity/gender and media; adolescents and media use.
I am currently working on a three-tiered interdisciplinary research project along with Chip Gidney, Mary Casey, and Cynthia Smith at Eliot-Pearson, as well as faculty in several other departments at Tufts. The first piece of this project is a long-running content analysis of children's animated programming. We are updating prior work we've done that investigates images of race, ethnicity and gender in children's animated programming using both content and sociolinguistic analysis. The second part of this research is an exploration of why stereotyping persists in children's media. We are examining this through intensive interviews with content creators, writers, directors, vocal casting directors, and actors. The third part of the project is empirical research we're conducting with children, to see how children make sense of gender, race, and ethnicity in the animated programs they see.
My applied work includes doing many media literacy workshops for parents and for children and for children in a variety of settings, and consulting work with colleagues at WGBH, one of the leading creators of children's educational media. I have written about children and media issues in a variety of academic and popular venues.
My other research is historical in nature. I've written one biography of the relatively unknown mother/daughter team who made Emily Dickinson into one of the most-known women anywhere in the world, and am starting work on a couple of other biographical projects.
Associate Professor and Department Chair of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies
Contemporary Theatre and Performance in the Americas, Latinx and Latin American Theatre, Sport as Performance, Critical University Studies, 20th and 21st Century Modernist and Post-Modernist Theatre, Theoretical Approaches to Memory and Commemoration
History and theory of animation
Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga)
Modern Japanese literature
Popular culture, especially science fiction and fantasy
Contemporary constructions of gender and the body
Technology and culture
Representations of trauma and loss