My research looks at the way that thought and change animates contemporary life and community. I am interested in theoretical frameworks that provide the conditions for emancipation and liberation. My theoretical orientation is Lacanian and Marxist, and much of my research and writing seeks to bridge the Islamicate and Muslim intellectual traditions with the wider field of Marxist and continental philosophy. I am interested less in examining the ‘what’ in the history of philosophy and more in understanding the ‘how’ — how can thought push boundaries and how does novelty emerge within social and political arrangements?
My academic training is in continental philosophy and psychoanalysis and some Islamic studies. As an active member of the D.C. Lacanian Forum I have worked on Lacan’s thought for over 10 years. Participating in numerous workshops on Lacan offered by globally recognized analysts and theorists has given me a familiarity with Lacan’s system and it has enabled me to introduce Lacan’s ideas to a wide audience. My Ph.D. work with Alain Badiou has focused on the way that Lacan influenced his wider system of thought. My dissertation sought to bring my interest in religion and community into conversation with a set of thinkers whose work on political theory speaks to the question of community in ways that are surprising and fresh to many Anglo-American audiences.
You can read my academic publications, essays, book reviews and talks here.
“Unstable Formations: Political Community in Badiou, Laclau, Nancy and Žižek” [Abstract available online]
Committee: Professor Alain Badiou (chair), Dr. Laurence Rickels.
This dissertation presents a timely theoretical analysis of contemporary continental philosophy, introducing new approaches to thinking the political and ethical dimensions of community. In contrast to the “ethical turn” in continental philosophy two decades ago, which gave rise to analyzing the concept of community within the epoch of post-communism, this book charts a new approach for thinking community from a political emancipatory point of departure, bringing a theoretical critique to the current situation.
The dissertation presents an original contribution to the field of continental philosophy and psychoanalysis in three ways:
- By analyzing the concept of community in the work of four important continental thinkers, Jean-Luc Nancy, Alain Badiou, Ernesto Laclau and Slavoj Žižek, and drawing out the ethical and political implications of their thought.
- Through examining contemporary theories of community in relation to major philosophical ideas of community in the history of philosophy from Rousseau to Sartre.
- It offers a new theory of community formation in post-Lacanian thought through an analysis of alienation, authority and affect.
CHAPTERS IN BOOKS
Sex and Nothing: Bridges from Psychoanalysis to Philosophy – essay included in volume Karnac Books [Available for purchase online]
True Detective and Philosophy – essay included in volume The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series [forthcoming]
“On The Political Project of Psychoanalysis” review of Todd McGowan’s Enjoying What We Don’t Have Crisis and Critique [Available online]
“Deleuzian Theology and the Immanence of the Act of Being” Journal of the Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World [Available online]
“The Amputated Father: Kojève’s Theory of Revolution and Authority” review of Alexander Kojève’s The Notion of Authority March 2015 Philosophy Now [Available online]
“Thinking Islamic Governance with Continental Philosophy” Review of Wael Hallaq’s The Impossible State: Islam, Politics and the Crisis of Modernity February 2015 Journal of the Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World [Available online]
“Radical Love and Žižek’s Ethics of Singularity” October 2012 The International Journal for Žižek Studies [Available online]
“Oedipus and the Social Bond in Žižek and Badiou” June 2014 The International Journal for Žižek Studies [Available online]
“The Object of Proximity: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis in Žižek and Santner via Lacan” February 2010 The San Francisco Society for Lacanian Studies Journal “The Other” [Available online]
“The Arab uprisings and the dawn of emancipatory history” October 2012 Platypus Review [Available online]
“Badiou and the Affirmation of Emancipatory Politics” October 2012 Brev Spread Magazine [Available online]
“Psychoanalysis and the Veil in Islam: Rethinking Truth and Liberation” January 2013 Berfrois: Intellectual Jousting in the Republic of Letters [Available online]
“Is Philosophy Finally Without God?” January 2013 Berfrois: Intellectual Jousting in the Republic of Letters [Available online]
“Plato, Our Comrade?” March 2013 Berfrois: Intellectual Jousting in the Republic of Letters [Available online]
“The Euthanasia of Tolerant Reason: The New Discourse on Tolerance in the Age of Terror” May 2009 Graduate thesis at American University
“Metaphysicians in the Dark: Poetry, Thinking, and Nostalgia for the Idea” October 2011 TheThe Poetry
“Psychoanalysis and the Mad Artist: Hölderlin’s Empty Center” January 2012 TheThe Poetry
“Beyond the Stereotype: The Shared Story of Muslims and Mormons in America” November 2012 Duke Islamic Studies Center [Available online]
“Malleable Stereotypes: How Media is Improving the Image of American Muslims” September 2011 Institute for Social Policy and Understanding [Available online]
Interview with Simon Critchley on “The Hamlet Doctrine: Knowing Too Much, Doing Nothing” [Available online]
Interview with Todd McGowan on “Enjoying What We Don’t Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis” [Available online]
Interview with Frank Smecker on “Night of the World: Traversing the Ideology of Objectivity” [Available online]