Currently, my research is in two areas:
I am developing an ethics of sublimation, a psychoanalytic concept that is concerned with self-formation and transformation. I am intrigued by this concept and have studied it from the Lacanian and post-Lacanian perspective for some time. I am focusing on developing a new theory of sublimation that is grounded in Gilles Deleuze’s idea of quasi-cause and the wound, an ethical framework he developed in Logic of Sense (1969) and extended on throughout the Anti-Oedipus (1972 – 1980) series. I am particularly interested in applying this theory to contemporary resentment politics and developing a counter strategy to the persistence of negative sublimations, or sublimations that are submitted to apparatuses of control and calculation. This work is in dialogue with various theories of sublimation from Freud, Lacan, Marcuse, Badiou and Stiegler.
As an extension of this framework, I am also examining the concepts of love and community in the context of hyper-capitalism and neoliberal forms of social life that foreclose and immunize community. I argue that love is the opening of a relationship of inequality but this form of asymmetrical love is foreclosed in today’s world due to the rise of identity politics and the decline of liberatory desire. I examine strategies of cross identity solidarity as a means to re-introduce asymmetrical love in social and political spaces.
My second area of research is in the history of the idea of socialism and Marxist thought in an America context. I am looking at the way literary figures in late nineteenth and early twentieth century American belles lettres treat the idea of socialism. I am examining the treatment of socialist thought by the transcendentalists, Thoreau, Emerson and also Whitman, as well as Jack London and the trajectory of the Socialist Party of America up to its disintegration with the First World War.
You can read my academic publications, essays, book reviews and talks here.
“A Caliphate of Ideas? Islamic Politics in Dialogue with post-Marxism” – essay in book Theologies and Ethics of Justice in Islam: New Perspectives and Global Directions published by IIIT Press [forthcoming]
CHAPTERS IN BOOKS
“Love, Psychoanalysis, and Leftist Political Ontology” – essay in book Sex and Nothing: Bridges from Psychoanalysis to Philosophy – published by Karnac Books [Available for purchase online]
“Cohle and Oedipus: The Return of the Noir Hero” – essay in book True Detective and Philosophy – published by The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series [Available for purchase online]
“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.
“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]