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Research interests

I am currently writing a book for the 'Psychoanalysis and Popular Culture' series at Karnac, entitled Something to Watch Over Me: Post-Traumatic Attachments to the Eerily Moving Image. In this project I examine different film-watchers - all suffering from different forms of developmental trauma, including everyday racialization - and their viewing practices. I explore these spectators' creatively idiosyncratic use of the same 'eerily moving images' over time, drawing on film and media theory, psychoanalysis, trauma-focused therapy, group work, audience studies and auto-ethnography.

Most of my teaching and all my research is concerned with the emotional and political metamorphoses of the relational self, via engagement with film and the moving image (although I have also published widely on [mainly French] literature). I am especially interested in the art-work's capacity for symbolizing (and facilitating) psychic aliveness (and psychic deadness), and draw mostly on pseudo-fantastical or 'weird' cinema, psychoanalytic theory and practice, and the politics of class, ‘race’, gender and stigma in my attempt to build a dynamic theory and practice of integrated psycho-cultural transformation.

Before coming to Birkbeck in 2006, I taught at King's College London (where I completed my doctoral thesis, 'Metamorphosis and the Métèque', on the bio-political implications of fantastically racializing stigmata in French, Algerian and Haitian literature and film), the University of Paris X (Nanterre), and the University of Nottingham.

In 2009, I co-founded (with Dr Nathalie Wourm) the research centre Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community (BRAKC), an inter-disciplinary hub which exists in order to bring together theorists, artists and activists from a range of backgrounds (literature, philosophy, film and visual culture, fine art, sociology, linguistics, history, psychology) to engage in discussion (and action) around the representation of 'belonging', 'the group' and the 'external and internal family'.

I am the Miscellany Editor of the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality, serve on the Editorial Board of the journal Studies in French Cinema, and peer-review articles for the journal Studies in European Cinema. I am a member and former convener of the Birkbeck Psychoanalysis Working Group (BISR) and I am an associate member of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women's Writing (CCWW) at the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR), a Research Affiliate of the Sexuality and Gender Studies Research Network at Birmingham University, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

I am also a member of the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists and am registered as an adult psychotherapist with the British Psychoanalytic Council.