Oecumene aims at producing interdisciplinary collaborative research organised around key themes relating to citizenship, orientalism and political subjectivity in various parts of the world. Learn more about the individual research programmes conducted by Oecumene team members.
Both the concept of the citizen and orientalism in western thought developed in the context of modern European imperialism. This research investigates how the three cornered relationship between the citizenship, orientalism and imperialism operates in multiple overlapping contexts.
My current research examines how pre-Occidentalist concepts of gender, sex, and desire became intelligible through secular Western law within the Indian subcontinent. I am interested in what might be lost (and found) in acts of translation. I attempt to explore modes of gendered 'citizenship' in the context of contemporary political struggles within India and transnationally.
The research investigates the origins, interpretations and mutations of the strategies, discourse and technologies for the construction of abject immigrant identities. Considering how restrictive immigration policies and denying migrants political subjectivity are vestiges of orientalism, I explore acts through which criminalized, undocumented, orientalised immigrants disrupt contemporary European citizenships.
This research examines the tension between citizenship and orientalism from a psychoanalytical perspective. It analyses two discursive devices, 'Asiatic despotism' and 'Debt', which have been central in organising political subjectivities in Europe and the geopolitical threshold of Orientness. The aim is to expose the ambiguities of the European (self, citizen, 'other') in different contexts, highlighting the symbolic instability of Europe's self-representation.
My research project experiments with Arabic oral and dramatic traditions as forms of subjugated knowledges and sites of political disputation. Over the course of the project I aim to interrogate how tragedy and comedy became the two constitutive genres of theatre and how they emerged as prescribing categories for a theatrical tradition that established itself as canonical.
The research explores the contemporary relationship between citizenship, sexuality and subjectivity in order to shed light on the regulatory dimension and the exclusionary limits of the figure of the “sexual citizen” shaped by current European democratic ideals.
The matha is a religious institution in India with a guru (spiritual leader) at its head. The matha provides a variety of welfare services and arguably has been functioning as a parallel state. The project analyses how people in South India exercise many forms of political subjectivity through this institution, while anthropologically re-examining the concepts of state, citizenship, religion, caste and secularism.
The research focuses on collective agencies and movements led by women, enabling the emergence of new forms of political subjectivity. Associations rebelling against lack of state control and for respect of juridical legislation in Uttar Pradesh, or those fighting for environmental issues in the Narmada Valley have re-elaborated and re-written citizenship through social practices constructing the ‘common’.
This research explores how and under what conditions did British multiculturalism emerge as a strategy for managing difference. Aside from questioning the hegemonic narratives of multiculturalism’s emergence, the research evaluates multiculturalism's role in reconstituting or resisting an orientalist narrative of what it means to be political.
Forming a Muslim legal identity in family law on marriage, divorce, custody and inheritance has become an important part of constructing public space and political agency. This research investigates how contemporary British Muslim legal identity is being formed through an interaction between Shari’a law and English family law.
My research addresses the transformation in the politics of the settlement enterprise in the Occupied West Bank: the subsumption of the previously dominant religious-national settlement paradigm by the 'non ideological' one. The Israeli political discourse defined more than half of the Jewish-Israeli settlers today as 'non-ideological' or 'quality of life' settlers.