Dena Al-Adeeb is a Ph.D. candidate in the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Department on the Culture and Representation tack.
Her research critically investigates the relationship between art, architecture, archaeology, and the politics of militarized visual culture, as they relate to violent neo-colonial and imperial processes in the Middle East. Her work considers the effects and strategies of these processes, revealing how they connect to contemporary, constant states of crisis culture in the Middle East. Drawing from postcolonial theory, art history, architecture, archaeology, cultural and visual studies, her work sheds light on and contextualizes the United States’ 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq and its aftermath. She makes sense of the neoliberal restructuring of Iraq in light of the post-September 11th development of cultural institutions in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and Doha, Qatar (e.g., New York University Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, etc.). She situates the U.S. military’s occupation and destruction of ancient Iraqi heritage sites and modern institutions, such as museums, libraries, and universities, within representational practices and visual strategies of military domination and empire building.
Her research is situated at the intersection of visual and cultural studies, architecture, archeology, postcolonial studies, trauma studies, memory studies, urban studies, and global critical theory. She is also a practicing artist dedicated to participating in socially engaged projects. The experience of being rooted within an art practice, and researching through and within that practice is critical to effective teaching. It requires both recognition of, and the ability to draw from all knowledge sources.