School of English

profile image for Professor Caroline Rooney

Professor Caroline Rooney

Professor of African and Middle Eastern Studies

School of English

BA; English Honours, Cape Town. D.Phil, Oxford

Office: NC 3

Caroline Rooney is also currently a RCUK Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellow

About

Caroline Rooney was born in Zimbabwe. She studied as an undergraduate at the University of Cape Town before taking up a Beit Fellowship to undertake doctoral research at Oxford University. She works and publishes mainly in the area of postcolonial studies and Arab cultural studies, focusing on liberation struggles and their aftermaths in both sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa. Her research engages with postcolonial theory in relation to diverse philosophical and spiritual traditions, literary and political uses of language, and cross-cultural articulations of gender and sexuality. She is particularly interested in Southern African writing, North African writing, and contemporary Arab writing.

From 2009-12, she was an ESRC/AHRC Global Uncertainties Fellow with a research programme entitled Radical Distrust: A Cultural Analysis of the Emotional, Psychological and Linguistic Formations of Political and Religious Extremism. This programme analyses the emotional, psychological and discursive formations of extremism and radicalism through a study of literary texts and popular culture across the areas of postcolonial and Middle Eastern studies. It has been conducted through projects on Global Youth Cultures (2009-2010); Egyptian Literary Culture and Modernity (2009-2010); Transnational Representations of the ’82 Siege of Beirut (2010); Settler Cultures (2011); and Popular Imagination and the Arab Spring (2011-12). She currently holds a Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellowship (2012-2015) with a programme entitled Imagining the Common Ground: Utopian Thinking and the Overcoming of Resentment and Distrust. The activities and research of this leadership fellowship serve to explore both the pitfalls and constructive possibilities of utopian thinking with reference to cultural notions of the common ground and civil society in contemporary African and Middle Eastern contexts. In her work on contemporary art and culture, she enjoys ongoing collaborations with musicians, spoken word performers, visual artists and film-makers.

Caroline Rooney has supervised eleven PhDs (including on Palestinian, South African, Zimbabwean, Algerian and Egyptian literature), and she currently supervises six PhDs in progress. With Donna Landry, she is consultant editor for Routledge’s postcolonial monograph series and she is a member of CAABU, the British-Zimbabwe Society, and the Postcolonial Studies Association.

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Publications

Books

The Ethics of Representation in Literature, Art and Journalism: Transnational Responses to Beirut 1982, co-edited with Rita Sakr (Routledge, forthcoming).

Kipling and Beyond: Patriotism, Globalisation, and Postcolonialism, co-edited with Kaori Nagai (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

Decolonising Gender: Literature and a Poetics of the Real (Routledge, 2007).

Book Unbinding: The Ontological Stain, co-written with Vera Dieterich (Artwords Press, 2005).

African Literature, Animism and Politics (Routledge, 2000).

Editorships of Special Issues of Journals

Wasafiri, ‘Global Youth Cultures’, Issue 72 (December 2012).

The Journal of Postcolonial Writing,’Egyptian Literary Culture and Egyptian

Modernity’,with Ayman El Desouky, Volume 47, Number 4 (September 2011).

The Oxford Literary Review, ‘Knowledge, Learning and Migration’, 19 (1997).

The Oxford Literary Review, ‘Monstrism’, 22 (2001), with Andrew Bennett et. al.

The Journal of European Studies, 34.1/2 (March/June 2004), with Rob White. Special double issue on Claire Denis's Beau Travail.

Selected Articles and Chapters (from 2009)

 ‘A Question of Faith in Humanity: Jean Said Makdisi’s Beirut Fragments and Other Beirut Fragments’, in The Ethics of Representation in Literature, Art and Journalism: Transnational Responses to Beirut 1982, ed. Caroline Rooney and Rita Sakr (Routledge, 2013).

‘Pourquoi la loyauté?’, with Julia Borossa in Guerre finie, guerre infinie (Beirut, forthcoming).

‘From Liberation Theory to Postcolonial Theory: The Poststructuralist Turn’. The Edinburgh Companion to Poststructuralism. Ed. Benoit Dillet, et. al.(Edinburgh: EUP, 2013).

’Islamism, Capitalism and Mimetic Desire’, in  Islamism and Arab Cultural Expression, ed. Abir Hamdar and Lyndsey Moore (London: Routledge, 2013).

‘Fortress Hypochondria: Health and Safety’, with Julia Borossa, in Psychoanalysis and the National Body, ed. Lene Auestad (London: Karnac, 2013).

 ‘The Contemporary Egyptian Maqama or Short Story Novel as a Form of Democracy’ in The Postcolonial Short Story, ed. Maggie Awadalla and Paul March-Rusell (London: Palgrave, forthcoming 2012).

‘Activism and Authenticity: Palestinian and Related Hip Hop’ in The Arab Avant-Garde: Musical Innovation in the Middle East. Ed. Kay Dickinson, et. al. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press (forthcoming 2012).

‘Music Sans Frontières? Documentaries on Hip Hop in the Holy Land and DIY Democracy’, in Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa, ed. Walid El Hamamsy and Mounira Soliman (London: Routledge, forthcoming 2012/13).

‘From Cairo to Tottenham: The Big Society and the London Riots’, in Journal for Cultural Research, special issue on the London Riots, ed. Rupa Huq (forthcoming 2013).

 ‘“We teach life, sir”: States of Siege, Youth and Filmed Testimony’, with Rita Sakr, in Invisible Violences: The Image-Making of Liberal Wars Since 1914, ed. Hilary Footitt and Andrew Knapp (New York, Continuum, 2013).

 ’Radical Distrust: Youth of the Middle East Visit England?’, in Visa Stories, ed. Filippo Menozzi and Bahriye Kemal (Manchester: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2012/13).

 ‘Utopian Cosmopolitanism and the Conscious Pariah: Harare, Ramallah, Cairo’. The Journal of Commonwealth Literature. Special issue on Debating Local Cosmopolitanism. Ed. Ranka Primorac. Volume 46: 1 (March 2011).

‘Arab Hip Hop in an International Frame’. Orient, Vol. III (July 2010).

’The Disappointed of the Earth’. Psychoanalysis and History, Special double issue on Psychoanalysis, Fascism and Fundamentalism, Vol. 11 (July 2009).

Interviews

Rehab Bassam, ‘In Less Than Five Years’, interview by Caroline Rooney. The Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 47:4 (September 2011).

Ahdaf Soueif, ‘In Conversation’. Interview by Caroline Rooney. The Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 47:4 (September 2011).

Mai Masri, interview by Caroline Rooney and Rita Sakr, in The Ethics of Representation in Literature, Art and Journalism: Transnational Responses to Beirut 1982, ed. Caroline Rooney and Rita Sakr (Routledge, 2013).

Mischa Hiller, interview by Caroline Rooney and Rita Sakr, in The Ethics of Representation on Literature, Art and Journalism: Transnational Responses to Beirut 1982, ed. Caroline Rooney and Rita Sakr (Routledge, 2013).

Journalism

‘The Crusader’s Tragedy’, in Counterpunch, 30 July 2011.

‘Riots, Revolutions and Big Societies: From Cairo to Tottenham’, in Counterpunch, 12 August 2011.

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School of English, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 823054

Last Updated: 16/09/2013