Dena A Al-Adeeb


Position Title
Post Doc

2135 Hart Hall

Dena A Al-Adeeb is the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the American Studies Department working under the mentorship of Caren Kaplan. Dena received her PhD in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Culture and Representation track, from New York University.  She completed her dissertation under the primary supervision of Ella Shohat with the support of the American Association of University Women Fellowship and New York University Provost's Global Research Initiative. At UC Davis, she also collaborates with the Critical Militarization, Policing, and Security Studies (CRTMIL) research group. She previously served as an Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University and Visiting Instructor in the Humanities and Media Studies Department and Pratt School of Architecture at the Pratt Institute.

Dena is currently working on two articles developed from her doctoral dissertation and an in-progress book manuscript tentatively titled: The Architecture of War: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq and its Cultural Engineering Project. The book seeks to critically investigate the relationship between art, architecture, and archaeology and militarized visual culture, analyzed against the historical and political backdrop of imperial and neoliberal processes in the Middle East.

Her work appears in a diversity of publications including:  Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics,  We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War Anthology, Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging, Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, Ibraaz, Contemptorary, Light Work, Contemporary Practices Journal,  The Color of Violence Anthology,  among others.


As a practicing artist Dena crates performative, relational works, dedicated to participatory art, socially engaged projects, and collaborative engagements. The experience of being rooted within an art practice, and researching through and within that practice, is critical to her scholarly and pedagogical praxes. Her work has been exhibited internationally, at such places as Mana Contemporary in New York, Museum of Tunisia, Art 13: London: Modern and Contemporary Art Fair, Light Work Gallery in New York, Worth Ryder Gallery at the University of California-Berkeley, OFF Biennale Cairo, Arab American National Museum, Headlands Center for the Arts, Intermedia Arts, Darb 1718, Falaki Gallery, Mashrabia Gallery, Bastakiya Art Fair, Galerie le Violon Bleu, and The National Veterans Art Museum, among others.


Research Interests:  Postcolonial Studies, Visual and Cultural Studies, Contemporary Art, Architecture, Archeology, Geography, Women and Gender Studies, Memory Studies, Trauma Studies, Performance Studies, Critical Military Studies, Ethnic Studies, Transnationalism, Displacement and Diaspora, Mourning and Remembrance, Imperialism, Urban Politics, Critical War Studies, Iraq War,

‘Ashura, Sacred Spaces, Death and Dying Rituals.