Dr Rita Sakr
Lecturer / Assistant Professor; MA Programme Co-ordinator
I joined the Department of English at Maynooth University as Lecturer in Postcolonial and Global Literatures, after being Lecturer in World Literature at Goldsmiths (University of London), and previously, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Orient Institut Beirut (Max Weber Foundation), ESRC “Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research” Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Kent, and visiting lecturer and fellow at UCD (English and Clinton Institute for American Studies), having completed a PhD at the University of Nottingham, UK. My teaching and research interests include literary and cultural production engaging forced displacement, postcolonialism and decoloniality, Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean studies, modern Arab (including diasporic) literature and film, modern Turkish and Kurdish literature in translation, critical geographies and the environmental humanities, the 'right to the city' in literature and film, human rights and humanitarianism, peacekeeping and peace-building, and interdisciplinary post-conflict memory studies.
Among various other publications, I am the author of “Anticipating” the 2011 Arab Uprisings: Revolutionary Literatures and Political Geographies (Palgrave) and Monumental Space in the Post-Imperial Novel: An Interdisciplinary Study (Continuum; and in paperback, Bloomsbury Academic). I co-edited The Ethics of Representation in Literature, Art, and Journalism: Transnational Responses to the Siege of Beirut (Routledge) and James Joyce and the Nineteenth-Century French Novel (Rodopi).
In 2014, I co-directed and co-produced the Research Councils UK-funded documentary film White Flags that focuses on peace-building through memory projects and the arts in post-war Beirut. Screenings and Q&A included: Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Being Human Festival, UK; World Poetry Day, Nicosia; Mansion Cultural Centre, Beirut.
Recent and forthcoming publications focus on cultural production (primarily Arab) at the crossroads of bio/necropolitics, more-than-human rights, the environmental and medical humanities and experimental aesthetics of forced displacement. I am currently completing my third monograph titled 'Arab (Im)Mobilities'.
I am a member of the editorial team of the Palgrave Handbook of European Migration in Literature and Culture (June 2023) and co-editor of Contemporary Arabic Literature and Migration: New Poetics and Perspectives (I. B. Tauris/Bloomsbury Academic 2025).
Recently completed and ongoing research supervision includes: "The Production of Space and its Subversive Functions in Contemporary Lebanese Literature" (Farah Aridi, Goldsmiths, completed) "The Body and the Environment in Contemporary Iraqi Literature" (Reema Hassan, MU, ongoing); and as mentor for the IRC-funded postdoctoral project 'The Language of Refuge' (Edmund Chapman, ongoing).
I am senior co-investigator, with Prof Sinead McGilloway (Principal Investigator-Founder Director of Maynooth Centre for Mental Health and Community Research), on a funded (QFI) research programme, titled SALaM-Ireland (2020-2023), part of an international collaboration based at the University of Washington in St Louis. This is a mixed-methods engaged research project that seeks to assess the psychosocial needs of post-primary school students resettled to Ireland from Arab-majority countries and to identify potential school-based and creative strategies to foster support for this population.
From February 2019 to January 2022, I coordinated the MA English: Literatures of Engagement.
I co-designed the interdisciplinary, cross-departmental Master of Arts: Cultures of Migration in the Faculty of Arts, Celtic Studies and Philosophy.
In October 2021, I designed and convened a free online course on "Global Migrant Literature and Culture" that is part of "A Pilot Project to Enhance Equal Participation and Inclusivity in the Virtual Learning Environment", for which I received funding (with colleagues in the Department of Law) from the MU Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fund and the support of Kildare Libraries.
I am Co-Chair of Maynooth University Sanctuary Committee and a member of Scholars at Risk-Maynooth.
I am co-founder of the Irish Network of Middle Eastern and North African Studies (INMENAS).
From 2016 to 2019, I was a member of the Executive Council of the International Comparative Literature Association.
I am a member of the Board of Literature Ireland.
Since 2016, I have been commissioning editor for the Arab, Middle Eastern, and North African (including diasporic) Literatures and Cultures volumes of the Literary Encyclopedia.
I was a Judge of the 2021 International Dublin Literary Award.
Since December 2021, I have been a member of the Judging Panel of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.
|2023||Rita Sakr (2023) 'Taming the Square: Documenting the Rioting Subject in Basma Abdel Aziz’s The Queue' In: Writing the Global Riot: Literature in a Time of Crisis (in press). Oxford : Oxford University Press.|
|2023||Rita Sakr (2023) 'Arab(ic) Diasporic Literary Trajectories: Reinvented Magical Realisms, Biopolitical Ruptures, and Planetarity' In: Diaspora and Literary Studies (in press). Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.|
|2022||Rita Sakr (2022) 'The Severed Limb: Relational Life-writing Against Techno-biopolitical Violence in Atef Abu Saif’s The Drone Eats With Me: A Gaza Diary' In: Literary Representations of the Palestine/Israel Conflict after the Second Intifada. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, pp. 13-32.|
|2020||Sakr, R (2020) 'Expanding the Space of Human Rights in Literature, Reclaiming Literature as a Human Right: Cockroach and Carnival' In: BEIRUT TO CARNIVAL CITY: READING RAWI HAGE. AMSTERDAM : EDITIONS RODOPI B V. [DOI]|
|2018||Rita Sakr (2018) 'Heterotopia and its Discontents: Exploring Spatial, Social, and Textual Liminality in Rawi Hage’s Cockroach' In: Contested Spaces, Counter-narratives, and Culture from Below in Canada and Quebec. Toronto : Toronto University Press, pp. 88-106.|
|2013||Rita Sakr and Caroline Rooney (2013) 'We Teach Life, Sir”: States of Siege, Youth, and Filmed Testimony' In: Liberal Democracies at War: Conflict and Representation. London and New York : Bloomsbury Academic, 199-218.|
|2013||Rita Sakr and Caroline Rooney (2013) 'Interview with Robert Fisk' In: The Ethics of Representation in Literature, Art and Journalism: Transnational Responses to the Siege of Beirut. London and New York : Routledge, , pp. 184-90.|
|2013||Rita Sakr and Caroline Rooney (2013) 'Interview with Mischa Hiller' In: The Ethics of REpresentation in Literature, Art and Journalism: Transnational Responses to the Siege of Beirut. London and New York : Routledge, pp. 191-97.|
|2013||Rita Sakr and Caroline Rooney (2013) 'Interview with Mai Masri' In: The Ethics of REpresentation in Literature, Art and Journalism: Transnational Responses to the Siege of Beirut. London and New York : Routledge, pp.198-204.|
|2013||Rita Sakr and Caroline Rooney (2013) 'Introduction' In: The Ethics of Representation in Literature, Journalism and Art: Transnational Responses to the Siege of Beirut. London and New York : Routledge, pp. 1-20.|
|2013||Rita Sakr (2013) 'War is Surrealism Without Art: Representing the Unrepresentable in Mahmoud Darwish, Rawi Hage and Robert Fisk' In: The Ethics of Representation in Literature, Journalism and Art: Transnational Responses to the Siege of Beirut. London and New York : Routledge, pp. 23-36.|
|2011||Rita Sakr (2011) '“That’s new […]That’s copy: Slightly Rambunctious Females on the top of Some Column! in Zola’s L’Assommoir and Joyce’s Ulysses' In: Joyce and the Nineteenth-Century French Novel. Amsterdam and New York : Rodopi.|
|2011||Rita Sakr and Finn Fordham (2011) 'Joyce and the “pas mal de siècle”' In: Joyce and the Nineteenth-Century French Novel. Amsterdam and New York : Rodopi.|
Peer Reviewed Journal
|2021||Rita Sakr (2021) 'Decolonial Imaginaries of Sanctuary in Behrouz Boochani's Work'. CROSSINGS: JOURNAL OF MIGRATION & CULTURE, 11 (2):231-249.|
|2019||Rita Sakr (2019) 'Imagining Mid-Nineteenth-Century Beirut as a City of the World: Public Intellectuals, Photography, Cartography, and Historical Literature'. Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, 6 (1):31-57. [Full-Text]|
|2018||Rita Sakr (2018) 'The More-Than-Human Refugee Journey: Hassan Blasim's Short Stories'. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 54 (6 Refugee Literature):766-780. [Full-Text]|
|2011||Rita Sakr (2011) 'Between Terror and Taboo: Monumentalisation as the Matrix of History and Politics in Orhan Pamuk’s The Black Book and Snow'. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 38 :227-247. [Full-Text]|
|2011||Rita Sakr (2011) 'Imaginative Migrations'. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 47 (3). [Full-Text]|
|2010||Rita Sakr (2010) 'Broken Pillars”: The Counter-Monumental Texture of Ulysses'. Dublin James Joyce Journal, 3 :120-143. [Full-Text]|
|2008||Rita Sakr (2008) 'Staging Social and Political Spaces: Living Theatre in Joyce’s “The Dead”'. Journal of the Short Story in English, 51 :67-79. [Full-Text]|
|2007||Rita Sakr (2007) 'Negotiating Post-War Lebanese Literature: A Conversation with Rashid al-Daif'. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 43 (3):278-85. [Full-Text]|
|2021||Yvonne Leckey, Sinead McGilloway and Rita Sakr, (2021) Investigating the mental health and wellbeing of young Arabic-speaking adolescents who have migrated to Ireland from conflict-affected countries. [Blog] [Link]|
|2022||Rita Sakr (2022) Review of I Don't Want to Talk About Home by Suad Aldarra (in The Irish Times). [Book Review] [Link]|
|2021||Rita Sakr (2021) Review of Fictions of Migration in Contemporary Britain and Ireland by Carmen Zamorano Llena (in New Hibernia Review). [Book Review]|
|2021||Rita Sakr (2021) Landscapes of Violence: Review of God 99 by Hassan Blasim (in Dublin Review of Books). [Book Review]|
|2017||Rita Sakr (2017) Review of The Lebanese Post-Civil War Novel: Memory, Trauma, and Capital (in Contemporary Levant). [Book Review]|
|2014||Rita Sakr (2014) James Joyce in the Nineteenth Century (in James Joyce Broadsheet). [Book Review]|
|2014||Rita Sakr (2014) Review of Architecture and Modern Literature (in James Joyce Quarterly). [Book Review]|
|2013||Rita Sakr (2013) Review of Transits: The Nomadic Geographies of Anglo-American Modernism (in James Joyce Quarterly). [Book Review]|
|2013||Rita Sakr (2013) Review of In the Country of Men and Anatomy of a Disappearance by Hisham Matar (in Wasafiri). [Book Review]|
|2013||Rita Sakr (2013) Review of Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World (in British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies). [Book Review]|
|2018||Rita Sakr (2018) Cultural Imaginaries of Mid-Nineteenth Century Beirut as “City of the World”. [Electronic Publication] [Link]|
|2020||Rita Sakr (2020) RTE Brainstorm: A Guide to the Best Arabic Literature in Translation. [Media] [Link]|
|2019||Rita Sakr (2019) Main guest on BBC World Service Weekend. [Media]|
|2016||Rita Sakr (2016) Featured expert on the RTE documentary: Peacekeepers: The Irish in South Lebanon. [Media] [Link]|
|2018||Rita Sakr (2018) One of two main guests on BBC World Service Weekend. [Media]|
|2016||Rita Sakr (2016) One of two main guests on BBC World Service Weekend. [Media]|
|2015||Rita Sakr (2015) One of two main guests on BBC World Service Weekend. [Media]|
|2014||Rita Sakr (2014) One of two main guests on BBC World Service Weekend. [Media]|
|2022||Rita Sakr; Andrew Clarke (2022) World Refugee Day 2022: A Conversation with Rehan Ali and Marwa Zamir. [Webinar]|
|2021||Rita Sakr (2021) Interculturalism, Literature and the Arts in Ireland Webinar Series. [Webinar]|
|2021||Rita Sakr and Reema Hassan (2021) A Conversation with Hassan Blasim on Literature, Displacement and Resistance. [Webinar]|
|2021||Rita Sakr (2021) Academic Response (focusing on Nizar Qabbani's poetry) to Kinda Nassli's Angela's Ashes Through a Syrian Refugee's Eyes (MU Social Justice Week event). [Webinar]|
|2020||Rita Sakr and Denis Condon (2020) Gaza: A Conversation With Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell. [Webinar] [Link]|
|2020||Rita Sakr (2020) Conversation with Claire Gallien on Anglo-Arabic Writing and the Practice of Worldliness. [Webinar] [Link]|
Guest Speaker Hosted
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2023) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.
Year 3 UG Core module EN302 Critical Geographies (module coordinator and lecturer, ongoing)
Year 3 UG Core module EN303 Experimental Forms (co-lecturer with Dr Sullivan, ongoing)
Year 3 UG Elective EN379 Global Arab Migrant Writing and Film (ongoing)
Year 2 Core module EN204 Literatures of Place (module coordinator and co-lecturer with Dr Corley, 2018-19)
Year 2 Great Books (co-teaching with colleagues, ongoing)
EN6112 Imagining The Post-Imperial City
"Gaza" Section on MA Elective EN6006 Zionism, Palestinian Nationalism and Culture
Section of EN6102 Literatures of Engagement