I joined Surrey in 2015 as a Lecturer in English Literature after holding a four-year research fellowship at the Centre for Women's and Gender Research, University of Bergen, Norway. I have previously held research fellowships at the School of English, University of Leeds, the School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow, and the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland. My research spans the fields of medical humanities, postcolonial studies, queer theory and monster studies, with a focus on contemporary literature and film, embodiment and memory, and biotechnologies. I recently published a monograph with Bloomsbury entitled Queer Postcolonial Narratives and the Ethics of Witnessing. My current work also delves into evolutionary theory, with a particular emphasis on Richard Goldschmidt's theory of the Hopeful Monster. I am also working on a monograph provisionally entitled Recycling Global Life: Human Organ Transplantation in Contemporary Literature and Film.
I am the principal investigator on the project Disability, Arts and Health, which is funded by the Nordic Culture Fund. I am a co-investigator on the project The Embodied Self, Health and Emerging Technologies, which is funded by the Swedish Research Council.
ELI3047 Health, Illness and Technological Imaginaries (convenor)
ELI3033 Dissertation (convenor)
ELI3034 Creative Writing Submissions (convenor)
ELI2012 Contemporary Literature: Gender and Sexuality
(2016) 'Living with Others Inside the Self: Decolonising Transplantation, Selfhood and the Body Politic in Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring'. BMJ Publishing Group Medical Humanities,
This article examines anxieties concerning organ transplantation in Nalo Hopkinson’s prize-winning novel Brown Girl in the Ring (1998). The main focus is how this novel re-imagines subjectivity and selfhood as an embodied metaphor for the reconfiguring of broader socio-political relations. In other words, this article analyses the relationship between the transplanted body and the body politic, arguing that a post-transplant identity, where there is little separation between donor and recipient, is the foundation for a politics based on responsibility for others. Such a responsibility poses a challenge to the race and class segregation that is integral to the post-apocalyptic world of Hopkinson’s novel. Transplantation is not a utopian vision of an egalitarian society coming together in one body; rather, this biotechnological intervention offers a potentially different mode of thinking what it means to work across race, class and embodied division, while always recalling the violence that might facilitate so-called scientific progress.
McCormack D, Salmenniemi S.
(2016) 'The biopolitics of precarity and the self'. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 19 (1), pp. 3-15.
This article explores the generally pathologized relationship between organ recipients
and the families of deceased donors. Its focus is Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 2003
production 21 Grams because this film brings to the fore both the urgent desire of
the organ recipient to be close to the donor family and the purported pathological
ramifications of such encounters. Furthermore, the formal representation of time
portrays the very ways in which normative structures of temporality are disrupted
and perhaps irreversibly altered by the organ transfer process. The article explores
how the film forecloses the possibility of the organ recipient and the donor family
creating a viable relationship. It argues that the film terminates a transplant
temporality by structuring the narrative ending through a normative linear
trajectory of reproductive heterosexuality. It concludes with an examination of how
the donor family returns to a life of sameness where social norms are restored and
repeated, and where transplantees accept a deadly fate so that anxieties about
bodily relationality and disruptive temporalities can be assuaged.
(2015) 'Hopeful Monsters: A Queer Hope for Evolutionary Difference'. Somatechnics, 5 (2), pp. 154-173.
(2014) 'Posthumanist Ethics and Organ Transplantation'. Universitetsforlaget AS Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning, 2014 (2), pp. 173-178.
(2013) 'Book review - Jamie Heckert and Richard Cleminson (eds.), 'Anarchism and Sexuality: Ethics, Relationships and Power’'. Springer Netherlands Feminist Legal Studies, 21, pp. 113-116.
(2012) 'Diasporic Imaginaries - a review of Pilar Cuder-Dominguez and Belen Martin-Lucas, 'Transnational Poetics: Asian Canadian Women's Fiction of the 1990s''. University of British Columbia (Canada) Canadian Literature: a quarterly of criticism and review, 215 (Winter 2012), pp. 160-161.
(2011) ''Multisensory Poetics and Politics in Shani Mootoo's "The Wild Woman in the Woods and Valmiki's Daughter"''. Journal of West Indian Literature, 19 (2), pp. 9-33.
(2009) 'Gender and Colonial Transitioning: Frantz Fanon’s Algerian Freedom Fighters in Moroccan and Caribbean Novels?'. Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 7 (3), pp. 279-293.
(2007) 'Queer Postcolonial Space: Forging Ethical Practices Out of Violence in Shani Mootoo’s Literary Works'. The Central European Association for Canadian Studies in collaboration with Masaryk University Canadian Studies in Europe, 6, pp. 237-250.
(2007) 'Intersections of Lesbian Studies and Postcolonial Studies: One Possible Future for Class'. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 11 (3-4), pp. 213-221.
(2006) 'Book review - Jean Bobby Noble, 'Masculinities without Men? Female Masculinity in Twentieth- Century Fictions''. University of Texas Press Journal of the History of Sexuality, 15 (2), pp. 333-338.
With a focus on the aesthetics and politics of queer postcolonial narratives, this book examines how unspeakable traumas of colonial and familial violence are communicated through the body.
BOOK (AUTHORED & EDITED)
(2015) 'The Transplant Imaginary and Its Postcolonial Hauntings'. in Malmqvist E, Zeiler (eds.) Bodily Exchanges, Bioethics and Border Crossing: Perspectives on Giving, Selling and Sharing Bodies
Routledge Article number 9
(2012) 'Illicit Intimacies, The Rāmāyana and Synaesthetic Remembering in Shani Mootoo’s Valmiki’s Daughter'. in Mahabir J, Pirbhai M (eds.) Critical Perspectives on Indo-Caribbean Women's Literature
Routledge Article number 9 , pp. 203-228.
(2008) 'Intersections of Lesbian Studies and Postcolonial Studies: One Possible Future for Class'. in O'Donnell K, Giffney N (eds.) Twenty-First Century Lesbian Studies
Haworth Press , pp. 213-222.