Dana Mohammed Olwan

Ruth Wynn Woodward Junior Chair, 2011-2012
Critical Race Theory and Muslim Feminist Scholar and Activist

Dana began her BA studies in English Literature at Yarmouk Univeristy (Irbid, Jordan). She completed her BA in English at La Roche College (Pittsburgh, PA) and her MA at the English Department of Georgetown University (Washington, DC). In 2009, Dana received her Ph.D. in English Literature from Queen’s University’s English Department (Kingston, Ontario). Her dissertation, “The Politics of Legibility: Writing and Reading Contemporary Arab American Women’s Literature,” examined the practices of writing, publishing, marketing, and reading fictional works by Arab American women writers post 9/11. After completing her doctoral work, Dana became Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at Queen’s University where she received the W. J. Barnes Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. In the Summer 2011, she was the Future Minority Studies Postdoctoral Fellow at the Women’s and Gender Studies Department of Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York) where she began her book-length project on honour killings in Canada.

Tentatively entitled "Dishonourable Crimes: Murder, Rescue, and the Politics of Canadian Multiculturalism," this project lies at the intersections of race, gender, and feminist studies. Utilizing a broad range of theoretical frameworks, my work maps the ways in which ideas about states, citizenship, belonging, and religion are deployed to code certain acts of violence against women as “honour crimes.” In this work, I explore a range of issues relating to the areas of Islam, Gender Studies, and the politics of Canadian multiculturalism.

During her tenure at SFU, Dana will teach a number of courses, including two courses on transnational feminist theory in the Fall term and one on Islam and feminism during the Spring term. Dana is committed to doing anti-racist feminist work in the classroom and beyond. She has participated in various activist organizations, including Free Queen’s!, OPIRG Kingston, The Ban Righ Center, and Faculty for Palestine.

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from RWW Junior Chair 2011-2012