In honor of National Postdoc Appreciation Week Sept. 15-19, the Office of Research Communications is spotlighting Ohio University postdoctoral fellows across campus.
Lana Oweidat is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of English who also teaches in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. She works with faculty member Mara Holt. Oweidat earned her doctoral degree in English, rhetoric and composition, from Ohio University.
She recently participated in a Q&A for the Office of Research Communications.
Please tell us about your research, scholarship or creative work.
The theoretical aspect of my research tackles cross-cultural encounters between the West and the Muslim world, highlighting moments of ethical violations in these encounters. I examine Islamophobia as a racist discourse that promotes such ethical violations, and illustrate how Islamophobia is a working discourse that affects the realities of Muslims in the United States and around the world.
The pedagogical aspect of my work entails designing pedagogical exercises, activities and assignments that help U.S. students disrupt the Orientalist representations of Muslim women. I believe that in an age where students are bombarded with negative images, stories, and media coverage about Muslims, there is more pressure on us, educators, to make visible the cultural, social, and political implications embedded in the Islamophobic portrayals of Muslims in different media outlets. The anti-Islamophobia pedagogy that I'm developing trains students to become more comfortable with difference and prepares them for the challenges that accompany their positioning as global citizens.
How long have you been a postdoctoral fellow, and what are your primary responsibilities in your lab, program or team?
I have been a postdoc fellow since the beginning of the fall semester of 2014-2015. My primary responsibilities include working on my research and teaching three classes per semester.
How does your postdoc position benefit you and how will it help you in your career?
The postdoc allows me to dedicate time to my research and publish articles from my dissertation. It also helps me broaden my teaching experience.
How do university research programs benefit from postdocs?
Postdocs are scholars and researchers who dedicate their time and energy to research and publication, which benefits the university by increasing its visibility on the national and international levels and contributing to the university's mission of adding to the stock of global knowledge.
Photo of Lana Oweidat by Mohamad Al-Issa, provided by Oweidat.