Leila Abdel Rahim
AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
Civilisation, anthropology, literature, comparative methods in research, systems of knowledge, creative writing
in Western Civilisation, Russian (and Slavic) Culture, North East African society (but have lived on 5 continents and hence familiar with other places too).
Ph.D. (with excellence) in Comparative Literature
University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada (2011) Dissertation: Order and the Literary Rendering of Chaos: Children’s Literature as knowledge, culture and social foundation.
External Examiner: Jack Zipes .
Published by Routledge 2015 under the title of: “Children’s Literature, Domestication, and Social Foundation: Narratives of Civilization and Wilderness“.
M.A. in Social Sciences with extra courses in anthropology (completed course requirements for a second masters in anthropology)
Stockholm University, Sweden (1996) Thesis: The Portrayal and Participation of Women in Russian Rock Music.
B.A. with thesis in Comparative Literature
Bryn Mawr College, PA, U.S.A. (1989-93) Thesis: Construction of Identity in Emergent Literatures: Nationalism Written in the Language of the Colonizer by Chingiz Aitmatov and Tahar Ben Jelloun.
Civil Engineering (3 years); Equivalent A-levels in additional maths and physics; Fine Arts (2 years); Graduate courses in sociology at l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales in Paris (1993-94); Theatre, Avignon, France (summer 1993); Summer programme on Francophone literature and culture at University Laval, Quebec (1991); Administrative skills
Native fluency: English, Russian
Fluent: Arabic, French, Swedish
Comprehension of and reading skills in: Latin, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, German, and basic Japanese.
.Young People’s Literature and Theatre, department of Modern Languages, UQTR (3 crédits)
.20th century American Literature, department of Modern Languages, University of Quebec in Trois Rivieres (UQTR) (3 crédits)
HONOURS & AWARDS
. Thomas J. Watson Foundation fellowship (1993-94)
. Bryn Mawr College, Full scholarship, 4 years B.A. programme (1989-93)
. Alliance Française, Philadelphia scholarship for excellence in French (1991)
. Bryn Mawr scholarship for summer theatre programme in Avignon (1993)
. Bryn Mawr scholarship for study of Francophone literature and culture at Université Laval, Quebec (Summer 1991)
Painting National and International prizes
Sports National and international awards in show jumping. Member of the Sudanese National Equestrian (show jumping) team (1978-88)
Peer reviewed BOOKS:
- (March, 2015) Children’s Literature, Domestication, and Social Foundation: Narratives of Civilization and Wilderness. New York: Routledge.
- Czech translation of the excerpt “On Colonization“.
- (May, 2013) Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education. Halifax and Calgary: Fernwood Publishing.
RESEARCH and AREAS OF EXPERTISE
- Order and the Literary Rendering of Chaos: Children’s Literature as Knowledge, Culture and Social Foundation. Doctoral research (2002-present)
- Early Child Development and Children’s Literature. Research conducted in Tver, Moscow, and the Golden Ring cities. Collected 1000s of slides on Soviet children’s stories, art, cartoons and children’s books in various languages. Wrote several essays on education – see publications below (1998-2002)
- Researcher based at CEIFO (the Centre for International Migration and Ethnic Relations Studies), department of Anthropology, Stockholm University (1996-98)
Conducted anthropological research on the following projects:
. Immigrant Women in the Swedish Labour Market (1997-98)
. The Encounter. Socio-medical anthropological research ordered by Socialstyrelsen (the Swedish Board for Health & Social Affairs) on the encounter of notions of health and illness between immigrants and social and medical workers in Stockholm (1996-1998).
- Cultural Identity of Muslim Women in Europe in Russia, France, Sweden, and Great Britain. Fellowship: Thomas J. Watson Foundation, R.I., U.S.A. (1993-94)
- Intermittent investigations into nationalist movements in the former Soviet Union and East Africa (1986-93)
Peer reviewed PAPERS and ESSAYS:
- “Narratives in Science as Tales of Wilderness and Civilisation“. Paper presented at the 29th Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference: Cultures of Narratives/Narratives of Culture, “Qualitative Research – Stories” section. Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s Campus, June 20-22, 2012.
- “A Leap into the Future Primitive: Anarcho-Primitivist Ontologies as New Directions in Anthropological Theory“. Poster session at the American Anthropological Association annual convention, Montreal, 17th December 2011.
- “From The Ontological Roots Of Knowledge To A New Sociology Of Being“. Paper presented in the section on New Directions in Sociological Theory (TS2-A). Canadian Congress for Humanities and Social Sciences, Fredericton, Canada, Friday, 3rd June, 2011: 10:30 am.
- “Genealogies of Wilderness and Domestication in Children’s Narratives: Understanding Genesis and Genetics in the Untangling of Identity“. Part II of my doctoral dissertation. The Paulinian Compass, Vol. 1, No. 4; July 2010, St. Paul University, Manila.
- “Conscience, Consciousness and Scientific Knowledge or the Evolution of Idiocy: Problems of Natural and Cultural Selection“. Conference: PENSER LA CONSCIENCE AUJOURD’HUI : UN POINT DE VUE ANTHROPOLOGIQUE SUR LA QUESTION – annual conference, department of Anthropology, University of Montreal, 17th April, 2009.
- “Definitions and Implications in Children’s Books: from Christopher Robin’s Scientific Expotition with Piglets, Rabbits, and Winnie the Pooh to the Violent Science of Harry Potter and the Order of the Chosen Wizards”. Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, Honolulu, Hawaii 9th-12th January 2009
- “Learning in the Age of the Smart Machine or the Proportionate Relationship between Intelligence and Empathy: from Case Study to a Theory of Practice in Anthropology of Education”. Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, Hawaii 4th-7th January 2009.
- “Foucault’s Precursor: Nikolaj Nosov on Questions of Discipline and Health in Neznajka’s Trilogy“. AATSEEL Annual Conference: 27th-30th December 2008, San Francisco.
- “Revealing and Concealing: Architecture and Knowledge in Children’s Books“. Masking and Unmasking: an interdisciplinary conference, Duke University (September 2008).
- Conference: CHILDHOODS 2005, Oslo University, Norway. Presented 3 papers (29th June – 3rd July 2005):
* “Crime and Punishment in Children’s Literature”
* “On Objects, Love, and Objectifications” (originally published online on this website in January 2003)
. also published in The Paulinian Compass. St. Paul University; Manila: Vol. 1, Issue #2, June 2009
. also published at “THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RADICAL DISSENT“, June 2004
* “Modernism and Education: Revised Perspectives” (originally published online on this website in May 2003)
. also published in The Paulinian Compass. St. Paul University; Manila: Vol. 1, Issue #3, Fall 2009
. also published at “THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RADICAL DISSENT“, June 2004
- Conference: Off to See the Wizard: Quests for Memory and Culture in Children’s Literature, at Monroe College, Rochester, NY. Presented paper (19th March 2005). Title: Order & the literary rendering of Chaos in children’s literature.
- “Education as the Domestication of Inner Space“, in Fifth Estate, #391, Spring/Summer 2014. (translated into Czech, Portuguese, and Hindi).
- “Avatar: An Anarcho-Primitivist Picture of the History of the World” plus a response on scientism and racism on Radio Anarchy, 26th January 2010.
- “In Praise of the Wild“: addendum to and reflections on the radio panel discussion of Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle (CKUT March 2008).
Drama and other writing
- Naked Supper (drama)
Appearances in media:
- AnOther Story of Progress – a documentary film on civilisation and resistance.
Invited Talks and Presentations:
- “Women’s Education for a Sustainable World”. Keynote Speaker and opened the ceremony for the Science, Art, and Sustainability Project at Vanitha College (the oldest and most prestigious women’s college in India), Hyderabad, 9th August 2016 3pm.
- “Epistemology and Engineering: a Critique of Narratives and Civilization”. Invited public lecture for the academic staff of the CK Reddy College of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, open to all disciplines, but mostly attended by professors from engineering (bio-engineering included), environmental, physics, and architecture departments. The lecture addressed the ways in which the various underlying principles of civilization and wilderness affect cultural practices pertaining to the utilization of space, 10th August 2016.
- “Sociology as a Narrative of Civilization”. Department of Sociology, Osmania University, Hyderabad. Invited lecture on the underlying premises in sociology, anthropocentrism, violence, and ecocide. 9th August 2016 10 am.
- “Critique of Civilization and Prospects of Education in an Imperilled World”. 5th Orientation Course for Furthering Professionalization of Educators. Invited lecture for professors at Osmania University, Hyderabad, India, on the importance of critique of civilization across academic disciplines for a new and viable educational model. 8th August 2016.
- “Epistemology, Civilization, and the Roots of War”. Public lecture at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. 4th August 2016.
- “Civilization and Patriarchy: The Domestication of Sex and the Origins of Gender”. Invited speaker at Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Tapti Hostel Public Lecture series. In this lecture, Layla AbdelRahim proposes to examine gender as a necessary development of civilization that is rooted in the domestication of resources, in which the domesticator owns the product of human and nonhuman labor and controls their reproduction and sexuality. The civilized construct of gender has been a pivotal development in the creation of a social structure that legitimates violence and requires forcible reproduction of resources and the extermination of humans and nonhumans who are deemed useless or harmful for this system of ownership. To function as an institution, gender thus has been incorporated into the foundations of civilized epistemology and fuels our socio-environmental and economic paradigm. 3rd August 2016.
- “Origin Stories and Political Paradigms”. Invited public lecture at the Department of Political Science, Delhi University. The lecture addresses the reification of fictional and scientific understanding of the origins of humanity and life. The spectrum of political and socio-economic paradigms in civilization share one element in common: an anthropocentric epistemology that normalizes and legitimates violent praxis against those defined as nonhuman in this system of knowledge. Furthermore, as a discipline, political science provides a narrative that institutionalizes the anthropocentric perspective and proliferates a socio-economic culture of growth on a finite planet. 3rd August 2016.
- “Where the Wild Things Go: Anarchist Knowledge and Practice” workshop at the Montreal Anarchist bookfair, Sunday 3pm 24th May 2015.
- “The Ship of Fools as a Place of Spectacle, Healing, and Education, or Where the Wild are Sent to Die “, lecture at the Department of Geography, University of Victoria, B.C., October, 2013.
- “Crime and Reward from an Anarcho-Primitivist Perspective“, lecture at the Department of Criminology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, 8th October, 2014.
- “First there was the Word, then Came Civilisation: How Fiction Structures the Reality of Predation and Violence” a talk at Shakti Mountain climbing gym, Montreal, Saturday, 29th June, 2013, at 6:30 pm.
- “Qu’est-ce que l’économie civilisée? Recherche sur le principe ontologique de l’effondrement économique et écologique” at HEC, Montreal, Monday, 13th May 2013.
- How Ivan the Fool Defeats Civilized Pedagogies” - a Brown Bag Lunch Seminar series: Community, solidarity, and popular education: Confronting the national security state. Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, 12:00pm Wednesday 8th February 2011.
- “Tell these Stories to your children” – a 90 minutes shared panel with biblical scholar Wes Howard-Brook at the conference at In the beginning: Anarchism, Christianity, and the Roots of Resistance, Portland, OR 6th-7th August 2010.
- Proposed and organised the Open Forum discussion, titled: “Anarchy for All: Expanding the Horizons of Practice Beyond Privilege”, at In the beginning: Anarchism, Christianity, and the Roots of Resistance conference, Portland, OR, August 2010.
- “A Lullaby for the Planet: Undressing Ourselves for a Viable Parenthood“. New Heaven, New Earth conference; Memphis, TN. 15th August 2009 (video will soon be available: for a review, see issue 4 of In the Land of the Living by Andy Lewis)
- Open Forum: Layla AbdelRahim and John Zerzan respond, Memphis, TN, August 2009 (total time: 1hour and 51 minutes).
- “Literacy of the Oppressed: Structural Violence and Children’s Books“. Lecture delivered as a guest speaker for the course EDEC 249: Global Education and Social Justice, Prof. Aziz Choudry, Department of Eduction, McGill University; 1st October 2009
- Digby Highschool: two 45 minute talks addressed to 11th and 12th grades; 2nd September 2009
Stockholm University (1995-97):
. “Gender & Islamic representations by literary authors and western anthropologists: Fazil Iskander, Chingiz Aitmatov, Tahar Ben Jelloun, and others.” . “Terms are germs – a critique of concepts and terminology in International Migration & Ethnic Relations studies.” . “Introduction to the particularities of Chilean and Eritrean Migration to Sweden.” . “Ethnicity, gender, and human rights: two case studies.”
Participation in conferences and workshops:
. Stockholm University: Crime Prevention Association, Stockholm (April 1998) . Transformation of the Pluralist City, IMER (International Migration & Ethnic Relations Centre), Bergen, Norway (May 1997)
. Sheba – an international conference on black minorities in Europe, Driebergen, Holland (March 1994)
. London Black Women’s Health Project, London (April 1994)
. “Tattoos of Alienation“, by Layla, Bryn Mawr Bulletin, Bryn Mawr, PA. (fall’95)
Radio and other interviews
- Interviewed b y Which Side podcast, 29th August 2016.
- “Harambe, Zoos, and the Cruel Economy of Civilization“, interviewed by Ron Lester Whyte for Deep Green Philly, 7th June 2016.
- “Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams“, interviewed by Richard Capes for More Thought, November 2015.
- “The Roots of Oppression” – interviewed by Ron Lester Whyte at Deep Green Philly, Monday, 2nd November, 2015.
- ”Black Talk, Protest, and Deep Song in Search of the Beloved Community – Discussing Ferguson Before and Beyond” – a guest panelist on the Off the Hour show, hosted by James Oscar at CKUT radio, McGill University, 12th December, 2014, 5-6pm.
- “Civilized Racism Part 2“ - revisiting my discussion of civilised spaces and the “open season” on Black and Brown people. Interviewed by Ron Lester Whyte, Deep Green Philly, 5th September, 2014.
- “Domestication, aliénation et civilisation” – entretien en 4 parties par Radio Anticoloniale Dack, Coop Média de Montréal, août – septembre 2012.
- “Interview on education and the student strike in “Quebec”” on Media-Coop. 5th September 2012.
- “Trayvon Martin, Anna Brown, Shaima Alawadi and Civilized Racism” – discussion of the medicalisation of the oppressed and the civilised “othering” by means of constructs of illness and health. Interviewed by Ron from Deep Green Philly, 29th March 2012.
- Anarchy Radio, University of Oregon, Eugene, KWVA. Tue. 7th February 2012. Wylden Freeborne introduces me on the 20th minute mark.
- “The Failure of Civilized Occupy“ - Interview for Deep Green Philly on 8th December 2011 . Excerpt submitted for Occupy Philly Media on 10th December 2011.
- “Primitivism 101” on Deep Green Philly, 4th May 2011.
- “Will Civilize for Food“ on BURN radio podcast, 26th September 2010.
- “Naked Wildness” on BURN radio podcast, 6th September 2010.
- “Radical Sustainability, Beyond Green Capitalism: Anarcho/a-Primitivism, Feminism and Christianity in Conversation for an Endangered World” – guest on a panel with John Zerzan and Ched Myers, organised by the In the Land of the Living Collective, held at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, Friday 1st – Saturday 2nd April 2011.
- Respondent to “Race, Racism, and the Nation-State: A Christian-Anarchist Perspective” presentation by Nekeisha Alexis-Baker, Jesus Radicals Conference, Portland, OR; 6th August 2010.
- Response to Critiques of Avatar on Questions of Scientism and Racism - text plus radio talk
- Anarchy Radio talk show hosted by John Zerzan, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, talked about the domestication of children and children’s literature: 17th February 2009
- In the Motherhood, CKUT radio talk show, hosted by Trixie Dumont; McGill University, Montreal, QC. Discussed J. Wall’s memoir, The Glass Castle”: 19th March 2008
- “In Praise of the Wild: Discussion of Jeanette Walls’ “The Glass Castle“; a response essay to the radio discussion; 21st March 2008.
Reporter on war in North East Africa – Sudan Times (1987-88) 3 hour interview with guerrilla leader Col. John Garang in South Sudan was broadcast on BBC and Voice of America (August 1987)
. Part Time Lecturer Department of Modern Languages, University of Quebec at Trois Rivieres (UQTR) (January 2008)
. Researcher (1993-present)
. Private Consultant on pedagogical and cultural integration questions; e.g.: autonomous building of free learning curriculum, parenthood/childhood, adoption issues (2000-present)
. Academic Consultant & Editor -Tver InterContact, Tver, Russia. An exchange undergraduate programme in collaboration with Tver State University (1998-99)
. Editor – Maik Nauka Interperiodica, Moscow. A monthly journal on genetics (1998-99)
. Researcher – Ceifo (Centre for International Migration and Ethnic Relations), Department of Anthropology, Stockholm University (1996-98)
. Teacher of English, French and Russian languages to Keio University, Fujiswawa, Japan professors and students. Organized private classes and used interdisciplinary methods (references available upon request) (1994-95)
. Arts Editor The Spur a bi-monthly newspaper, Montgomery College, MD, USA (1988-89)
. Office Manager WADS (Water Assessment and Development Project, Sudan) at the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Khartoum. Settled Sudanese, Ethiopian and Eritrean refugee camps and worked on the first geo-hydrological map of Sudan (1987-88)
. Political Reporter Sudan Times, Khartoum (1987-88)
. Private tutoring English & Russian to professionals in Educational and Musical domains (1984-88)
. Administrative responsibilities at various “development” projects and businesses in Sudan – EDI (Energy Development International), WADS (Water Development Sudan), Reading & Bates, Toyo Menka Kaisha and Hilton (1982-87)
. Librarian at the Russian Dept. Library, University of Khartoum – two years (I was 15 years old)
Various jobs from the age of 10 years.
.Film and Theatre
. Dance: classical ballet, contemporary, Indian
. Animation: author and artistic consultant for both, the English and the Russian versions of: Pisanka: The seed of life, chosen at the animation film festival, Portugal, October 2005
.President of the Russian Cultural Club at Bryn Mawr College, 1991-93
.Equestrian: member of the Sudanese National Show Jumping team for over 10 years
.Travel: Travelled extensively in North East Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, North and Central America, Australia, and East Asia
. Travel Blog.