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Mark Firmani



I am a doctoral candidate in the English Department at the University of Pennsylania and a JD student (expected 2022) at Yale Law School. My dissertation analyzes U.S. and (Arabic-language) Iraqi cultural production engaging with the “war on terror,” the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, and its ongoing aftermath(s) in order to understand how literature, film, and legal cases mediate the conceptual ambiguities that pervade these conflicts. How, I ask, do novels and films written and produced by Americans and Iraqis shape concepts like "preemption" and "enemy combatant," and, importantly, what is the relationship between these cultural forms and their legal counterparts (e.g., memos, court cases, and pieces of legislation)? Other interests include portrayals of artificial intelligence in film, literature, & law; the Gothic, the Western, horror, & speculative fiction; the relationship between law & culture; and decolonial & Marxist theory. 

I also co-coordinate the AmLit Reading Group with Kiana Murphy -- please email me if you'd like to be added to the listserv.


Published writing:

"At War with Monsters in Postwar Iraqi Literature,Los Angeles Review of Books, February 24, 2018.


Courses Taught

fall 2018