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CURRENTS: Mejdulene Shomali and Foster Reynolds-Santiago

Humanities Work Now



Date & Time

December 6, 2021, 12:00 pm1:00 pm


CURRENTS: Humanities Work Now is lunchtime series that showcases exciting new faculty work in the humanities in a dynamic and inter-disciplinary setting.

The Uses of Beauty in Palestinian Liberation Practices

Mejdulene Shomali, Assistant Professor, Gender, Women’s, + Sexuality Studies; Inclusion Imperative Faculty Collaborator (Fall 2021)

This talk discusses how beauty operates as a shifting signifier in political and aesthetic discourses around Palestinian liberation. At times, representation of the beauty of Palestine and Palestinians operates to obscure the material violences that foreclose Palestinian freedoms. At other times, beauty is the means by which Palestinian activists sustain their activism and imagine a free Palestine.


Transgender Euphoria: Puerto Rico’s Queer Exaltation

Foster Reynolds-Santiago, MFA Candidate, Intermedia + Digital Arts; Dresher Center Graduate Student Research Fellow (Fall 2021)

How can an island riddled with generations of hateful queer rhetoric be re-imagined to prioritize Transgender narratives through the visualization of data? “Transgender Euphoria: Puerto Rico’s Queer Exaltation” explores Transgender and Latinx experience by examining the spiritual relationship between physical materials indigenous to Puerto Rico and its Transgender population, proposing that the island of Puerto Rico can be visualized as a place where being Transgender is an exalted state of existence.

Image description: Side by side photos - On the left, a woman with long curly hair and wearing a blue dress smiles at the camera. On the right, a black and white photo of a man with short dark hair and a beard. He is wearing glasses.