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Photograph of Irene Calis

Irene Calis Professorial Lecturer Critical RGC Studies

Send email to Irene Calis
CAS - Critical RGC Studies
PhD in social anthropology, London School of Economics & Political Science (2012)

Languages Spoken
Arabic, French
Irene Calis is a decolonial scholar, educator, and organizer. Her research focuses on emancipatory politics from the perspective of those living their struggle. It is rooted in the radical transformation of the human condition, extending beyond critique and the dismantling of oppressions to forging new alternatives. Her scholarship involves long-term ethnographic fieldwork living and working with Palestinian farming and youth communities throughout the West Bank, as well as with popular struggles in South Africa, Oceania, and Indigenous North America. Her current work on emancipatory futures, which brings together perspectives from South Africa, Indigenous North America, and Palestine, explores how anti-colonial struggles imagine, collectivize their visions, and work to build their preferred futures. This comparative dialogue brings into view parallels between the colony and any potential post-colonial future. As an educator, Calis' courses are grounded in a decolonial, intersectional knowledge-base that de-centers the persistent white, Euro-American canon in academia, encouraging students to find new ways to think and act in their world. An internationalist teaching perspective supports this aim. In addition to the US, she has held positions at the University formally known as Rhodes in South Africa, the University of Hawai`i in Oceania, and the University of Cambridge in England and regularly speaks with groups across these spaces. She writes for academic and wider public forums on issues that address the workings of power in society and how those on the underside of history are actively contesting and shaping the terms of their existence.


Spring 2021

  • CRGC-396 Selected Topics: Non-Recurring: Thinking Freedom/Global South

  • WGSS-225 Gender, Politics & Power

  • WGSS-225 Gender, Politics & Power

  • WGSS-294 Comm Service Learning Project: Gender, Politics & Power

Summer 2021

  • AWST-115 Introduction to the Arab World

  • WGSS-225 Gender, Politics & Power

Fall 2021

  • AWST-115 Introduction to the Arab World

  • AWST-115 Introduction to the Arab World

  • CORE-105 Complex Problems Seminar: Being Indigenous

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

emancipatory futures; indigeneity; culture & power; violence, precarity, and the everyday; the politics of resistance; decolonial feminisms; theory from the global South; philosophy of race; critical pedagogy; Palestine; the Arab World; Oceania.

Selected Publications