Alyssa Miller

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities
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Research Interests

In mainstream Tunisian imaginaries, the figure of the jihadi violates the symbolic kinship of nation, religion, and humanity, quitting national soil to engage in fratricidal violence against fellow Muslims. Tunisian nationalist ideology, moreover, has long promoted the nation as a basition of religious moderation and tolerance.  In a public sphere where the jihadi denotes a monstrous form of life, any advocacy for Tunisians entangled in these regional conflicts requires first recovering their humanity.  My research examines forms of kin-work that humanize ex-combatants and other returnees by refolding them into the family’s relational bonds, and tracks how circuits of transnational violence has reconfigured kinship itself. It also investigates the uneven reform of the state security apparatus, as Tunisia prosecutes a war on terror under new post-authoritarian restraints.   

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