Dina Omar studies the politics of mental health in areas of extreme surveillance. Her dissertation project considers how Arab youth are psychologized as part of, and as an effect of, increasingly surveilled conditions. To better understand the internal and external effects of surveillance, Omar examines psychiatric discourse in three interrelated spheres: (1) NGOs/the institutional, (2) state/the political and (3) individual expression/the self? Omar’s research revisits enduring anthropological questions on magic, science and religion and considers new questions that surface when thought of in relation to emerging science and technology studies scholarship—she focuses particularly on topics such as mental health technologies, counter intelligence and state/social/self surveillance. Omar is interested in the increasingly blurred spheres of the public, private and secret and how anthropological methods can be adapted so as to not become another probing gaze or surveilling mechanism. In this light, Omar is considering mediated literature and art as a field for anthropological inquiry. What would a shared mediation process between ethnographer and the characters enlivening ethnography look like? How could shared mediation potentially enrich ethnographic writing and conversations about authorial voice, politics, ethics, and the scientific(ness) of ethnographic research? These areas of interest and Omar’s personal orientation to these topics reflect her larger interest in the anthropology of representation as well as representations of anthropology.
2015. “Cartographies of Disappearing.” Extraordinary Rendition, p. 381-385.
2014. “We Are All Uncomfortable.” Jadaliyya
2013. “Like a Straw Bird.” Warscapes