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Summary: Cultural translations. Jewish diasporic routes, particularly Baghdadi. Life Writing (memoir, autobiography, biography). Photography, particularly in relation to suffering. The body and gender.
As a self-titled 'Reader in Humanities,' I guess I aspire to be something of a polymath. My research interests are (probably compulsively) eclectic and expansive.
My first book, Second Skins: The Body Narratives of Transsexuality
My interest in visuality, which began with transsexual representation, has drawn me particularly to photography: the still visual most often thought of as a slice of the real. My book on photography, Light in the Dark Room: Photography and Loss
I've travelled with my interests in autobiography also. My big writing project at the moment is completing a family memoir involving the Baghdadi Jewish and Chinese diasporas. This I'm doing in crucial collaboration with my mother. Relatedly I'm also running as PI an AHRC research network on Ottoman Cosmopolitanism, an extensive collaboration between academics, artists, musicians, gastronomists and writers which seeks to intervene in contemporary tensions by looking at transcultural exchanges in the former Ottoman Empire. Increasingly I seek out collaborative research as one way we can use our work to break down the walls of self and real -- which, so my Buddhist teachers show me, are the cause of our suffering.
Impact work with the Dialogue Society to promote transcultural exchange in Leeds communities (2014).
Talks on family memoir and cultural translation at Poetry Cafe Soho with Exiled Writers (2013) and at conferences at
Work on photography and atrocity presented at the London College of Communication (2012), Monash University in Prato (2010), St. Antony's College, Oxford (2009), University College Dublin (2009). Collaboration with Amnesty International (2004-2012)
Keynote, 'Digital Transgender Lives,' Transgender and Intersex in the Arts, Science and Society: An International Inter
Recent online Talks
'Daniel Barenboim: Transcultural Dialogue through Music.' Talk given in absentia, Workshop 2, Dialogue Theories, Dialogue Society, London, 27 June 2014
'Mahallah Memories: An Ottoman Jewish family in the British Empire.’ Ottoman Memories: Transculturalism and Empires in Comparison,’ Birkbeck Cinema, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London. 1 November 2013
'Digital Trans.' Keynote address, Writing Trans Genres: Emergent Literatures and Cultures. University of Winnipeg, 22-24 May 2014
Latest Research Awards
Higher Education Innovation Fund, Transcultural exchanges in the community arising from research on Ottoman Cosmopolitanism, 2014.
AHRC Network Grant, Ottoman Pasts, Present Cities: Cosmopolitanism and transcultural memories, January 2013-July 2014
Leverhulme Visiting Professorship (2008) for Professor Krishna Sen, University of Calcutta, 'Transnationalism and Literature.'
Publications since 2008
Editor, American Fiction of the 1990s: Reflections of History and Culture, 250 pp,
Principal editor, with Geoffrey Batchen, Mick Gidley and Nancy K. Miller, editors, Picturing Atrocity: Reading Photographs in Crisis, 200pp, London: Reaktion Books, 2012
Jay Prosser, 'Metaphors Kill: "Against Interpretation" and the Illness Narratives,' Barbara A. Ching and Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor, The Scandal of Susan Sontag , 188-202,
Jay Prosser, 'The Baghdadi Jew and His Chinese Mistress,' reprint from Magyar Lettre Internationale, Zsofia Ban and Turai Hedvig, eds., Exponalt Emlek (Family Photogaphs), 49-58, Magyar Tagozata:
Jay Prosser, 'Life Writing and Intimate Publics: A Conversation with Lauren Berlant,' Biography 34.1, 2011, 180-187.
Jay Prosser, 'Singing with the Taxi Driver: From Bollywood to Babylon,' in Rites of Return: Poetics and Politics,' eds. Marianne Hirsch and Nancy K. Miller, New York, Columbia University Press, 2011.
Jay Prosser, 'Installing Atrocity: The Body of the Photograph in Susan Meiselas's "Reframing History," Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, 39.1-2, 2011.
Postgraduate Supervision interests
I have supervised PhD theses on subjects such as Don DeLillo, Harlem Renaissance literature, post-war American autobiography, graphic novels, and war testimony.