is a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. She holds an MA in Near Eastern Studies from UC Berkeley (2016). Her interdisciplinary interests include: aesthetics, postcolonial studies, transregional modernisms, cultural studies, and visual culture. Her dissertation “Disordering Modernism: Madness and Aesthetics in 20th Century Iran,” examines late twentieth-century Iranian modernist practices in a variety of media—fiction, film, and painting—to illuminate how they express forms of psychic disorder in the face of modernity’s ordering principles. Examining artistic and literary productions between 1950-1985, her work oscillates between Iran’s particular historical-political conditions—two major revolutions, a foreign-imposed coup, colonial occupation—and aesthetic theories that draw both from local traditions and from circuits of global modernism.
Donna has published work in Symploke, Qui Parle, IranNamag Journal of Iranian Studies, Jadaliyya, and the University of London’s Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies. She recently edited and introduced a special issue of Qui Parle published in the fall of 2019 on “Trajectories in Race and Diaspora: Entangled Histories and Affinities of Transgression.” She also edited a dossier entitled “Global Student Struggles In and Against the University” forthcoming in Critical Times.