Ph.D. in History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz (1987)
Professor Hartouni’s research has developed along three fronts. Situated at the intersection of feminist, cultural, and science studies, her early research focused specifically on the disruptive cultural impact of “new” reproductive and genetic technologies. This early research examined the ways in which medical, legal, scientific, and popular discourses mobilized to domesticate these new technologies while containing their radical challenge to foundational categories and practices of life. Essays on abortion, fetal personhood, surrogacy, cloning, and infertility are linked and anchored thematically by an interest in the critically important role played by visualizing practices, on the one hand, and the law, on the other, in shaping the high-stakes cultural struggle over the making of subjects and social reality. On material related to this aspect of Hartouni’s work see Cultural Conceptions: On Reproductive Technologies and the Remaking of Life.
Additionally, Professor Hartouni’s research features a more direct engagement with the fields of political theory, legal theory, and history. While still concerned, centrally, with the operation and power of visual rhetoric, this work addresses contemporary political practices and processes in a post 9.11 world that are marshalled to sustain and even enhance life even as they consume and efface it. On material related to this aspect of Hartouni’s work see Visualizing Atrocity: Arendt, Evil, and the Optics of Thoughtlessness and Spectacles of Truth-Telling (in progress).
Finally, Professor Hartouni has been pursuing a more literary project on practices of dying. Specifically, she has been interested in exploring some of the ways in which modern death is both staged and enacted as a particular kind of performance, structured according to certain plot devices that render it most one’s own and most not. On material related to this aspect of Hartouni’s work see Bringing the Dead Back to Life (in progress).