Through a comparative case study of three inner-city communities in Jamaica, my dissertation investigates why ordinary people living in neighbourhoods controlled by organized criminal networks have protested the arrest or death of one of these criminal leaders, known as dons. During my residency, I have refined the conceptual framework that grounds my dissertation – the politics in the displays of respect. The residency at CDTS has provided both a tranquil space to temporarily shut out my other occupational and personal obligations and just write, as well as the opportunity to engage with a rich interdisciplinary group of scholars well versed on topics as diverse as the economy of fine cheese to human rights.
My residency at CDTS broadened my intellectual and academic horizons particularly given my positionality as a recent immigrant and a diversity practitioner. It also motivated me to engage more resolutely with examining Middle Eastern theatrical activities in diaspora practiced by minoritized artists. Since the start of this residency in January 2018, I made a good progress in writing the third chapter of my doctoral dissertation which examines Iranian feminist theatre in terms of its counter-conduct and interventionist themes, narratives, and aesthetics. I have also completed two articles that were edited by the copy- editor of the CDTS. One of the articles studies the theatrical visions and practices of Iranian diaspora artists and is a contribution to a large book project about theatre and immigration in Canada to be published by Playwright Canada Press in 2019. In sum, CDTS support and warm ambiance made my final year at U of T quite rewarding and productive.