School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Kasia Mika, PhD

Kasia

Lecturer in Comparative Literature

Email: k.mika@qmul.ac.uk
Room Number: ArtsOne 120A
Office Hours: Mondays, 11.30am-12.30pm Wednesdays, 10-11am

Profile

I joined QMUL’s Department of Comparative Literature in September 2019 as a Lecturer in Comparative Literature. Previously, I was a Lecturer in Literary and Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam and held a postdoc at KITLV (The Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies) in Comparative Caribbean Studies.

My research and teaching focus on topics that are socially and politically urgent with crisis, vulnerability, justice and futures being key to my pedagogy and my wider work in disaster studies, environmental humanities and postcolonial studies. I work across film, literature, and visual art and see creativity and imagination as central to the how we make sense of the world around us. 

My monograph, Disasters, Vulnerability, and Narratives: Writing Haiti’s Futures (Routledge 2019) uses narrative responses to the 2010 Haiti earthquake as a starting point for an analysis of notions of disaster, vulnerability, reconstruction and recovery. In my analysis, I turn to concepts of hinged chronologies, slow healing, and remnant dwelling, offering a vision of open-ended Caribbean futures, full of resolve. Building on this work, I have recently produced a short documentary, Intranqu’îllités (2019), on art and creativity in Haiti (filmed on site).

My seminars are all about working and reading together towards a better, more critical understanding of the world around us. All courses I teach are rooted in an inclusive dialogue and encourage everyone to participate and learn from each other.

“Dialogue, as the encounter of those addressed to the common task of learning and acting, is broken if the parties (or one of them) lack humility. How can I dialogue if I always project ignorance onto others and never perceive my own?’

(Pauolo Freire, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed 2000, 90)

Research

Research Interests:

Environmental humanities; disaster studies; Haitian and Caribbean studies; postcolonial and critical theory; critical pedagogy

Publications

Monograph:

Mika, Kasia, Disasters, Vulnerability, and Narratives: Writing Haiti’s Futures (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2019)

Film:

Owles, Ed (director, Postcode films) and Mika, Kasia (producer), Intranquillites (2019); short documentary

Chapters:

Mika Kasia and Sally Stainier, ‘Refashioning futures with the Sargassum: Caribbean poetics of hope’ for an edited volume Postcolonial Literatures of Climate Change, ed. by Russell McDougall (Brill) [forthcoming; in preparation]

——, ‘A Dark Journey through the Debris: Inside Disaster: Haiti (2011) and Post-Earthquake Online Simulations,’ in Ghost Roads: Essays in Virtual Dark Tourism, ed. by Kathryn McDaniel (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2018) <https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74687-6_11>

Articles:

Mika, Kasia and Ilan Kelman, ‘Shealing: Post-disaster slow healing and later recovery’, Area Journal [forthcoming; under peer-review]

Mika, Kasia, ‘New Beginnings without New Heroes? 1791-1804 Haitian Revolution and the 2010 Earthquake in Nick Lake’s In Darkness (2012)’, Karib – Nordic Journal for Caribbean Studies, 4 (2018) <http://doi.org/10.16993/karib.45>

——, ‘Histories of the Past, Histories for the Future: Representing the Past and Writing for the Future in Rodney Saint-Éloi's Haïti, kenbe la!’, Journal of Haitian Studies, 20 (2014), 4-19 

——, ‘Recovery Foreclosed: History, Landscape, and Personal Intervention in Sandra Marquez Stathis’s Rubble: The Search for a Haitian Boy’, Moving Worlds: Catastrophe and Environment, 14 (2014), 93-108

Mika, Kasia and Elizabeth Watkins, ‘Leaving a Mark: Public Engagement, Creativity, and Learning’, Birmingham Journal of Language and Literature, 6 (2014), 67-69

Mika, Kasia, ‘Mosaic of Ashes: Poetic Responses to 9/11’, Aspeers: Emerging Voices in American Studies, 6 (2013), 85-108

Book reviews and Encyclopaedia Entries:

——, ‘Breath, Eyes, Memory,’ The Literary Encyclopedia < http://www.litencyc.com/php/
sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35894
>, 14 April 2017

——, ‘Edwidge Danticat’, The Literary Encyclopedia, <http://www.litencyc.com/php/
speople.php?rec=true&UID=5862
>, 16 August 2016

 Mika, Kasia, ‘Maria Cristina Fumagalli, On the Edge: Writing the Border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic’, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 93 (2016), 1045-56

—, ‘Calargé, Carla, Raphael Dalleo, Luis Duno-Gottberg, and Clevis Headley, eds., Haiti and the Americas’, Callaloo, 39 (2016), 723-25

—, ‘Marc Escola, ed., Théorie des textes possibles’, The Irish Journal of French Studies, 14 (2014), 181-182

—,‘Mélanie Joseph-Vilain and Judith Misrahi-Barak, eds., Another Life:  Une autre vie’, Postcolonial Studies Newsletter, 13 (Spring-Summer 2014), 27-29

—, ‘Jonathan M. Katz, The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster’, The Island Studies Journal, 8 (2013), 195-7

Popularizing Publications:

Mika, Kasia, ‘Caribbean Cadence’, Heroïne Tijdschrift: Polyphony (University of Amsterdam: December 2019), 10-14.

 —, ‘Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: Just another natural disaster?’, KITLV.nl, 14 October, 2016, <http://www.kitlv.nl/blog-hurricane-matthew-haiti-just-another-natural-disaster/>

—, ‘Despite Mandatory Quotas, Women are Exceedingly Underrepresented among 2015 Electoral Candidates’, Haiti Elections Blog, 12 June 2015 <http://haitielection2015.blogspot.co.uk
/2015/06/ despite-mandatory-quotas-women-are.html
>