Nadine Barakat

Thesis title: The Black Woman in American ‘Geographies’: Narrating Movement from Enslavement to Climate Catastrophe

PhD English Literature

Year of study: 1

  • English Literature
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

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Nadine graduated the American University of Beirut in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, a Minor in American Studies, and a Teaching Diploma in Secondary Education (TEFL-focus). Maintaining high ranking on the Dean’s Honor List, Nadine graduated with high distinction and top of her class, and was awarded the ‘Practice Teaching Excellence Award’ as part of her TD. 

Nadine was highly involved in student activism while living in Beirut, and was elected President of the then largest independent student organisation in Lebanon, the AUB Secular Club; the organisation promotes secularism, feminism, environmentalism, and social justice on and off campus - It has since then grown to inspire similar movements in universities across the country. 

She then moved to the UK to further her studies, and was awarded an MSc with distinction at the University of Edinburgh in American Literature (2021).  Her MSc Dissertation engaged with Toni Morrison's 'Sula', 'The Bluest Eye', 'Beloved', and 'Paradise', in conversation with W.E.B Du Bois's Veil. 

Before becoming a PhD Student, Nadine worked as a Recruitment Specialist at an RPO in Investment Banking, whereby she planned and developed research skills workshops for new on-boarders, as well as EDI sessions. 

A speaker of four languages, Nadine is a Lebanese-German dual national who places community-building, social justice, inclusivity, and accessibility, at the center of her work. She believes that public engagement both informs, and can be inspired from academic research, and is especially interested in unveiling the ways academic study can reach beyond institutions, and intersect with political activism. 


The American University of Beirut: BA in English Literature with a Minor in American Studies, Teaching Diploma in Secondary Education (TEFL) (High Distinction)

The University of Edinburgh: MSc in English Literature: US Literature - Cultural Values from Revolution to Empire (Distinction)

Responsibilities & affiliations

PGR School Representative for LLC (2023-2024)

Research summary

The Black woman and the American landscape in Black Women’s Literature; tracing a dynamic between literary voices and movement in American spaces across specific socio-political milestones: transatlantic enslavement, the Great Migration, the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movements, and contemporary institutional racism and climate injustice. Operating within Black Geographies to both assemble and examine literary voices that engage with the American landscape - from a place of dispossession and displacement, to one of navigation and resistance.

Current research interests

Black Feminist American Literature; Black Geographies; the Literature of Dispossession and Displacement; American Studies;

Outstanding Representation Awardee - EUSA Student Awards 2024