His dissertation,“Offering Melancholia: Performance and Grief for Minoritarian Worldmaking,” looks to moments of death and their aftermaths in 20th and 21st century literature and visual culture to put forward melancholia as a structured position and mode of doing that enables an envisioning of minoritarian life into the future. The project traverses a range of generic forms and cultural locations to showcase the ways loss can function as a site of communal worldmaking.
Forrest has presented work at the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, the Mezipatra Queer Film Festival, the Museum of Popular Culture Conference, the DC Queer Studies Symposium, the Northeast MLA Annual Convention, and the Critical Ethnic Studies Association Conference. In 2017, he was selected to present his paper titled “Crip Feelings/Feeling Crip” in the Disability and Emotion Seminar Series hosted by the Center for Culture and Disability Studies at Liverpool Hope University. A revised version of the presentation is now available in a special issue of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies.
In the 2014-2015 academic year he was chosen as one of three University Archives Diversity Research Fellows at the George Washington University. The fellowship culminated in a public presentation that charted how the LGBTQ community at GW represented itself visually through art, flyers, and advertising from 1971 to the present and the shift over that time from inclusion based on an increasing number of identity categories towards a collective feeling of pride. In 2015 and 2018 he received Summer Research Grants from the Departments of American Studies and English, respectively, and in 2019 he received a Summer Pre-Dissertation Fellowship from the George Washington University.