THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED
This event is co-hosted by LSE Gender and the LSE Middle East Centre.
This is the launch event for the special issue 'Queering the Middle East' with the journal Middle East Critique. The event brings together its contributors to discuss some critical aspects on the relationship between queerness and the MENA region.
This online public event is free and open to all but pre-registration is required. Click here to register for this event. The event will be held on Zoom.
- Sabiha Allouche (Lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter). Sabiha is primarily situated within feminist and queer studies. Her work engages with feminist approaches to violence, conflict, migration, and social mobility. Sabiha is dedicated to producing decolonized knowledge and to rethink sexed and gendered regimes in the MENA region beyond Eurocentric theoretical framing.
Her paper works through the concept of different normativity in order to recognize gendered and sexed epistemic paradigms that cut across postcolonial societies and nitiate a dialogue that successfully displaces the US as the ultimate referent in queer studies.
- Walaa Alqaisiya (Teaching Fellow in Gender, Sexuality and Conflict, LSE). Walaa's research commitment, grounded in grassroots concerns and aesthetic productions in the multi-layered and conflicted context of Occupied Palestine and the MENA region more broadly, interrogates the value of decolonial, feminist and queer methodologies to advancing the intellectual sovereignty of local knowledge(s) from the global south.
Her article posits a theorisation of decolonisation in relation to queer as it emerges from the settler-colonial context of Palestine, what she calls decolonial queering. .
- Mert Koçak (PhD Candidate at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Central European University. He is also an associated PhD student at the French Research Center in Humanities and Social Sciences, Prague). Mert's academic interests are anthropology of policy, law, and bureaucracy, legalization and bureaucratization of gender, and queer migration studies. His current research focuses on queer refugees living in Turkey and how their presence in Turkey is legally unrecognized but bureaucratically tolerated.
Mert's article scrutinizes UNHCR’s role in the asylum-seeking process in Turkey through which queer refugees’ experience of displacement finds a new meaning of being “deserving” of refugee status and resettlement to a third country.
- Ladan Rahbari (Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Senior Researcher at IMI – the International Migration Institute – She/Her). Ladan's research interests include gender and sexual politics, race, migration, and digital media with a general focus on Iran and Western Europe, and within the frameworks of postcolonial, feminist, and critical theories. Ladan's current research engages with queerness in digital spaces.
Ladan's article uses a combination of content and visual analysis on Instagram profiles dedicated to fashion to answer the question: ‘Is queer fashion present in Iranian cyberspace’ and if so, ‘How does it persist in spite of, and against the existing queer-phobic political forces?’.
- Fadi Saleh (PhD Candidate at the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology at the University of Göttingen, Germany). In his PhD project, he traces the recent emergence of Syrian LGBTIQ refugees as a constituency in discourses around humanitarianism, asylum, and queerness.
Prior to the Syrian uprisings in 2011, Syrian queer and trans* populations were rather unknown and irrelevant to global LGBT politics, Western media, and humanitarian efforts. This changed considerably after the uprisings as representations steadily increased and proliferated on social media and in journalistic accounts.
Fadi's article traces this shift and argues that queer and trans* Syrians became visible primarily through a queer/humanitarian media-visibility paradigm and the construction, consolidation, and circulation of the figure of the suffering Syrian gay refugee.