De-orienting and De-colonizing Queerness: Exploring the Spatial Context of Queer Lives Across the Middle East, Africa, and the Global South

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Sexuality and Space Specialty Group, Africa Specialty Group, Middle East Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Galerie 3, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Petra Doan
Chairs: Farhang Rouhani


This session seeks to explore the ways that queer identities emerge in a post-colonial context, caught between orientalist exoticization of non-normative genders and sexualities and the desires of these often highly marginalized individuals for aspirational spaces in which to safely explore and develop authentic communities of interest. A critical element of Edward Said’s orientalism is the frequent failure to understand the underlying power dynamics that have marginalized populations in the Middle East by treating them as exotic and erotic subjects of the colonial imagination. More recently, Joseph Massad (2002) has argued that western scholars and activists who proclaim and export a universalized LGBTQ liberation movement simultaneously produce “homosexuals, as well as gays and lesbians, where they do not exist, and represses same-sex desires and practices that refuse to be assimilated into its sexual epistemology” (p. 363). In a similar vein, Visser (2013) has suggested that tropes of gay village development based on western historical patterns are not really useful in the South African context.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Gilly Hartal*, , Homo-urbanism: Homonationalism and the case of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv 20 12:40 PM
Presenter Ozlem Atalay*, Florida State University, Petra L. Doan, Florida State University, In Pursuit of (Inclusive) Queer Spaces: The Case of Middle East 20 1:00 PM
Presenter Angela Lieber*, Florida State University, Western Scholarship on Third Genders: What does the Gender “Trinary” Do? 20 1:20 PM
Presenter Petra Doan*, Florida State University, Dis-orienting the Identification Problem 20 1:40 PM

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