Reading from "Queer Beirut" With Sofian Merabet
Dardashat Jandariya is thrilled to host the author of "Queer Beirut" Sofian Merabet for a reading from his book this thursday the 24th of august at 7pm at Madam Om Gemmayze.
Professor and author Merabet will be reading parts of his book and sharing with Dardashat Janadariya his notes on writing, interviewing and working on his ethnographic book "Queer Beirut".
Queer Beirut is the first ethnographic study of queer lives in the Arab Middle East.
Gender and sexual identity formation is an ongoing anthropological conversation in both Middle Eastern studies and urban studies, but the story of queerness in the Middle East is only just beginning to be told. Drawing on anthropology, urban studies, gender studies, queer studies, and sociocultural theory, Sofian Merabet’s compelling ethnography suggests a critical theory of gender and religious identity formations that will disrupt conventional anthropological premises about the contingent role that society and particular urban spaces have in facilitating the emergence of various subcultures within the city.
From 1995 to 2014, Merabet made a series of ethnographic journeys to Lebanon, during which he interviewed numerous gay men in Beirut. Through their life stories, Merabet crafts moving ethnographic narratives and explores how Lebanese gays inhabit and perform their gender as they formulate their sense of identity. He also examines the notion of “queer space” in Beirut and the role that this city, its class and sectarian structure, its colonial history, and religion have played in these people’s discovery and exploration of their sexualities. In using Beirut as a microcosm for the complexities of homosexual relationships in contemporary Lebanon, Queer Beirut provides a critical standpoint from which to deepen our understandings of gender rights and citizenship in the structuring of social inequality within the larger context of the Middle Eas
About author Sofian Merabet
Sofian Merabet is Associate Professor of Anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin. Trained as a socio-cultural anthropologist at Columbia University, his scholarly expertise lies in the modern Middle East (with a focus on Lebanon and Syria) and the wider Muslim world, including Muslim immigrant communities in Europe and the Arab Diaspora in South America (especially Argentina). His interdisciplinary research analyzes the human geography of queer identity formations and the social production of queer space as constitutive features of wider class, religious, and gender relations. His professional interests draw on comparative methodologies and approaches ranging from religious and cultural history to the politics of sexuality. Prior to joining UT Austin, Sofian Merabet taught at New York University, the University of Louisville, and, in the early 2000s at the American University of Beirut.
About Dardashat Jandariya
Dardashat Jandariya “Gender Talks” are forums that provide a space for researchers, academics and activists working on Gender and/or Sexuality to have a conversation about issues that matter to them. With the aim of bridging academic knowledge production with the wider public, Dardashat Jandariya hosts regular talks about the Lebanese context, Middle East and North Africa region.
Entrance is for free.
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