Middle East Studies

Dina Georgis - The Better Story: Queer Affects from the Middle East

The Better Story Book Poster

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Virtual Event 
Registration required.

About the Book
In The Better Story: Queer Affects from the Middle East, Georgis turns to story as a method for thinking about how those affected by colonial traumas and losses narrate their survival. Situated in postcolonial and affect studies, her method in the concept of the “better story” offers an emotional lens through which to think about how the past is narrated and how collective histories and identities are shaped by and are a response to difficult and traumatic experiences. Every story is a better story because story is the principle of how humans make sense of experience. Focusing on cultural objects from and about the Middle East, Georgis does not set out to read stories to valorize them but to glean their queer affects. Central to her argument is to make contact with the painful ghosts that have defined politics and identity in the Middle East. The Better Story reaches for the invisible queer matter of narrative: what is unspeakable, hard to name, forgotten or dangerous. She compels the reader to think ethically about the possibilities of what might serve groups better than their better story.

Virtual Event

About the Author
Dina Georgis is an associate professor at the Women & Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Her work, which is situated in the fields of postcolonial studies and queer theory, explores how aesthetic and cultural expressions are affective responses to political and social urgencies. Her writing appears in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, and Studies in Gender and Sexuality. She is presently working on a project provisionally entitled “Play and Political Reparation.” This work thinks about the capacity for play and creation, understood through the psychoanalytic works of D.W. Winnicott to express hope for an otherwise. It is a project that imagines cultural shifts through the actions and gestures of the unconscious. The context of this exploration is the Middle East.