Wednesday, November 17, 2021
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Virtual Event. Please register to attend.
Sima Shakhsari is an associate professor in the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota and the author of Politics of Rightful Killing: Civil Society, Gender, and Sexuality in Weblogistan (Duke, 2020). In this talk, Shakhsari grapples with the study of the state in the Middle East and argues that as contradictory and transnational assemblages of multi-layered institutions, people, and practices, states should neither be reduced to monolithic institutions with vertical authority over civil society in bounded territories, nor should they be aggrandized as sole arbitrators of violence. Unhinging queerness from sexual identity or injury inflicted by the territorial state, Shakhsari shows that state is only one among many entities that govern queer bodies. Drawing from the anthropology of state and their own ethnographic research on the management of life and death of Iranian queer and trans refugees by refugee regimes, Shakhsari argues that rather than a normative approach to states as abstract bureaucratic institutions ranked on a scale of “authoritarianism” to “liberal democracy, the scholarship on state and queerness in the Middle East needs to go beyond theorizing state solely through the logic of rights or visibility.
Queering the Middle East and its Diasporas Lecture Series
Supported by the Herbert H. Goldberger Lectureships Fund
Cosponsored by the LGBTQIA+ Thinking Initiative, Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women