Queer Diasporas: Islam, Homosexuality and a Micropolitics of Dissent

Project leader Dr Alberto Fernández Carbajal
(Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, School of English, University of Leicester)
Duration 1 September 2014 – 31 August 2017 (3 years)
Funding Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships
University of Leicester

Blog Read the project blog

Aims of the project

Mosaic
Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca c. Alex E. Proimos

Ever since 9/11 and the subsequent bombings in Madrid, London and Boston, Muslims have been under constant scrutiny, never leaving the eye of the Western media. By examining literary and cinematic representations of 'queer' Muslims from international contexts, including Africa and Asia and the Middle East, and their diasporas in Europe and North America, with a focus on the 1980s and 1990s to the present day, the study’s main aim is to start challenging acerbic views on Muslim citizens by foregrounding their politically significant sexual dissidence.

These representations include fiction and film in English, French, and in translation to English from French and Arabic by authors and film-makers such as Hanif Kureishi, Ian Iqbal Rashid, Hoda Barakat, Rabih Alameddine, Khaled Hosseini, Alaa Al Aswany, Sally El Hosaini, Tahar Ben Jelloun and Abdellah Taïa.

The study will pose two main questions:

  1. How do these various international texts and films represent Muslims and adhere to, or challenge, anti-Islamic views?
  2. In what ways do international perspectives on homosexuality from different Islamic contexts help tackle both Islamophobia in the West while challenging intolerance towards homosexuality?

My project will investigate the extent to which some representation of Muslim homosexuality can be aligned with the anti-Islamic views of some sectors of the Western media, while others help us undertake a cultural bridge between Islam and the West with their fight against interfaith prejudice.

Activities and events

The project will be informed by the Postcolonial Studies Association Convention in September 2015, whose special topic is Diasporas

Ways for you to get involved

  • Attend the conference or any other events related to the project
  • Forward the link to this webpage to those interested in inviting the project leader for a guest lecture or workshop
  • Please let your colleagues, students and friends know about the existence of the project
  • Follow and comment on the project leader’s blog.
  • Get in touch with the project leader with any suggestions or queries

Useful Links

  • Imaan.org, supporting LGBT Muslim people, their families and friends, to address issues of sexual orientation within Islam.
  • Safra Project, a resource project working on issues relating to lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender women who identify as Muslim religiously and/or culturally.

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