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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

The lecture analyzes the human geography of queer identity constructions and the social...

Fri, February 6, 2009 • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM • EPS 1.128

"Queering Beirut: Lebanese Encounters on the Border of an Assumed Public and Private Sphere"

The lecture analyzes the human geography of queer identity constructions and the social production of queer space as constitutive features of wider class and gender relations in Beirut. While I situate the formations of socially marginalized gender identities in urban Lebanon as a crucial locus for reconsidering conventional understandings of culture, nationality, and citizenship in the Arab Middle East, I provide a brief ethnography of the city through some of its margins. My work engages with a critical paradigm for the study of sexuality and the city that examines the formations of Lebanese queer identities in relation to global processes of circulation and translation of gender models and ideas. Furthermore, my research positions the importance of gender identities at the centre of an often over- simplified political understanding of the very notion of identity in Lebanon that, traditionally, has been defined solely on the basis of sectarian affiliation. Instead, I provide a critical standpoint from which to deepen our understandings of gender rights and citizenship in the structuring of social inequality within the larger urban context of the Middle East.

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