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

Sofian Merabet

Professor Ph.D., Columbia University

Assistant Professor
Sofian Merabet

Contact

Biography

I am a socio-cultural anthropologist with an expertise 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). My 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. My professional interests draw on comparative methodologies and approaches ranging from religious and cultural history to the politics of sexuality.

Interests

Socio-Cultural Theory/Psychoanalysis/Urban Studies/Gender Studies/Queer Theory/Muslim World, Europe, South America

ANT 302 • Cultural Anthropology

31465-31480 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1200pm CLA 0.112
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This course focuses on "classic" themes in anthropology such as ethnicity, language, adaptation, marriage, kinship, gender, religion, and social stratification.  We will consider anthropological theory from its 19th-century origins to the present.  The course also explores the nature of ethnographic field work, especially the relationship between the anthropologist and the field community.  
The lectures, readings, and films for this course have been selected with the objective of exploring the social meanings with which diverse groups invest their life.  By comparing and analyzing the similarities and differences between "us" and "others," both within the borders of the U.S. and abroad, the anthropological perspective can expose some of our own cultural assumptions and enable us to better understand diverse cultures.

ANT 391 • Narratives Of Space

31875 • Spring 2014
Meets TH 200pm-500pm SAC 5.118
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ANT 391 • Sexuality And Culture

31605 • Fall 2013
Meets T 200pm-500pm SAC 5.124
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ANT 391 • Gend/Masculinities In Mid East

31475 • Spring 2013
Meets T 200pm-500pm SAC 4.118
(also listed as MEL 380 )
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The subject matter of this graduate seminar is the analysis of gender and masculinities in the Middle East. While the methodological focus of the class will be an anthropological one, we will also explore the concepts of sexuality, power, and desire in Arab, Iranian, and Israeli culture through critical readings in history, sociology, journalism, and literature, as well as through feature films and documentaries. While the course does not provide an inclusive overview over the extensive literature on the subject of gender and masculinities, it attempts at communicating important theoretical concepts and understandings that are at the forefront of current debates within the social sciences. This includes the close reading of recently published ethnographies on Arab societies, but also historical works on pre-modern homoeroticism, as well as novels written during the past ten years on the subject of sexuality, authority, and violence in the region. Next to examining some of the major theoretical discussions in anthropology and gender/queer studies, the seminar will consider critically how the issues raised in class can be contextualized in terms of differing understandings of what constitutes gender and gender identities in the contemporary world.

ANT 302 • Cultural Anthropology

30980-30985 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 1100am-1200pm BUR 212
show description

This course focuses on "classic" themes in anthropology such as ethnicity, language, adaptation, marriage, kinship, gender, religion, and social stratification.  We will consider anthropological theory from its 19th-century origins to the present.  The course also explores the nature of ethnographic field work, especially the relationship between the anthropologist and the field community.  
The lectures, readings, and films for this course have been selected with the objective of exploring the social meanings with which diverse groups invest their life.  By comparing and analyzing the similarities and differences between "us" and "others," both within the borders of the U.S. and abroad, the anthropological perspective can expose some of our own cultural assumptions and enable us to better understand diverse cultures.

ANT 391 • Sexuality And Culture

31365 • Fall 2012
Meets T 200pm-500pm SAC 5.124
(also listed as WGS 393 )
show description

This graduate seminar deals with the cultural analysis of sexuality. Its aim is to critically evaluate formative concepts and theories that have been subject to debates within Anthropology, History, Philosophy, and Gender Studies. Through the reading of a variety of texts by different authors such as the Marquis de Sade, Freud, Foucault, Malinowski, and Butler, we will explore how terms like "women" and “men,” “femininity” and “masculinity,” as well as “homosexuality” and “heterosexuality” have structured people's experiences and their perceptions of sexuality at large and the central position it occupies within culture. One of the basic themes of the material for this course concerns the extent to which both realities and the ways in which they are perceived are socio-cultural constructs that are subject to constant change and, therefore, need historical contextualization.

ANT 391 • Gend/Masculinities In Mid East

31500 • Spring 2012
Meets M 300pm-600pm SAC 4.120
(also listed as MES 384, WGS 393 )
show description

The subject matter of this graduate seminar is the analysis of gender  and masculinities in the Middle East. While the methodological focus  of the class will be an anthropological one, we will also explore the  concepts of sexuality, power, and desire in Arab, Iranian, and Israeli  culture through critical readings in history, sociology, journalism,  and literature, as well as through feature films and documentaries.  While the course does not provide an inclusive overview over the  extensive literature on the subject of gender and masculinities, it  attempts at communicating important theoretical concepts and  understandings that are at the forefront of current debates within the  social sciences. This includes the close reading of recently published  ethnographies on Arab societies, but also historical works on  pre-modern homoeroticism, as well as novels written during the past  ten years on the subject of sexuality, authority, and violence in the  region. Next to examining some of the major theoretical discussions in  anthropology and gender/queer studies, the seminar will consider  critically how the issues raised in class can be contextualized in  terms of differing understandings of what constitutes gender and  gender identities in the contemporary world.

ANT S324L • Queer Ethnographies

81960 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTH 1000am-1200pm SAC 4.174
(also listed as WGS S340 )
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This upper-level undergraduate course deals with the anthropological analysis of gender and sexuality. Its aim is to critically evaluate formative concepts and theories that have been subject to recent debates within Anthropology, Gender Studies, and Queer Theory. Through the reading of a variety of ethnographies, we will explore how terms like “women” and “men,” “femininity” and “masculinity,” as well as “homosexuality,” “heterosexuality,” “bisexuality,” and “transsexuality” structure people’s experiences around the globe. Our focus will be the close assessment of some key texts written by such influential thinkers like Judith Butler, R. W. Connell, Michel Foucault, and Michael Warner. Moreover, the course focuses on local-level social and cultural processes that challenge a wide range of heteronormativities within a regional and global framework. The basic theme of the material for this course concerns the extent to which both realities and the ways in which they are perceived are socio-cultural constructs that are subject to constant change. 

ANT 324L • Cities Of The Middle East

31300 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm SAC 4.174
(also listed as MES 322K, URB 354 )
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This advanced undergraduate course deals with the anthropological and sociological analysis of space, with a special emphasis on urban theory and culture in the Middle East. It does not provide an inclusive overview over the extensive literature on the subject, but attempts at communicating important concepts and philosophies that have been at the forefront of important debates within the disciplines of anthropology/sociology and Urban Studies. This includes the close reading of key texts written by such influential theorists like Max Weber and Henri Lefebvre, but also of fiction like Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities and an “urban memoir” by Orhan Pamuk. Further, the material to be read will enable us to assess the impact of colonial policies on cities in geographical areas as diverse as North Africa, the Levant, and Iran. Next to examining some of the major debates in qualitative social science, the course will critically consider how the issues raised in class can be applied comparatively, especially in terms of differing understandings of what constitutes cities today and the cultural practices of daily-life that are performed in them.

ANT 391 • Narratives Of Space

31510 • Spring 2011
Meets W 200pm-500pm SAC 4.120
show description

This graduate seminar deals with the anthropological analysis of space, with a special emphasis on urban culture. It does not provide an inclusive overview over the extensive literature on the subject, but attempts at communicating important concepts and philosophies that are at the forefront of contemporary debates within the disciplines of Anthropology and Urban Studies. This includes the close reading of key texts written by such influential theorists like Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certeau, but also “urban memoirs” by some writers of fiction. Further, the material to be read will enable us to assess the impact of colonial policies on cities in geographical areas around the globe. Next to examining some of the major current debates in qualitative social science, the seminar will critically consider how the issues raised in class can be applied to the study of present-day cities in the US and abroad, especially in terms of differing understandings of what constitutes public space.

ANT 391 • Sexuality And Culture

30342 • Fall 2010
Meets TH 400pm-700pm MEZ 1.118
(also listed as WGS 393 )
show description

This graduate seminar deals with the cultural analysis of sexuality. Its aim is to critically evaluate formative concepts and theories that have been subject to debates within Anthropology, History, Philosophy, and Gender Studies. Through the reading of a variety of texts by different authors such as the Marquis de Sade, Freud, Foucault, Malinowski, and Butler, we will explore how terms like "women" and “men,” “femininity” and “masculinity,” as well as “homosexuality” and “heterosexuality” have structured people's experiences and their perceptions of sexuality at large and the central position it occupies within culture. One of the basic themes of the material for this course concerns the extent to which both realities and the ways in which they are perceived are socio-cultural constructs that are subject to constant change and, therefore, need historical contextualization.

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