Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Sofian Merabet


Assistant ProfessorPh.D., Columbia University

Sofian Merabet

Contact

Interests


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

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.

https://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/anthropology/faculty/sm39377

Courses


ISL 311 • Muslims In Europe

40608 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 220
(also listed as ANT 310L, EUS 306, R S 314)

The topic of the course is the complicated politics of ethics and leadership among

Muslims in contemporary France and Germany. This class is intended to expose students

to ethical issues pertaining to religious identity formation in two different countries of the

European Union. Moreover, in an effort to apply ethical reasoning in real-life situations,

we will work to grasp the similarities and differences regarding everyday religious

politics of ethics and leadership among Muslims living in France and Germany today,

especially as these are shaped by historical processes associated with colonialism and

nation-state-building, as well as by the power of representations mobilized in a global

world. While the perspective of this course will be primarily anthropological, it will also

be informed by historical, sociological, and legal approaches in an attempt to engage

perspectives across various social science disciplines and the law. Based on the close

reading of four recently published ethnographies about Muslim life in France and

Germany, we will discuss how a consideration of current debates about religion and the

state helps us understand the ethical relationship between the recognition of a lasting

Muslim presence, the ways in which the state tries to institutionalize it in an effort of

cooptation and control, and the challenges of circulating counter-discourses of European

Muslim identity today. Moreover, the course will draw on cinematographic materials that

illustrate some of the current debates surrounding Muslim identity formation in Europe.

MEL 380 • Gend/Masculinities In Mid East

41810 • Spring 2013
Meets T 200pm-500pm SAC 4.118
(also listed as ANT 391)

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.

MES 384 • Gend/Masculinities In Mid East

41780 • Spring 2012
Meets M 300pm-600pm SAC 4.120
(also listed as ANT 391, WGS 393)

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.

MES 322K • Cities Of The Middle East

42080 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm SAC 4.174
(also listed as ANT 324L, URB 354)

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.

About


 

Curriculum Vitae


Profile Pages



  •   Map
  • Middle Eastern Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    204 W 21st Street Stop F9400
    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712
    +1-512-471-3881