Queer Cultural Production in the Contemporary Islamicate World (ACLA 2020 Seminar)

deadline for submissions: 
September 23, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Duygu Ula (Barnard), Peter Cherry (Bilkent), Etienne Charriere (Bilkent)

Despite widespread calls for increased critical attention to queer cultural production from the Global South, much scholarship still focuses on queerness as it is conceptualized in North American and Western European contexts. With the emergence of homonationalist discourses in the West that frame Islamicate societies as axiomatically homophobic and Muslim queer individuals as oppressed and in need of saving, there is a crucial need to address this lacuna.

The present panel brings together contributions that look, from a variety of disciplinary standpoints, at contemporary creative work (literature, including non-fiction, graphic fiction and other genres; testimony; the visual arts; digital media) hailing from the broader Islamicate world and that engages with the lived experiences of LGBTQI+ individuals.  In this context, we define “Islamicate” as denoting the broad geographical area where Islamic culture has a dominant or at least strong historical presence (Middle East, North Africa, Muslim-majority areas of West and East Sub-Saharan Africa, Central, South, Southeast, and East Asia, as well as parts of the Balkans and the Caucasus), inclusive of the non-Muslim and non-practicing communities comprised within it, as well as of the diasporic and migrant communities that originate in it.

Drawing on recent “south-by-south” approaches, as well as on the regional turn adopted in literary and cultural studies, we aim to foster modes of doing queer studies that take their bearings from underrepresented regional and comparative frameworks and that push against the universalizing impulses of western-centric queer theory. 

We particularly welcome papers on the following topics:

-the rise of international queer fiction and its incarnations in the Islamicate world

-queer cultural production across media (novel, graphic novel, theatre, cinema, visual art)

-the intersection(s) of queerness and disability in cultural production from the Islamicate world

-queer Muslim diasporas and their cultural production

-trans* cultural production from the Islamicate world

-queer cultural production in/as translation

-queering theory/queering as theory

-transnational queer theory

-the methodologies of queer literary/cultural research in the Islamicate world

-the politics of queer anthologizing; transnational Islamicate queer archives


This call for is for a proposed panel at the upcoming ACLA Annual Meeting which will take place in Chicago on March 19-22, 2020. Abstracts must be submitted directly through the ACLA portal (https://www.acla.org/annual-meeting) between September 1st and September 23rd. Interested scholars are encouraged to get in touch with the three co-organizers (Duygu Ula, Barnard College; Peter Cherry and Etienne Charriere, Bilkent University) ahead of the ACLA abstract submission deadline, making sure to cc all three: dula@barnard.edupeter.cherry@bilkent.edu.tretiennecharriere@bilkent.edu.tr