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Poe‘s Anti-Representational Invocations of the Near East

Poe‘s poetry and fiction are full of cultural and religious references to the Near East. This essay suggests that Poe‘s invocations of the Near East are part of a deliberately anti-representational strategy for dealing with cultural difference that constitutes part of Poe‘s understanding of one of his most central concepts, the ‘arabesque’. This anti-representational strategy is built on Poe‘s sympathetic reading of texts associated with the Near East, Islam, and Arab and Persian cultures.

Gothic Studies
An Interview with James Baldwin (1969)

This is the first English language publication of an interview with James Baldwin (1924–87) conducted by Nazar Büyüm in 1969, Istanbul, Turkey. Deemed too long for conventional publication at the time, the interview re-emerged last year and reveals Baldwin’s attitudes about his literary antecedents and influences such as Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen; his views concerning the “roles” and “duties” of a writer; his assessment of his critics; his analysis of the power and message of the Nation of Islam; his lament about the corpses that are much of the history and fact of American life; an honest examination of the relationship of poor whites to American blacks; an interrogation of the “sickness” that characterizes Americans’ commitment to the fiction and mythology of “race,” as well as the perils and seductive nature of American power.

James Baldwin Review

This book explores representations of queer migrant Muslims in international literature and film from the 1980s to the present. It brings together a variety of contemporary writers and filmmakers of Muslim heritage engaged in vindicating same-sex desire from several Western locations. The book approaches queer Muslims as figures forced to negotiate their identities according to the expectations of the West and of their migrant Muslim communities. It coins the concept of queer micropolitical disorientation via the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Sara Ahmed and Gayatri Gopinath. The author argues that depictions of queer Muslims in the West disorganise the social categories that make up contemporary Western societies. The study covers three main themes: queer desire across racial and national borders; Islamic femininities and masculinities; and the queer Muslim self in time and place. These thematic clusters examine the nuances of artistic depictions of queer Muslims’ mundane challenges to Western Islamophobia and Islamicate heteronormativity. Written in a scholarly but accessible style, this is a timely contribution to the controversial topic of Islam and homosexuality, forging understanding about the dissident position of Muslims who contravene heteronormative values and their equivocal political position in the West.

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Thinking across

heritage; an American Muslim and a former Muslim of Palestinian and mixed Palestinian heritage; a Moroccan Muslim settled in France; and a secular Lebanese Muslim of Druze heritage living in America. The wide range of cultural reference, the plethora of ethnic configurations of Islam, and a number of unusual minorities within Islam – such as Ismailism and Druzism – all help us reflect on how the lived experiences of Muslims and their assembled identities easily outgrow the narrow dictates set by modern iterations of Islam, such as Salafism or Wahhabism. According to

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
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Queering Islam and micropolitical disorientation

To say that male homosexuality flourished in Islamic societies would be an overstatement typical of orientalist discourse, but it would be no exaggeration to say that, before the twentieth century, the region of the world with the most visible and diverse homosexualities was not northwestern Europe but northern Africa and southwestern Asia. Indeed, the contrast between ‘Western’ and ‘Islamic’ homosexualities is not so much one of visibility versus invisibility or modern freedom

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film

Orientalism represents the activities undertaken by the ῾Abbāsids to translate works from Greek and other cultures; it refers to an era in which knowledge flourished. At its zenith, Islamic civilization was genuinely a civilization of translation mediating between East and West, between the classical and our modern age. Western tradition assimilated without mediating the greatness of this civilization. What is perceived as Muslim fanaticism pertains to a different era, it ‘belong[s] to a subsequent age when Islamic civilization had sunk to dust and its creed had become

in Frantz Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference
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Marie Helena Loughlin

separation of the sexes. Early modern European travel writers usually reflect the assumption that Eastern households generally and the seraglio or harem specifically were places of ‘barbarous cruelties and extravagant sensualities’ (Chew qtd in Vitkus 13), with ‘the Ottoman sultan’s palace a proverbial site for sexual excess, sadistic entertainment, and private, pornographic spectacle’. Islamic men of the East and North Africa were stereotyped as aggressively and excessively promiscuous; Islamic women as cauldrons of lust under a veil of ‘virtue and chastity’ (Vitkus 13

in Same-Sex Desire in Early Modern England, 1550–1735
Persia, masculinity, and conversion in early seventeenth-century travel writing and drama

culture. The study of conversion between Christianity and Islam has occupied scholars interested in how religious identity was constructed in post-Reformation Europe, as well as those looking in particular at the relationship between the two religions. 2 The function of gender identity in relation to conversion has often been involved in these discussions

in Conversions
Matrilinearity, Sufism, and l’errance in the autofictional works of Abdellah Taïa

’s postcolonial queer melancholia, and to the theme of l’errance – errancy or wandering – in An Arab Melancholia , which performs a queer assemblage of cultures and temporalities validating his position as a gay, Moroccan, Muslim, Arab man. Moroccan society’s negation of the homosexual citizen, I suggest, triggers religious doubt in Taïa’s autobiographical self and a desperate embrace of matrilineal and Sufi versions of Islam posited at a remove from mainstream Islamicate normativity. Despite his repeated gestures towards interethnic homoeroticism, which chimes with the work

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
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religious conversions did take place, but when they were narrated at all they were conspicuously presented as a personal, inward matter of little wider import. Such actions were also largely the preserve of men. One prominent example is that of Harry St. John Bridger Philby (later Sheikh Abdullah), English agent in the Arabian Peninsula, and his 1930 conversion to the Wahhabi Islam of the new Saudi state he later came to

in Conversions