[PAST EVENT] The Pulse of Queer Life: Arab Bodies in Gay Bars

October 19, 2018
Blow Memorial Hall, Room 201
262 Richmond Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location

Lecture pairs two unlikely texts: the 2016 shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando and the fictional account of intimacies between men in the novel Guapa (2016) by Saleem Haddad. The lecture will examine how bars feature and function in queer life, as narrated by the novel, and pairs that discussion with discourse around gay bars in the US, places where Arab and Muslim subjects are fetishized and feared in the same breath. It will also consider how the framework of safety enables the marginalization of Arab subjects in the US and in the fictional Arab world of Guapa. Lastly, it considers the ramifications of Arab marginalization on queer Arab subjects.
Dr. Mejdulene B. Shomali is a Palestinian American poet and Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender + Women?s Studies at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). She received a Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan in 2015 and an M.A. in Women?s Studies from the Ohio State University in 2009. Her creative and scholarly work centers on femininity, queerness, and Arab cultural production in a transnational perspective.