Queerness in the Middle East: History, Activism & Social Change

organized by Ali Sonay et Serena Tolino

Institute for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Societies Lecture Series HS22

Tuesday, 4:15–6 pm, Room: F011, Unitobler, Lerchenweg 36, 3012 Bern


The study of Queerness in the Middle East is becoming an established field of research. While previous scholarship mostly focused on the normative aspects, looking for example at sexual identities and Islam, more recently, and especially after the 2011 upheavals, the focus shifted to communities in the Middle East. In this lecture series we would like to see where we stand and what new research perspective are emerging. For example, we will look at the situation of LGBTQI+ rights in different countries in the Middle East, at the role of activism, at discussions on queer-friendly language, or at the importance of historical overviews in order to counter-act to essentialist representations of queerness as external to the Middle East.


The lecture series is open to the public and will be streamed entirely via Zoom or take place on-site at the University of Bern with the option of joining it online.

Huda Lutfi: Inside the Box, 2016, mixed media photo collage, acrylic paint, 50 x 50 cm.


Check the program here.