This talk will draw on Walaa Alqaisiya’s work with Palestinian queer grassroots activism to discuss the political and conceptual urgency of centring settler-colonialism to gender and sexuality issues in the context of Palestine, the MENA region, and beyond. In doing so, the talk will take the recent uprising and political events in Palestine as a prism to view and understand the context and historical location of Palestinian queer feminist organizing and the decolonial lens they advance.

Supported by the Herbert H. Goldberger Lectureships Fund, Co-sponsored by the LGBTQIA+ Thinking InitiativePembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women | 5 Oct 2021

Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs  Supported by the Herbert H. Goldberger Lectureships Fund.

About the Lecture This talk will draw on Walaa Alqaisiya’s work with Palestinian queer grassroots activism to discuss the political and conceptual urgency of centering settler-colonialism to gender and sexuality issues in the context of Palestine, the MENA region, and beyond. In doing so, the talk will take the recent uprising and political events in Palestine as a prism to view and understand the context and historical location of Palestinian queer feminist organizing and the decolonial lens they advance. About the Speaker Walaa Alqaisiya is an associate researcher at the Middle East Centre, London School of Economics (LSE), and Council for British Research in the Levant. Previously, she worked as an external collaborator at the European University Institute on the Libya Initiative Project. She received her PhD in Human Geography from Durham University in 2018. Her research examines the transformative political potential of everyday activism and aesthetics in the ambit of gender and sexuality in Palestine. Starting in 2022, she will be a Marie Curie Fellow at Columbia University, Ca ’Foscari University of Venice, and the London School of Economics where she will examine the relationship between environmental and gendered politics across multiple contexts of indigeneity. Supported by the Herbert H. Goldberger Lectureships Fund.

How do we think with and about LGBTQIA+ subjects, communities, and histories?

The  Pembroke Center has launched  the “LGBTQIA+ Thinking” initiative, led by Lynne Joyrich, professor of modern culture and media. The initiative is devoted to the active production of knowledge generated from and about the subjectivities and socialities, differences and connections, histories and cultures of sexual and gender minorities, paying close attention to how sexualities and gender identifications have been constructed; how they intersect with global and local formations of race, class, and generation; and how sexual and gender minorities have diversely attempted to live and understand themselves outside, or in the interstices, of dominant sexual and gender norms.

“This initiative signals the importance of exploring sexual and gender formations, identities, and issues,” Joyrich said,”recognizing that just as these can give us places from which to think, those places may shift, change, and invite re-thinking.”

The LGBTQIA+ Thinking initiative includes intellectual, pedagogical, and social components.  Programming—ranging from lectures, presentations, and symposia to exhibitions, screenings, and performances—is designed to coordinate with other Pembroke initiatives (such as the Pembroke Seminar, the Black Feminist Theory Project, and the Feminist Theory Archives) and to further links with other units (such as the BAI, CSREA, CSSJ, the Cogut Institute, IBES, the School of Public Health, and the Watson Institute). Pedagogical aims include working with Gender and Sexuality Studies program leadership and faculty on course development, program coordination, and pedagogical collaboration. Finally, the initiative fosters community bonds via the connections made through LGBTQIA+ Thinking programs and events at Brown and beyond.  In this way, the Pembroke Center can further foster thinking, learning, and acting for and with this vital and diverse community.

About Lynne Joyrich, director of LGBTQIA+ Thinking:

Lynne Joyrich is Professor and Chair of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University whose research focuses on constructions of gender, sexuality, and race in US media.  She is the author of Re-viewing Reception: Television, Gender, and Postmodern Culture and of articles on film, television, cultural studies, and feminist and queer studies that have appeared in such journals as The Black ScholarCritical InquiryCinema Journaldifferences, DiscourseJump CutJournal of e-Media StudiesJournal of Visual Culture, and Transformative Works and Cultures, and such books as Private ScreeningsModernity and Mass CultureLogics of TelevisionInventing Film StudiesPedagogy:  The Question of ImpersonationNew Media, Old Media; Queer TVMad Men, Mad WorldUnwatchable, and Feminism’s Indelible Mark: Reframing the Work of Todd Haynes.  She has been a member of the editorial collective of the journal Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies since 1996.

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