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Sofian MERABET

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Sofian MERABET

Anthropology, University of Texas, USA

Fellowship : October 2017 to June 2018

Discipline(s) : Anthropology

Pays : USA

Research project: Beyond the boundaries of pleasure and violence: A new social history of sexuality in Beirut

This interdisciplinary project focuses on the former Hotel Carlton in Beirut, which had been a central locus of pleasure and violence in Lebanon’s capital over a fifty year period. Methodologically, the project draws on anthropology, history, and literature. The project is a partly fictionalized biography of the Carlton that is based on the examination of administrative and personal records as well as on ethnographic interviews. This approach allows for an assessment of the hotel from an intimate vantage point intended to provide a new social history of sexuality in Lebanon that pays close attention to the social, political, and religious constituents of the country’s capital city.

Biography

Sofian Merabet is a socio-cultural anthropologist whose expertise lies in the modern Middle East (with a particular focus on Lebanon and Syria) and the wider Muslim world, including Muslim immigrant communities in Europe and the Arab Diaspora in South America (especially Argentina). His interdisciplinary research analyses the human geography of queer identity formations and the social production of queer space as constitutive features of wider class, religious, and gender relations. His professional interests draw on comparative methodologies and approaches ranging from religious and cultural history to the politics of sexuality. With a PhD in anthropology from Columbia University in New York, Sofian Merabet has taught at the American University of Beirut, the University of Louisville, and New York University. Since 2009, he has been on the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas in Austin.

Major publications

MERABET, Sofian. Queer Beirut, The University of Texas Press, 2014.

MERABET, Sofian. “Queer Habitus: Bodily Performance and Queer Ethnography in Lebanon” in Identities: Global Studie in Culture and Power, Vol.21, No. 5, pp. 516-531. 2013, 2014.

MERABET, Sofian. « Se dire « gay ». Entre la (ré)appropriation d’un espace queer et la formation de nouvelles identités dans le Liban d’aujourd’hui », Tumultes n°41, Dire les homosexualités d’une rive à l’autre de la Méditerranée, Paris, Éditions Kimé, pp. 131-140, 2013.