Queer Islam and the Renaissance
This seminar will examine cultural representations of Islam and Muslims in the early modern period. Reading early modern English literature together with travelogues, ethnographic writings, chronicles, maps, and histories, the class will study the sexualization of Islam to understand the influence of cross-cultural encounters and racialization in producing sexualities in England, and in Europe in general. In a dialogue with these representations, the reading list will include representations from Islamicate world to comparatively explore queer sexualities and Islam. Finally, the class will investigate queerness attributed to Islamicate cultures vis-à-vis a heterosexual West in the production of the “Renaissance” in the nineteenth century imperial context, as well as in contemporary media, to better understand how discourses in the past reappear in, and shape, the production of sexuality in the present. A research paper, oral presentations and weekly posts.