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Middle East

Used for discussions covering cultures in the Middle East generally. See also specific countries/regions, also Arabic and Islamicate.

LHMP entry

Babayan examines the poetic narrative of a late 17th century Iranian widow’s pilgrimage to Mecca. While this would not appear to be a fertile ground for themes of same-sex desire, the social context of gender segretation and the structures of women’s friendships and relationships brings to light a number of relevant motifs. The article is relatively long and I will be skimming it for these most relevant aspects. Therefore my summary is likely to present a rather skewed understanding of the entirety of Babayan’s analysis. 

I desperately desperately wanted to love this novel. Unfortunately, it fought me every step of the way.

Habib is a scholar of the history of sexuality, and particularly female same-sex desire, as reflected in medieval Arabic texts. This novel grew out of that research and weaves a complex portrait of the lives of several women recorded in 9th century Baghdad, at a time when it was possible--if not at all easy--for women who loved each other to make a place for themselves, sometimes in private but sometimes as public figures.

This work is a compilation of two lectures and a collection of primary texts in translation. The first chapter is a lecture sponsored by Aswat a Palestinian lesbian organization. It discusses issues of identity and especially issues around coming out in modern Islamic society.

Chapter 4: A close reading of Aĥmad Ibn Yusuf Tifashi’s Nuzhat al-Albab - Toward re-envisioning the Islamic Middle East

Part I: Introducing studies on female homosexuality and contemporary critical theory

Chapter 1: Introduction - Contemporary views of female homosexuality in the Middle East

Chapter 2 - Constructing and deconstructing sexuality: New paradigms for “gay” historiography

Part II: The history and representation of female homosexuality in the Middle Ages

Chapter 3: An overview of Medieval literature concerning female homosexuality

Pages

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