cover of book

Disruptive Situations: Fractal Orientalism and Queer Strategies in Beirut
by Ghassan Moussawi
Temple University Press, 2020
Cloth: 978-1-4399-1849-4 | eISBN: 978-1-4399-1851-7 | Paper: 978-1-4399-1850-0
Library of Congress Classification HQ76.2.L42B4565 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 306.760956925


Disruptive Situations challenges representations of contemporary Beirut as an exceptional space for LGBTQ people by highlighting everyday life in a city where violence is the norm. Ghassan Moussawi, a Beirut native, seeks to uncover the underlying processes of what he calls “fractal orientalism,” a relational understanding of modernity and cosmopolitanism that illustrates how transnational discourses of national and sexual exceptionalism operate on multiple scales in the Arab world.

Moussawi’s intrepid ethnography features the voices of women, gay men and genderqueers in Beirut to examine how queer individuals negotiate life in this uncertain region. He examines “al-wad’,” or “the situation,” to understand the practices that form these strategies and to raise questions about queer-friendly spaces in and beyond Beirut. 

Disruptive Situations alsoshows how LGBTQ Beirutis resist reconciliation narratives and position their identities and visibility at different times as ways of simultaneously managing their multiple positionalities and al-wad’. Moussawi argues that the daily survival strategies in Beirut are queer—and not only enacted by LGBTQ people—since Beirutis are living amidst an already queer situation of ongoing precarity.

See other books on: Beirut | Gays | Lebanon | Sexual minorities | Violence in Society
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