Queer Nations: Marginal Sexualities in the Maghreb

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University of Chicago Press, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 307 pages
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The Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) has been inhabited for millennia by a heterogeneous populace. However, in the wake of World War II, when independence movements began to gain momentum in these French colonies, the dominant national discourses attempted to define national identities by exclusion. One rallying cry from the 1930s was "Islam is my religion, Arabic is my language, Algeria is my fatherland."

In this incisive postcolonial study, Jarrod Hayes uses literary analysis to examine how Francophone novelists from the Maghreb engaged in a diametric nation-building project. Their works imagined a diverse nation peopled by those who were excluded by the dominant political discourses, especially those who did not conform to traditional sexual norms. By incorporating representations of marginal sexualities, sexual dissidence, and gender insubordination, Maghrebian novelists imagined an anticolonial struggle that would result in sexual liberation and envisioned nations that could be defined and developed inclusively.

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Reading and Tourism Sexual Approaches to the Maghreb
Moha and Theory Machine
Homosexuality Unveiled
Skeletons in the Closet Tahar Djaouts Betrayal of National Secrets
In the Nations Closets Sexual Marginality and the Itinerary of National Identity
Sex on Fire Mohammed Dib and the Algerian Revolution
The Haunted House of the Nation Kateb Yacines Nedjma
Becoming a Woman Tahar Ben Jellouns Allegory of Gender
Personality the Political Politicizing the Personal Assia Djebars Feminist Rewriting of History
Women Come Out into the Nation Djebars Allegory of Marriage
Escaping the Identity Police Lelia Sebbar
The Joy of Castration Childhood Narratives and the Demise of Masculinity
Allegories of the Queer Nation
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Page 17 - The lesbian is never with us, it seems, but always somewhere else: in the shadows, in the margins, hidden from history, out of sight, out of mind, a wanderer in the dusk, a lost soul, a tragic mistake, a pale denizen of the night.

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