[P6422] Masculinities and Crisis in the Middle East

Created by Onursal Erol
Tuesday, 11/30/21 11:30 am


This panel investigates the repertoires of designing, regulating, perpetuating, and (un)subverting Middle Eastern masculinities in and through moments of political, cultural, moral, and bio-social crisis.

Collectively, we contemplate certain questions pertaining to these two central concepts. How do crisis and masculinity converge and diverge in the context of Middle Eastern social forces? How are various Middle Eastern crises and masculinities performed in and through each other? Are they automatically constitutive of each other? Is one subvertible by the other? To what extent and with what pitfalls?

Through this common lens, the panel pools together interdisciplinary tools and sensibilities to analyze archival, ethnographic, literary, and photographic materials from Armenia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey. Heeding the warnings about the role of the discourses of “masculinities in crisis” in “misrecognizing, racializing, moralistically-depoliticizing, and class-displacing” Middle Eastern agents, our aim is to provide an interdisciplinary examination of “masculinities and crisis” with due diligence to the social forces in the various Middle Eastern contexts that we take up in the panel.

The papers that make up the panel unpack the constructive role of the “new man” in the republican re-making of the Turkish nation; the internal crisis of performing hegemonic masculinities amidst the simultaneously patriarchal and emasculating cultural milieu of Syrian authoritarianism; the durability of the discursive foundations of masculinity during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 even when political subversion was articulated through a revolutionary contra-masculinity; the bio-logics of proper Armenian masculinity as the bulwark against annihilation through the nation’s sedimented bio-social crises from genocide to “sexual perversion;” and the shortcomings embedded in the insistence on “authentic” visions of queer liberation in Istanbul’s Gezi Uprising by appealing to romanticized visions of a historical urban masculinity as the source of an imagined cosmopolitan civility.


Unknown; Unknown; Unknown



Tamar Shirinian

(University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Ozge Calafato

(University of Amsterdam)
Özge Calafato is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, the University of Amsterdam, focusing on the relationship between vernacular photography, gender, memory and cultural identity. Her dissertation focuses on photographic representations...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Onursal Erol

(University of Southern California)
Onursal Erol is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Southern California, Department of Middle East Studies. His research is at the intersection of urban-historical geography, gender studies, and Middle Eastern studies.
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Columbu Alessandro

(The University of Westminster)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Mohamed El-Shewy

(University of Warwick)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;