SARI, ELIF: Travel Grant - 2016-2017

Graduate School
Project Title: 
"Faggot vs. Terrorist": Queer Asylum from the Middle East
Project Abstract: 
LGBT refugees are the newest “vulnerable” group in the vocabulary of asylum. Both the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and main refugee-receiving countries prioritize asylum applications on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. My project examines LGBT asylum from the Middle East to the United States and Canada via Turkey in order to understand how the “prioritization” of queer asylum function within a stratified geopolitical world, especially in the context of “War on Terror.” Exploring the ways in which non-normative Middle Eastern/Muslim sexualities and bodies have been scripted into international asylum regime, I examine how gender, race, religion, and sexuality inform asylum laws and policies.