Fadi Saleh

Visiting Researcher March - August 2016

Rozier 44, 9000 Gent
Tel: +329 264 3821

Heinrich-Düker-Weg 10, Raum 0.136
37073 Göttingen
Tel: +49 551 39 20017



B.A. in English Literature (2008, Dickinson College, U.S.A)

M.A. in Intercultural Anglophone Studies (2012, University of Bayreuth, Germany)

2013- present: PhD candidate at the research training group “Dynamics of Space and Gender”, department of cultural anthropology and European ethnology at the University of Göttingen, Germany.


'What are Middle Eastern and North African queer persons doing when they are NOT suffering: an ethnography of the everyday lives of Syrian queer refugees in Istanbul'
"In my PhD project, I contend that, there is a need to rethink, deconstruct, and denaturalize the often-mainstreamed, constantly-circulated image of the “MENA queer person” as one who is the effect of and is defined only by curiously “permanent” and “uninterrupted” suffering, misery, and pain. To illustrate this problematic, I focus on Syrian queer/LGBTI refugees in Istanbul, Turkey as my primary example. In my ethnographic fieldwork, conducted in Istanbul between August and December 2015, I follow the everyday lives of Syrian queer refugees to explore how narratives of suffering are adopted and perpetuated, yet problematized in ways that expose their constructedness and (political) limitations. In a second step, I trace the lines of flight that divert from this representational model and map out the emergent trajectories that emphasize positive affects, unfamiliar histories, and the open-ended potential of (doing an ethnography of) the everyday to force us to rethink MENA queer politics, historicization practices, and knowledge production outside of/alongside narratives of suffering."


Keywords: gender and sexuality, anthropology, ethnography, the Middle East and North Africa, Affect, Deleuzian philosophy, queer theory, migration research, humanitarianism, (transnational) LGBTI activism, social media, American, English, and Arabic literatures


  • Winter semester 2014/15: guest lecturer (1 session) in the course: “Sorgen, Pflegen, Retten, Heilen: Fallstricke der humanitären Macht” with Prof. Dr. Sabine Hess and Drs. Simona Pagano, University of Göttingen
  • Summer semester 2014: guest lecturer (2 sessions) in the course: “Heteronormativität, Rassimus, Homonationalismus” with Prof. Dr. Sabine Hess and Dr. Uta Schirmer; University of Göttingen
  • Summer semester 2013: lecturer in gender studies at the University of Bayreuth, Germany

Courses taught:

Introduction to Queer Theory

Gender in Medieval Literature

Representations of Gender in Contemporary Media

Mentoring in Gender Studies

Winter Semester 2013/14:

Introduction to Queer Theory

Constructions and Deconstructions of Gender in Twentieth-century American and English Novels

How to Do Gender Studies: an Interdisciplinary Approach

Mentoring in Gender Studies


  • 09/2011 – 06/2012 Teaching assistant at the University of Bayreuth

Courses taught

Introduction to American Studies

Introduction to American and English Literary Studies



Prof. Dr. Sabine Hess (University of Göttingen); Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Tuider (University of Kassel)