CDTS Speaker Series: Professor Andrew Gayed

When and Where

Thursday, April 04, 2024 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Jackman Humanities Building
170 St. George St. Toronto, ON M5R 2M8


Professor Andrew Gayed


About the Lecture:

Queer World Making: Contemporary Middle Eastern Diasporic Art

Please join us as Dr. Andrew Gayed, PhD discussed his new book, Queer World Making: Contemporary Middle Eastern Diasporic Art, published with the University of Washington Press. In it he interrogates the performances of queerness, Arabness, and their intersections by reflecting on modern sexual identity, its relationship to colonialism, and how contemporary queer visual artists disrupt linear identity narratives. Premodern archives from the Middle East show rich and diverse homoerotic worlds that were disrupted by the colonial imposition of Western models of sexuality. Dr. Gayed traces how contemporary Arab and Middle Eastern diasporic artists have remembered and reinvented these historical ways of being in their work in order to imagine a different present. In focusing on the diaspora in North America and Europe, this research emphasizes themes of migration, displacement, transnationalism, and examines how queerness is performed within artistic practice and how culturally diverse contemporary artists operate within the context of the West. Dr. Gayed focuses on analyzing visual art by Jamil Hellu, Ebrin Bagheri, 2Fik, Laurence Rasti, Nilbar Güres, Alireza Shojaian, and others. 

Gayed seeks to articulate a Western and non-Western modernity that works beyond the dichotomy of sexual oppression, stereotypically associated with the Middle East, versus sexual acceptance, commonly attributed to North American norms. Instead, Gayed traces how diasporic subjects create coming-out narratives and identities that provide alternatives to inscribed Western models. Queer World Making decolonizes, and thus queers, Western neo-orientalist and racist projections of the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia region as a zone of sexual oppression. This book serves the urgent need to respond to the violent orientalizing global formations that currently frame the queer Middle Eastern subjects in the Global North

About Professor Gayed:

Dr. Andrew Gayed is Assistant Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at OCAD University where he teaches courses on global contemporary art. An Egyptian-Canadian art historian, Dr. Gayed has an academic background in diasporic art, queer visual culture, and Middle Eastern art histories. Before joining OCADU, Dr. Gayed was the Visiting Scholar at NYU’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality where he researched the artistic practices of the queer diaspora. Gayed's research is located at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary and transnational inquiry in art history, gender studies, and critical race theory. Dr. Gayed’s scholarship has appeared in numerous books, including the Routledge Handbook of Middle Eastern Diasporas, and Unsettling Canadian Art History, in addition to peer-reviewed journals including Journal for Studies in Art Education. Dr. Gayed’s first monograph, Queer World Making: Contemporary Middle Eastern Diasporic Art, published with the University of Washington Press, shares innovative new research in visual art and culture that will transform our understanding queerness and multiculturalism. With an emphasis on decolonial politics, this book illuminates the unexpected history of homosexuality in the Middle East as a way of better understanding the issues today that queer diasporic people of colour face.  

A photo of the cover of Andrew Gayed's book titled "Queer World Making: Contemporary Middle Eastern Diasporic Art"

Contact Information

Katharine Bell