SOAS University of London

Centre for Gender Studies

Queer and Feminist Diaspora Studies

Module Code:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Term 1

Sexuality, migration and diaspora are - like gender – not descriptive, objective categories, but analytical tools to name positions of power. In this course we discuss what sexuality, gender, diaspora and migration can imply as analytical (not descriptive) categories and how they are constructed interdependently by power relations. We will engage with a range of approaches to sexuality, gender, racialisation, religion, migration and diaspora and will address the social, economic and political dimensions of migration and diasporas as well as sexual and gendered politics related to constructions of non_belonging, cultural productions and imaginations. 
Building on queer and transfeminist approaches, Postcolonial Studies, transnational feminism, Cultural Studies, and deconstructionism we will not only focus on analysing oppression, but also on resistance strategies to and critical knowledge production on nationalist, racist, sexist, colonialist and Eurocentric norms and normalizations of sexuality, gender, nation, race and belonging.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The course would contribute to the generic analytical learning outcomes of the relevant MA programmes in Gender Studies, and Gender and Sexuality studies. The course will be one of the core courses for the MA in Gender and Sexuality studies. Furthermore, it would provide a gender and sexuality expertise and focus to the MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  1. Have gained an overview of the current theories and debates within the field of gender and sexuality and migration and diaspora studies;
  2. Have been introduced to a variety of theoretical and epistemological approaches in both gender and sexuality studies and migration and diaspora studies and will be able to critically engage with their overlaps;
  3. Have been introduced to new themes, and new approaches to existing developments and phenomena relevant to the study of gender and sexuality and migration and diaspora studies
  4. Have acquired a critical understanding of a range of methodologies and theoretical frameworks employed in the study of gender and sexuality and migration and diaspora studoes;
  5. Be able to critically evaluate a variety of books, journals and other sources of information relevant to the topics studies on the course;
  6. Have produced regular written work (reaction papers) as well as detailed written work on one approved topic relevant to the course.


Two hours per week (one hour lecture, one hour tutorial)

Scope and syllabus

Core Topics:
  1. Introduction: Gendering, Sexualities, Migrations, Diasporas
  2. Constructions of ‘Home’ and ‘Strangers’
  3. Notions of Diaspora
  4. Turning Dispossession into Resistance  
  5. Desires and Diasporic Politics
  6. Colonialism, Racism, and Gender(ed)/Sexual Knowledge Productions
  7. Orientalism, Anti-Muslim Racism, and Sexual Norms
  8. Homo/Transnationalism/Diasporanationalism
  9. Border Violence and the Denationalization of Rights
  10. Transing/Queering Diaspora

Method of assessment

One 2000 word essay (50%), two reaction papers; 1000 words each (50%)

Suggested reading


  1. Ahmed, Sara (1999): "Home and Away. Narratives of Migration and Estrangement". In: International Journal of Cultural Studies. 2 (3), pp. 329–347. (18 pages)

  2. Brah, Avtar (1996): "Diaspora, Border and Transnational Identities". In: Cartographies of Diaspora. Contesting Identities. London, New York: Routledge S. 178–210. (22 pages)

  3. Gilroy, Paul (2003): "The Black Atlantic as a Counterculture of Modernity". In: Braziel, Jana Evans; Mannur, Anita (Eds.) Theorizing Diaspora. A Reader. Malden [u.a.]: Blackwell S. 49–80. (31 pages)

  4. Haritaworn, Jin (2012a): "Colorful Bodies in the Multikulti Metropolis: Vitality, Victimology and Transgressive Citizenship in Berlin". In: Cotten, Trystan T. (Eds.) Transgender Migrations. The Bodies, Borders, and Politics of Transition. New York: Routledge S. 11–31. (20 pages)

  5. El-Tayeb, Fatima (2011): "Secular Submissions: Muslim Europeans, Female Bodies, and Performative Politics". In: European Others. Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota. pp. 81-120. (29 pages)

  6. Tinsley, O. N. (2008): "BLACK ATLANTIC, QUEER ATLANTIC: Queer Imaginings of the Middle Passage". In: GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. 14 (2-3), pp. 191–215. (24 pages)

  7. Schmidt Camacho, Alicia R. (2005): "Ciudadana X: Gender Violence and the Denationalization of Women’s Rights in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico". In: CR: The New Centennial Review. 5 (1), S. 255–292. (37 pages)

  8. Andrijasevic, R. (2007) 'Beautiful Dead Bodies: Gender, Migration and Representation in Anti-Trafficking Campaigns', Feminist Review 86: 24-44. (20 pages)

  9. Bhanji, Nael (2012): "TRANS/SCRIPTIONS: Homing Desires, (Trans)sexual Citizenship and Racialized Bodies". In: Cotten, Trystan T. (ed.) Transgender Migrations. The Bodies, Borders, and Politics of Transition. New York: Routledge, pp. 157–175. (18 pages)

  10. Puar, Jasbir K. (1998): "Transnational Sexualities: South Asian (Trans)nation(alism)s and Queer Diasporas". In: Eng, David L.; Hom, Alice Y. (ed.) Q & A: Queer in Asian America. Philadelphia: Temple University, pp. 405–424. (19 pages)

  11. Gopinath, Gayatri (2005): Queer Homes in Diaspora. In: Impossible Desires. Queer Diasporas and South Asian Cultures. Duke.

  12. Manalansan, Martin F. (2006): "Queer Intersections: Sexuality and Gender in Migration Studies". In: International Migration Review. 40 (1), pp. 224–249, 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2006.00009.x.




Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules