I am an anthropologist of social movements with a focus on the Middle East. My research sits at the intersection of feminist and queer political theory, Middle East Studies, political economy, and cultural studies. My work is focused on the study of the life, death and afterlife of the radical political imagination in the Middle East and its diaspora via a critical engagement with contemporary activist discourses and ideologies. My research overall focuses on the consequences for activism of neoliberalism’s temporal effects. I am interested in what becomes of activism in a conjuncture anxiously experienced as potentially endless, in which once promising visions of the future have increasingly come to be felt as the flourishes of idealistic imaginations. All of my research is informed by what anthropologist Hirokazu Miyazaki calls ‘hope as method’ (2004) – a dedication to exploring what is not yet rather than what has already become. I draw on queer and feminist speculation to rethink what constitutes worthwhile or effective political praxis in neoliberal times, as well as to highlight the potentiality of modes of contention that might appear, at first glance, as counter-productive.
Chamas, S. (2020). Reading Marx in Beirut: Disorganised Study and the Politics of Queer Utopia. Middle East - Topics & Arguments, 14, 143-59.
Chamas, S. (2019). Laughing Sectarianism Away. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, 12(3), 261-81.