SOAS University of London

Centre for Gender Studies

Abeera Khan

BA Hons (University of Toronto), MA (SOAS)
  • Research

Overview

Abeera Khan
Name:
Abeera Khan
Email address:
Thesis title:
(Working Title) Queer Muslim Subjecthoods: Mapping London's Contested Landscape
Year of Study:
3
Internal Supervisors

Biography

Abeera Khan is a researcher and educator based in London. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Centre funded through the SOAS Research Studentship. Through a combination of discourse analysis, ethnography, and archival research, her research interrogates the category of ""queer Muslim"" as it is deployed in London. The former metropole’s continued role in the geopolitics of the “War on Terror”, the surveillance apparatus directed towards Muslim communities, and the myriad ways the afterlives of empire and race-making converge in these processes make London a crucial site to investigate queer Muslims’ subject formation. As such, her thesis explores the shifting meanings attached to the “queer” and “Muslim” in queer Muslim, critically mapping the contested registers through which queer Muslims in London are presented as subjects and claim subjecthood – registers that can shift depending on racial, sexual, class, diasporic, religious, secular, (trans)national orientations, relationships to the state, community allegiances and organising.

Abeera has taught on subjects of race, empire, and queer and feminist diaspora studies. She is currently a graduate teaching assistant on the Sociology of Race and Empire module in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics. She holds an MA in Gender Studies from SOAS and is the recipient of the award for the best overall profile for the 2015-16 academic year. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked as a researcher for Visualizing Palestine, an independent, non-profit laboratory creating data-led visual stories for social justice.

PhD Research

This project interrogates the (inter-)subjectification processes inherent to the production of the queer Muslim subject in the West, with a focus on the city of London.

Despite the recent surge in interest in queer Muslim identity in Western contexts, most work produced on “queer Muslims” focuses on identification and culture-clash tropes. The category of “queer Muslim” itself is largely taken for granted, with little work done to deconstruct the often unstable, contradictory layers of signification to the use of queer, Muslim, and queer Muslim in tandem: Who claims subjecthood as queer Muslim? In what spaces? Who is interpellated as queer Muslim and by whom (i.e. what structures of power and domination)? What coalitional politics arise from this category? How are the gendered, racialised oppositions of “Western sexual exceptionalism” (Puar 2006) mapped onto queer Muslims, and how are they in turn dealt with by queer Muslims themselves?

Using a combination of discourse analysis, ethnography, and archival research, this project explores the shifting meanings attached to the “queer” and the “Muslim” in queer Muslim within London. The former metropole’s continued role in the geopolitics of the “War on Terror”, the surveillance apparatus directed towards Muslim communities, and the myriad ways coloniality, gender, race, class and sexuality converge in these processes make London a crucial site to investigate queer Muslims’ “spatial narratives” (Haritaworn 2015). This project attempts to map the often contested registers through which queer Muslims in London are presented as subjects and claim subjecthood – registers that can shift in racial, sexual, class, diasporic, religious, secular, (trans)national orientations, relationships to the state, community allegiances and organising.

Publications

  • Khan, Abeera (2020). “Queer Secularity.” Queer Concepts for the 2020s. Lambda Nordica, 25(1), p. 133-139
  • Contributor: (2017) A Resource Kit for Journalists. Onlinecensorship.org
  • Khan, Abeera (2016). Book Review: ‘Song of Gulzarina’. Kohl: A Journal for Body and Gender Research. 2(2), p.262-265."

Conferences

  • Panellist: Race and Law in the Time of COVID-19. Centre for the Study of Colonialism, Empire & International Law. SOAS. 19th July 2020
  • Panellist: Feminist Work is Justice Work. Webinar. Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS. 24th June 2020
  • April 2019: ""Native Orientalists and queer Muslims: Contested subjectification under queer liberal secularity"
  • Sexuality and Borders Symposium at New York University (NYU). 5th April 2019
  • March 2019: Panelist, ""Anti-blackness in South Asia"", Goldsmiths University"

Research

  • Feminist and Gender Theory
  • Queer of Color Critique
  • Queer Theory
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Postcolonialism
  • Diaspora Studies