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Loma Pelona Center

This talk highlights Maya Mikdashi's recently published book, Sextarianism: Sovereignty, Secularism, and the State in Lebanon. Mikdashi (Rutgers, Department of Women's and Gender Studies) theorizes how sex, sexuality, and sect shape and are shaped by law, secularism, and sovereignty. Drawing on public records and ethnography within the archives of the Court of Cassation, she shows how political difference is entangled with religious, secular, and sexual difference. She presents “sextarian” state power as inevitably contingent, focusing on the regulation of religious conversion, the curation of legal archives, state and parastatal violence, and secular activism. Sherene Seikaly (UCSB, History) and Shiva Balaghi (UCSB, AGI) will serve as discussants.