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Islamic History Workshop: Sameness, Difference, and Embodiments of Desire in the 1001 Nights

February 20, 2020

Event Type: 

Talk by Zayde Antrim, Professor of History and International Studies, Trinity College, Hartford, CT.

Terms like homosexuality, heterosexuality, and same sex desire center sameness and difference in the classification of sexual practices and identities. This may have the effect of privileging binary notions of anatomical sex associated with the modern west over other ways of organizing and understanding erotic life. So what do sameness and difference mean when historicized? Through a close reading of the earliest surviving manuscript of Alf layla wa-layla (15th century CE), as well as a comparative case study involving later manuscripts and editions, I explore the concepts of sameness and difference in relation to sexual desire and how they changed over time.


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