Cruising Baghdad: Desire between Men in the 1930s Fiction of Dhu al-Nun Ayyub

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Abstract

This article uses a queer lens to examine two short stories by the Iraqi communist, teacher, and prose writer Dhu al-Nun Ayyub (1908–88), "The Eagles' Anthem" and "How I Found a Guy," published in his collection Sadiqi (1938). Scholars have avoided analysis of the homoerotic and heterotopic aspects of Ayyub's writings, even if they mention his depictions of physical attraction between men. Ratherthan read these fictional texts as sociological studies of sexual sensibilities, the article assumes that they tapped into and reflected psychological and social dynamics in interwar Baghdad. The Ayyub stories, which render homoerotic masculine sexualities as commonplace and a positive aspect of city spaces, are thus distinguished from most Iraqi writings during this period. The stories stage homoeroticism and love between men as democratic critique and affirmation of heterogeneity and vitality in a nationalist, militarist, and heteronormalizing setting that increasingly associated homosexuality with moral dissolution and backwardness.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Middle East Women's Studies
Vol/bind14
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)25-44
ISSN1552-5864
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Udgivet eksterntJa

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