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Title:Sexpeditions: mapping mobility and sexuality in postcolonial France and the Maghreb
Author(s):Tarjanyi, Peter
Director of Research:Blake, Nancy
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Blake, Nancy
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Nadeau, Chantal; Proulx, Francois; Rushing, Robert A.
Department / Program:French and Italian
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
sex tourism
twentieth-century French literature
Maghrebi Francophone literature
Maghrebi-French cinema
postcolonial France
Abstract:The dissertation explores the intersections of mobility and sexuality in France and the Maghreb from the heyday of colonialism to the postcolonial present. In particular, it investigates literary and cinematic representations of a specific kind of mobility known as sex tourism. The dissertation’s central argument is that sex tourism functions as a community building strategy for sexual and ethnic minorities for whom it provides alternative forms of kinship and belonging vis-à-vis the heteronormative family and the French and Maghrebi nation-state. Chapter one examines the travel narratives of French gay writers who journeyed from France to the Maghreb around the end of the nineteenth century. Focusing on André Gide’s novels and correspondence, it illustrates how Maghrebi sex tourism allowed the white European sexually dissident subject to overcome the institutional and affective crisis of heteronormative domesticity. Chapter two looks at literary representations of sex-tourism between France and North Africa following the collapse of France’s colonial empire. By analyzing Dominique Fernandez’s novel Une fleur de jasmin à l’oreille, the chapter demonstrates how Maghrebi decolonization has led to the subversion of the narrative and aesthetic conventions of sex tourism in an era when homosexuality enjoys a greater degree of visibility and acceptance in the West. Chapter three considers the reverse trajectory of sex tourism by showcasing the journey narratives of queer Maghrebi immigrants who travel from the Maghreb to Europe in the postcolonial present. By concentrating on the works of gay Moroccan author Abdellah Taïa, it shows how Maghrebi Francophone writers envision sex tourism as a form of affective community building for minority ethnic and sexual subjects. Chapter four explores how recent French and Maghrebi-French cinema has represented the return of immigrant and second-generation queer men of Maghrebi origin to their diasporic homeland in North Africa. Through an in-depth analysis of Rémi Lange’s Tarik El Hob and Mehdi Ben Attia’s Le fil, the chapter explains how contemporary developments in LGBTQ politics have highlighted the tensions between institutional forms of kinship and Maghrebi alternative ties of filiation.
Issue Date:2020-07-13
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Peter Tarjanyi
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-07
Date Deposited:2020-08

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