Queer Maghrebi French

BookQueer Maghrebi French

Queer Maghrebi French

Language, Temporalities, Transfiliations

Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures, 44


June 6th, 2017



Other Formats




'This book is a most timely and original analysis of the ways in which Queer subjects straddling French and Maghrebi languages, religions and cultures construct themselves when they come out to their family, their friends, or an international public. With his concept of transfiliation, Provencher provides us with a precious tool to rethink globalizing queer kinships.'
Dr. Mireille Rosello, University of Amsterdam

This book investigates the lives and stories of queer Maghrebi and Maghrebi French men who moved to or grew up in contemporary France. It combines original French language data from my ethnographic fieldwork in France with a wide array of recent narratives and cultural productions including performance art and photography, films, novels, autobiographies, published letters, and other first-person essays to investigate how these queer men living in France and the diaspora stake claims to time and space, construct kinship, and imagine their own future. By closely examining empirical evidence from the lived experiences of these queer Maghrebi French-speakers, this book presents a variety of paths available to these men who articulate and pioneer their own sexual difference within their families of origin and contemporary French society. These sexual minorities of North African origin may explain their homosexuality in terms of a “modern coming out” narrative when living in France. Nevertheless, they are able to negotiate cultural hybridity and flexible language, temporalities, and filiations, that combine elements from a variety of discourses on family, honor, face-saving, the symbolic order of gender differences, gender equality, as well as the western and largely neoliberal constructs of individualism and sexual autonomy.

‘An incisive and original queer reading and assessment of new identities and voices from Maghrebi and Maghrebi French communities.'
Martine Antle, MacCaughey Chair of French Studies, University of Sydney

'Mixing ethnography and literary and cultural studies, Queer Maghrebi French constructs a stunningly elaborate nexus of theoretical concerns and analytical frameworks—queer theory, postcolonial studies, French lesbian and gay studies, queer temporality, critical race and ethnicity studies, the anthropology of kinship, gay linguistics, and cultural geography—to examine the intricate ways in which artists and writers of North African descent negotiate the competing claims of secular Republicanism and familial and religious ties.'
Professor Jarrod Hayes, University of Michigan

'Queer Maghrebi French offers truly interdisciplinary analyses of Queer Maghrebi French identity, providing a much needed resource for French, Francophone, and LGBT studies. Provencher’s linguistic theoretical frameworks, usually applied to populations other than Maghrebi French men, emphasize the opportunity for future comparative work between disciplines.'
Alvaro Luna, Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

'This work is a fine example of the maturity of Provencher's intellectual contributions, and demonstrates its importance in the fields of queer postcolonial studies, French gay and lesbian studies, and queer theory in general. This study extends, and even accentuates, the interdisciplinarity between ethnography and what comes from literary and cultural studies. Moreover, his examination of visual culture is even more remarkable than in his first book.' (Translated from French)
Jarrod Hayes, Nouvelles Études Francophones

'This book presents an incisive and original study that investigates the lives and stories of queer Maghrebi and Maghrebi French men who emigrated to or grew up in contemporary France. ... With richly analyzed data collected from his ethnographic fieldwork including a wide variety of recent narratives and cultural productions, Provencher provides us with a penetrating analysis of how French and Maghrebi languages, religions, and cultures construct identities of these queer subjects.'
Yu Zhang, Language in Society

'Provencher’s Queer Maghrebi French: Languages, Temporalities, Transfiliations is a timely study that examines the largely overlooked cultural context of queer Maghrebi French and queer Maghrebi living in France ... Provencher’s book is a most original study that offers invaluable new insights into the fields of queer theory, lesbian and gay studies, queer linguistics, anthropology, migration and diaspora studies, and appears at a time whenEurope, facing a crisis in migration, can no longer ignore oppressed sexual minorities crossing its borders.'
Philippe Panizzon, International Journal of Francophone Studies


Author Information

Denis Provencher is Professor and Head, Department of French & Italian, Faculty Affiliate, Institute for LGBT Studies, Department of Linguistics, and Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, University of Arizona. He is the author of 'Queer French: Globalization, Language, and Sexual Citizenship in France' (Ashgate Publishing, 2007).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Prologue: Sidi Jenih – Saint Genet: An Example of Queer Maghrebi French11
Introduction: Queer Maghrebi French: Language, Temporalities, Transfiliations19
1. 2Fik’s Coming out à l’orientale and “Coming out” of France66
2. Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed’s Universal Performance of French Citizenship and Muslim Brotherhood119
3. Abdellah Taïa’s Queer Moroccan Family and Transmission of Baraka157
4. Mehdi Ben Attia’s Family Ties, Temporalities, and Revolutionary Figures205
5. Nacir, Tahar, and Farid: Identification, Disidentification, and Impossible Citizenship249
Epilogue: Queer Maghrebi French: Flexible Language and Activism293