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Leading queer theorist named Robert Sutherland Visitor

A leading queer theory expert is coming to Queen’s as part of this year’s Robert Sutherland Visitor.

Jasbir Puar, who hails from Rutgers University, has written columns for Britain's Guardian newspaper and the Huffington Post and is the author of the book, Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times.

“Dr. Puar offers a unique perspective in the areas of equity, diversity and race relations,” says Abigail Bakan, head of the Queen’s gender studies program. “The Robert Sutherland Visitorship this year offers students, faculty and staff at Queen's and the Kingston community an opportunity to interact and learn from Dr. Puar's original and influential perspective.”

Dr. Puar focuses on how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer rights intersect in the Muslim and Islamic worlds. Her 2010 Guardian newspaper column argued Israel's attempts to portray itself as the only gay-friendly country in a homophobic region of the world is a public relations strategy. She says the country wants to appear modern and progressive in order to divert attention away from its campaigns of aggression against Palestinians.

Dr. Puar will be at Queen's from January 16-18 and will be visiting classes and conducting Q&As with grad students. She is giving the Robert Sutherland lecture called “Homonationalism, Sex and Disability: Pinkwashing and Biopolitics in the Middle East” on January 17.

Robert Sutherland (c1830-1878) was the first student and graduate of colour at Queen's and one of the university's most important early benefactors.

The Robert Sutherland Visitorship is funded by the John Deutsch University Centre. It has brought a number of distinguished visitors to the campus since 1998 including: Esmeralda Thornhill, Enid Lee, Ken Wiwa, Patricia McFadden, Faith Nolan, William Commanda and Romola Trebilcock, George Elliott Clarke, Afua Cooper and Lawrence Hill.