Photo of Dr Noor al-Qasimi

Dr Noor al-Qasimi

Honorary Research Fellow

Over the course of the last few years my work has encompassed developments of the biosocial in the GCC, specifically the technologies of life and reproduction, the discourses of lethality and the management of ‘death worlds’. My current research, which focuses on the UAE, situates bio- and necro-politics therein with reference to the post-oil generation and the extent to which subjective credit-debt formations are realized within the context of the pan-Gulfian neoliberal bloc. I draw on a number of multi-disciplinary theoretical sites, namely intersections between cyberspace and the body, mental and physical health paradigms, theorizations of incarcerating and clinical spaces, the emergence of bodily assemblages and territorializing processes of political and economic resistance.

My academic trajectory has taken me from a background in English and related literatures, to Performance and Cultural Studies and towards an ongoing commitment to multi and inter-disciplinary research in cultural and social analysis. I completed my PhD at the Department of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick, UK in 2007. My thesis, entitled ‘The Codes of Modesty: Reconfiguring the Muslim Female Subject’, focused on Islamic codes of female modesty in Iranian Cinema and Saudi television, as well as fashion and commodities in the UAE.  This research, which used modesty as an heuristic device to probe an array of female representations from Iranian cinema to lab-coats in Saudi hospitals and shampoo advertising on Saudi TV, encouraged me to seek further multi-disciplinary and queer theory-inspired interventions on the academic work in the Gulf region. During my research fellowship at The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University, USA, my examination of masculinised femininity and the Boyahphenomenon in the UAE led me to coin the concept of the ‘post-oil generation’ which has informed my ongoing research. During my time at NYU, my work on notions of Deluezean assemblages led me to draw connections between cyber-technologies, queer theory and the GCC. Moreover I further extended my use of ‘queer’ to outside identitarian and embodiment claims in order to refine a post-colonial queer intervention. My current research builds on this by considering the intersections between post-oil economies, bodily assemblages and subjective and financial credit-debt relations. I also use theories of assemblage and affect to examine the relationship between privilege, precarity and the post-oil generation within the context of pan-Gulfian neoliberalism.

Teaching and Supervision

I have held a teaching fellowship in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. The role included designing and teaching a module in Cultural Studies, examining a combination of cultural theory, critical race studies, gender and sexuality studies, and media and communication studies. I have also lectured on and contributed to teaching of graduate and undergraduate courses in gender, sexuality, Middle Eastern cultural studies, media studies and post-colonialism at the IAIS, University of Exeter.

I have a commitment to develop educational and intellectual platforms that engender an interdisciplinary approach to the contemporary Gulf. I welcome students with dissertations and theses relating to my research interests highlighted above. I also welcome projects relating to my past research interests; these areas include gender and sexuality, post-colonialisms, modernity/post-modernity, cyber-technology and popular culture, cinema and media studies.

Research interests

My current research, entitled Post-oil Technologies, Queer Futurities and the Emirati Indebted Subject, engages with the intersection between subjective formations of bodily capacities, debt, neoliberal governance and post-oil technologies in the UAE. My work addresses the bio- and necro-political management by the state with reference to post-oil economies. It maps the extent to which bodily capacities and assemblages are included/excluded, abjected and/or re-inscribed into the fold of the nation-state.  It encompasses the following thematic categories:

  • Critical Race Theory, Transnational Feminisms, Indigeneity
  • Intersectional analyses between Sexuality, Cybtertechnology, Biomedia, Post-Oil Technologies and Neoliberalism
  • Biopolitics, Necropolitics and Post-Oil Regeneration
  • Theories of Debt and Subjectivity
  • Theories of (bodily) Assemblage and Affect
  • Contagion, Sterility, Extinction, Blood Purity, Indigeneity, Queer Bodies, Diseased Bodies, HIV/AIDS,  Substance Abuse, Reproductive Heteronormativity, Masculinised Femininity, Biomedia, Biotechnology, Debility and/or Capacity
  • Techno Science, Cyber Transmission, Cyberscapes, ‘The Event’, Viral Transmissions
  • Futurity, Threat, Oil Depletion, Security, Capitalist Accumulation, pan-Gulfian Neoliberalism, Post-oil Economies, Credit-debt Paradigms, Rentier Systems, Privilege/Precarity
  • Reterritorialisation, Counter-Revolution, Anti-Democratic Populism, Negativity, Disavowal, Non-Sovereignty

 Current Research Projects, Collaborations and Positions

  • Post-oil Technologies, Queer Futurities and the Emirati Indebted Subject. To lead into a manuscript currently entitled, “Anticipatory Governance, Queer Difference and the Ascendancy of the Emirati Indebted Subject”
  • Ecologies of Violence and Genealogies of Terror: Assembling the Biosocial and its Histories in the GCC: Research Collaboration with William Gallois (Exeter, IAIS)
  • Biomedia, Contagion and the Clinical in the Arab Peninsula: Research Collaboration with Claire Beaudevin (CNRS-Cermes3 Paris/Villejuif)
  • Editorial board, JMEWS (Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies)
  • Transgressing the Gulf: Dissidence, Resistance and Potentiality in the GCC states: A recent collaborative symposium organized with William Gallois (Exeter, IAIS)  


“Queerer than Queer: Anti-Ancestry, Disavowal and the Emirati Post-Oil Generation.’’ GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (forthcoming, 2019). Duke University Press.

“The Female Rehabilitation Home in Sharjah: Notes from the Field.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 13, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 68-72. Duke University Press.

Guest editor with Adi Kuntsman, “Queering Middle Eastern Cyberspaces.” Special issue, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 8, no. 3 (Fall 2012). Indiana University Press.

"Introduction", with Adi Kuntsman, in “Queering Middle Eastern Cyberspaces,” edited by Noor Al-Qasimi and Adi Kuntsman. Special issue, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 8, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 1-13. Indiana University Press.

“The ‘Boyah’ and the ‘Baby Lady’: Queer Mediations in Fatima Al Qadiri and Khalid Al Gharaballi’s Wawa Series (2011),” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 8, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 139-42. Indiana University Press.

“Shampoo: Editing, Advertising, and Codes of Modesty in Saudi Arabian Television.” Camera Obscura: Feminism, Media, and Cultural Studies 26, no. 2 (2011): 91–121. Duke University Press.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Boyahs and Girls: Uploading Transnational Queer Subjectivities.” In Circuits of Visibility: Gender and Transnational Media Cultures, edited by Radha Hegde, 284-302. New York: New York University Press, 2010.

“Immodest Modesty: Accommodating Dissent and the ‘Abayah-as-Fashion in the Arab Gulf States.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 6, no. 1 (Winter 2010): 46–74. Indiana University Press.

Publications Currently Under Preparation

darkmatter: in the ruins of imperial culture, guest editor, (forthcoming 2019).

“The Brokerage of Lineage and Survival in the UAE,” (forthcoming)

"‘On the Record’: Ecologies of Violence, Transmissions of Shame and the Ghantout Trial in the UAE,” (forthcoming)

“Happy Debt: Post-Oil Technologies and the Ascendancy of the Emirati Indebted Subject,” (forthcoming)

“Countering Dissidence: Post-Oil Technologies and the Rise of the Entrepreneur in the UAE,” with Marc Valeri (forthcoming)



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