Sunday, December 27, 2009

Not a Spoof - Meet Adi Kuntsman!



If this were my attempt at a spoof, I would agree with you that it is in really poor taste.  After all, it is insensitive to invent an Israeli sociologist devoting his or her life to "Queer Studies," claiming he is organizing a special academic journal volume on "Queering the Middle East," promoting transvestism and cross-dressing, and then making up for him or her an insulting mock name to top it off. 


Only one problem.  Even I could not invent such a critter.  He or she really exists.  In fact, he/she is one of the leaders and founders of the communist-front pro-Israel group "Machsom Watch." 


I keep saying he-or-she because, frankly, I do not know which he-or-she is.  I must explain that several web pages describe her as a female, although she sure looks like a male to me.  And – please forgive me  - this critter's real name is (gulp!!) Adi Kuntsman!  No, I did not make that one up, so do not scream at ME for vulgarity!  It is what the he-or-she-or-it is now calling itself.  His/her web page is here:  Note the photo and how he/she claims to be an expert on Russian transvestites who made aliyah to Israel.  See also   Naturally he/she is fanatically anti-Israel (   Here is a testimonial about young Adi from his/her anti-Israel wife/partner:


Here is the announcement for the conference:


Queering Middle Eastern Cyberscapes

Special issue of Journal of Middle Eastern Women's Studies


Guest Editors: Noor Al-Qasimi and Adi Kuntsman


Call for Papers


Digital media and cybercultures have long been explored as fields of 

identity formation, cultural contestations, and political tensions. 

Digital mediascapes have also been of particular interest to  

scholars of gender and sexuality for their potential to transform  

some gendered, racial, and sexual power structures while  

reaffirming, and often violently reinforcing, others. This special  

issue ofJournal of Middle Eastern Women's Studies aims to bring  

feminist and queer analysis of media and communication technologies  

(the Internet, mobile phones, surveillance technologies, digital  

television, and telecommunication) to the field of the Middle East  

as both a geo-cultural space and a political entity.


Our intention is to examine the intersections, tensions, and co- 

constitutions of queer sexualities and communication technologies;  

queerness as a form of digitalized affect and as a political  

practice; mediated violence and violence of mediation; new  

technological frontiers and frontiers of identities; and practices  

of everyday use and digitalized imaginaries. We hope to explore  

these and other phenomena as they emerge in Middle Eastern countries 

and communities and their diasporas. In recent years, much work has 

focused on media in the Middle East, and gender/sexuality in the  

Middle East; however, there is a paucity of scholarship on the  

intersection of these fields. Still less work has emphasized  

queering as a political metaphor in relation to the field of Middle  

East Studies. The aim of this special issue is to acknowledge the  

utility of a postcolonial queer critique as applied to this region  

and its diasporas.


We are soliciting work that engages with the intersection of media  

and sexuality with reference to the Middle East. Possible topics  

thus include:


Surveillance, war on terror

The policing of sexuality

Orientalism in new media cultures

Governmentality, biopolitics, and the Middle East

Sexuality and media censorship

Media technologies (e.g., YouTube, mobile phones, bluetooth, 

picture/ video messaging) and queerness

Queer and/or social networking websites (e.g., Facebook, MySpace)

Queer Middle Eastern diasporas in cyberspace

HIV/AIDS-related online communities


LGBT and NGO activism

Drag, cross-dressing, butch/femme identities, other queer  subjectivities

Gay imperialism


We welcome abstracts of articles to be considered for inclusion in  

this special volume. Please send a bio and a 500-word abstract  

detailing the topic of your article, the overall context, your  

material, methodology, and theoretical argument by the 1st of  

February 2010 to . Authors will be notified 

by the 15th of February 2010 of the outcome of their submissions.  

If  accepted, full papers should be submitted by the 1st of July 

2010.  Papers will then be reviewed individually in the standard 

double- blind review process.


We also welcome shorter pieces of creative or analytical writing (up 

to 1000 words, or 4000 words for interviews) or visual material on  

the theme of this special volume. These pieces may be topical and/or 

polemical. They are not sent out to be peer-reviewed but are  

selected by the editors of the issue. If you would like to submit a   

short piece, please contact us to discuss the format and deadlines.


Abstracts and inquiries about this issue should be sent to  .

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