Guided Tour: Sima Shakhsari

Thurs., Dec. 12, 6:30 p.m.
Admission is free * RSVP requested
Minnesota Museum of American Art

Take a tour through the M’s fall exhibition led by women, gender, and sexuality scholar Sima Shakhsari. Co-presented with Mizna.

Sima Shakhsari (they/them) is a scholar at the University of Minnesota, interested in transnational feminist theory, transnational sexuality studies, non-Eurocentric queer and transgender studies, Middle East studies, empire, militarism, neoliberal governmentality, digital media, refugee studies, diasporas, and political anthropology. They earned their PhD in Cultural and Social Anthropology at Stanford University and have held postdoctoral positions at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wolf Humanities Center and the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of Houston. Shakhsari was an assistant professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at Wellesley College before joining Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at U of MN in 2016, and has a long history of activism at queer and women’s organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Shakhsari’s current research examines the way that Iranian transgender asylum seekers in Turkey and refugees in Canada and the U.S. are nationalized/denationalized, sexed, gendered, and raced in multiple re-reterritorializations as they transition across national boundaries, online and offline “frontiers,” sexual norms, religious discourses, and geopolitical terrains during the “war on terror.”

About the exhibition: History Is Not Here: Art and the Arab Imaginary presents the work of artists who address what can be termed the “Arab imaginary” as a strategy for examining various social, cultural, and political positions. Best understood through a framework that recognizes the so-called Arab world and its diaspora as multiform, made up of 22 countries with distinct histories as well as diverse ethnicities, languages, and religions, this exhibition explores and scrutinizes the ways in which the region has been historicized. Through painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, book art, installation, and video, featured artists make connections between contemporary geopolitics and the histories that inform them. Their works draw attention to the challenges of representation, including misunderstandings and missteps, and the limiting and problematic terms that are often used to define the region. History Is Not Here rejects the idea of history as a fixed category and looks to alternative imagery and approaches from which new “imaginaries” can be generated.

On view: September 12, 2019 – January 5, 2020