Michael Karam

Penn Humanities Forum Undergraduate Fellow

20162017 Forum on Translation

Michael Karam

Steering Committee, Undergraduate Humanities Forum

Economics and International Relations

College, 2017

Michael is a senior studying economics and international relations with a math minor who loves languages. Broadly speaking, he is interested in researching the relation between media and politics across languages and cultures, and how this affects societies. His project will focus on the language used in queer culture and queer advocacy in Lebanon, a country in which most people speak a mixture of Arabic, French, and English. In summer 2015, Michael worked with the LGBT Center to develop a resource page for queer international students. He is also passionate about poetry, and his translated works have been published in DoubleSpeak Magazine, Penn’s premier foreign language translation magazine. Other than serving on the Undergraduate Humanities Forum Steering Committee, Michael is an active member of West Philly Swingers, the International Affairs Association, and the Association of Queer International Students.

The Lebanese M Community: Identities Lost (or Found) in Translation

In a country where three languages mix and coexist naturally, where does "queer" language exist? In this study, Michael conducts interviews with "queer" folk from Lebanon and staff of Lebanese NGOs to examine how identities are attached or unattached to certain language and terms. He focuses on the existence and growth of this language within a national and multilingual space by studying recorded personal accounts and advocacy work.