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School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Alaya Forte, BA Hons, Exeter; L3, Nice Sophia Antipolis; MA, SOAS; PhD, SOAS.


Lecturer in Gender and Politics

Telephone: 020 7882 8432
Room Number: ArtsOne, 2.22
Office Hours: Monday 11:30-12:30 and Wednesday 10:30-11:30 (in person or online)


Alaya joined Queen Mary in 2022 after working as a Teaching Fellow at SOAS University of London. She holds a BA Hons in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter, a degree in Political Science from the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis (France) and an MA in Gender Studies from SOAS. She stayed at SOAS to pursue a PhD in the combined field of political science and gender studies, on women who identify as British Muslim and are active in traditional forms of political engagement at both local and national level. Her work explores the presence of these political actors in democratic spaces in a climate of increased Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism and questions whether it is possible for these politicians to stand as representatives for a plurality of views and interests when the current representative political system seems bent on framing Muslim communities as ‘other’ in the British body politic.


Research Interests:

Political representation of women and ethnic minorities; Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism; Intersectionality; Feminist political philosophy; Body politics.


Edited books

2019 (with Peter Morey and Amina Yaqin) Contesting Islamophobia: Anti-Muslim Prejudice in Media, Culture and Politics. London: I.B. Tauris.


2018 ‘Constructing a New Imagery for the Muslim Woman: Symbolic encounters and the language of radical empowerment’, in Morey, P., Yaqin, A. and Soliman, A. (eds) Muslims, Trust and Multiculturalism. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Book reviews

2019 ‘Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami (Pluto Press, New edition, 2018)’, Political Studies Review, SAGE Publishing.

2016 ‘Pious Practice and Secular Constraints. Women in the Islamic Revival in Europe by Jeanette S. Jouili (Stanford University Press, 2015)’, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 33 (2), pp. 118-121.

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