Dr Mengia Tschalaer

Dr Mengia Tschalaer

Dr Mengia Tschalaer
Marie Curie Research Fellow

2.01, 4 Priory Road,
11 Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol
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School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

Queer Muslim Asylum Spaces in Berlin

Personal profile

Mengia H Tschalaer is Marie Curie Research Fellow at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at the University of Bristol. She holds a Ph.D. in law and society and an M.A. in sociocultural anthropology, international law, and East Asian art history from University of Zurich.  She was a Visiting Scholar and a Research Fellow at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Columbia Law School.  Her first book, "Muslim Women's Quest for Justice: Gender, Law, and Activism in India" (Cambridge University Press, 2017) explores the endeavors of several Muslim women's rights organizations in Lucknow to openly challenge patriarchal interpretation of if the religious texts, everyday practice, and the law. Mengia H. Tschalaer is the author of various articles and chapters on socio-legal resistance, gender, and Islam. Her research received support from the Swiss National Science Foundation, University of Zurich, City University of New York, and the European Commission.

As the Principal Invesgator of the European Commission funded research project "Queer Asylum Spaces in Berlin", she currently examines the experiences of gay/queer Muslim asylum seekers in Berlin. This study illustrates how access to asylum can be influenced by Westernized ideas about sexuality as well as anti-Muslim sentiments and politics. 




As a law and society scholar she focuses on the relationship between politics of knowledge production and human rights, sexualities, and religion. Her work is geared towards rendering visible those voices located at the margins that remain silenced – often very deliberately so – in conversations about justice and ideals about the truth. She is currently working on a project which examines the experiences of LGBTQI+ asylum seekers with Muslim background within Germany’s asylum system. She is the author of "Muslim Women's Quest for Justice: Gender, Law, and Activism in India" (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and of various articles and chapters on socio-legal resistance, gender, and Islam. 



  • Transnational Feminisms
  • Gender and the Law
  • Practicing Intersectionality: The Interdisciplinary Study of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity 
  • Introduction to Law and Society
  • Culture and Personality
  • Systems of law

Fields of interest

Gender and Sexuality, queer theory, intersectionality, Islam, Human Rights Law, Asylum and Refugees, discourse analysis and ethnographic research methods.

Latest publications

  1. Tschalaer, M, 2019, ‘Between queer liberalisms and Muslim masculinities: LGBTQI+ Muslim asylum assessment in Germany’. Ethnic and Racial Studies.
  2. Tschalaer, M, 2019, ‘Social and cultural politics of resistance and empowerment’. in: Martin Fotta, Cecilia McCallum, Silvia Posocco (eds) The Cambridge Handbook of the Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality. Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom
  3. Tschalaer, M, 2017, ‘Muslim Women's Quest for Justice: Gender, Law and Activism in India’. Cambridge University Press
  4. Tschalaer, M, 2015, ‘Muslim Women’s Rights Activists’ Visibility: Stretching the Gendered Boundaries of the Public Space in the City of Lucknow’. South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, vol 11.
  5. Tschalaer, M, 2013, ‘Women Entering the Legal Landscape: Negotiating Legal Gender Reforms in a ‘Tribal’ Women’s Forum in South Rajasthan, India’. Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, vol 42., pp. 41-70
  6. Tschalaer, M, 2012, ‘Competing Model–Nikahnamas: Muslim Women’s Spaces within the Legal Landscape in Lucknow’. Journal of Law and Social Research, vol 3., pp. 65-80

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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