L57 RelPol 362

Islam, Gender, Sexuality

Fall 2020, M/W 1:00–2:20PM

Investigate how gender informs social, political, religious, and family life in Islamic cultures.

WUCRSL
line drawing of three people teaching superimposed on each other
Biography

The return of White nationalism and misogyny to the public sphere since the 2016 election has reinvigorated the trope of the subjugated Muslim woman as backwards and subservient to her male counterparts. Rather than devote our time to dispel stereotypes, in this course, we address the extent to which Western theories of feminism are useful to account for Muslim women’s experiences across historical period and geographical region. By examining discourses of gender, sexuality, the ideals of the feminine and masculine in Islamic scriptures and jurisprudence, and subsequent encounters with Western imperialism, we investigate how gender informs social, political, religious, and family life in Islamic cultures. We employ a chronological approach to these topics, beginning with the status of women in seventh century Arabia, to the period of Islamic expansion across Asia, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula, to the colonial period ending with the contemporary post 9/11 and post 2016 U.S. contexts, wherein debates over the status of Muslim women in society emerge with renewed vigor.