This course will focus on a particular topic in Islamic studies, with an emphasis on the most recent research in that field. The topic will vary with each offering, so the course may be taken more than once. Sample topics include: “The Islam of Morocco,” “Shi’ism,” and “Problems in Popular Islam.” Desirable background: A previous course on Islamic Religion or Islamicate history and culture, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.
28.03 Transnational Muslim Feminisms: History, Religion, Praxis (Identical to WGSS 41.04 and AMES 40.05)
This course introduces students to the diversity of feminist approaches on a transnational scale, by examining the movements, activism, media, literature, and Islamic debates produced in predominantly Muslim countries and beyond. We will interrogate concepts of transnationalism, feminism and modernity in terms of historical developments, theoretical usage, the context of colonialism, Islamic theologies, and the modern Muslim nation states. We will explore similarities and differences in women's experiences and feminist methodologies across global Muslim contexts. Course materials will be made up of several primary sources in translation that deal with intersectional issues such as religious and cultural practices, educational systems, politics, race and racism, socioeconomic class, legal rights for men and women, and marriage and the family. Open to all classes. Dist: INT, SOC; WCult: NW.
28.04 Gender in Islam (Identical to WGSS 43.06)
"Is Islam sexist?" "What does Islam really say about women?" This course seeks to dismantle the premises of these questions by asking who speaks for Islam, what makes something Islamic, and how are gender and gender roles constructed in Islamic texts and Muslim thought. We will make critical study of the constructions of gender, femininity, masculinity, sexuality, gender relations, marriage and divorce in classical and modern Islamic texts. In asking how Islamic notions of gender are constructed, we will examine both the roles religious texts have played in shaping Muslim life and how Muslim life in its cultural diversity affects readings of religious texts. We will read works of Muslim thought on gender relations in their historical contexts and in relation to one another. Through in-class discussions, critical reading exercises, and short essay assignments, students will strengthen their literacy on global gender issues, study religio-historical ideas on gender, analyze the role of texts in shaping gender in society, and vice versa. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.