Conference at Sarah Lawrence College
Bronxville, New York
Friday-Saturday, March 6-7, 2009
Keynote speaker: Mona Eltahawy, journalist and lecturer on Muslim and Arab issues
Western discourse on Muslims overflows with images of dangerous men and downtrodden women locked into monolithic traditions sharply at odds with life in the “modern” and “tolerant” West. We aim to dismantle such stereotypes by analyzing their construction, assessing their political valence, and exploring the realities they obscure. Within this context we especially seek to challenge essentialist understandings of masculinity, femininity, and Muslim communities, societies and cultures. Among the questions we wish to address are: What politics and histories are embedded in various ways of seeing gender in Muslim societies and communities? How have colonialism, nationalism, and war shaped social relations between the sexes? How have Muslim gender systems and ideals diverged across time, place, and class? How have gender hierarchies been reproduced, challenged, transgressed, and transformed? In what ways have Muslim women engaged in religious scholarship and leadership, activism and politics, and the creative arts?
We invite activists, scholars and artists in all fields to propose panels, workshops, performances, and exhibits.
Specific topics may include but are not limited to:
- Politics of the Veil
- Marriage and Divorce
- Sexuality and Honor
- Gender in the Qur’an
- Feminism and Islam
- Muslim Communities in the United States and Europe
- Gay and Lesbian Life in Muslim Contexts
- Media Representations of Muslim Women and Men
- Reform, Renewal, and Diversity in Islam
- Patriarchy, Nationalism, and Modes of Resistance
- Gender in War Zones: Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq
- Muslim Mothers and Community Organizing
Send proposals to:
Tara James, Associate Director
Graduate Program in Women’s History
Sarah Lawrence College
1 Mead Way, Bronxville, New York 10708
Email submissions are preferred.
Please include a short description of each presentation and a one-page c.v. for each presenter. Proposals for whole panels or workshops are especially welcome, but we will also consider individual papers.