The topic of gender in the Arab and Muslim world is one that encourages you to reflect on your own ideas about gender roles and the preconceptions and stereotypes that dominate Western portrayals of women and gender in the Muslim world. This module will give you the opportunity to embark on an in-depth exploration of the topic through discussion of key themes of relevance to women’s lives in the Arab and Muslim world today. The module will provide you with knowledge of a key region of the world and an important religious tradition, developing your awareness as a global citizen.
Aims and Objectives
Knowledge and Understanding
Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
- Evaluate different theoretical, disciplinary and methodological approaches to the study of women and gender in the Arab world;
- Use both academic and primary sources to develop and demonstrate your knowledge of a particular topic or theme related to women and gender in the Arab world;
- Reflect on and develop your intercultural competence;
- Identify and discuss the contexts shaping ideas of gender and gender roles in the Arab and Muslim world;
- Critically reflect on your own ideas of gender and gender roles;
- Engage sensitively in debates related to women and gender in the Arab and Muslim world;
- Convey your knowledge of a complex topic in written forms for both an academic and a general audience;
- Demonstrate good oral communication skills;
- Reflect on skills for developing your abilities for independent learning.
- Work effectively both individually and in a group;
The module will begin with an introduction to the cultural, religious and societal context of the Arab and wider Muslim world in order to put the discussion of gender and gender roles in its local context. You will be encouraged to think about your own understandings of gender through discussion of the construction of gender categories in ‘Western’ society and scholarship. We will then go on to discuss how the topic of women in the Arab and Muslim world has been studied by scholars from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, and how Muslim women have been stereotypically portrayed in Western discourse.
The module will then explore a number of historical and contemporary themes of importance to the understanding of women and gender in the Arab and Muslim world, including:
- Islamic texts and Muslim practices: the veil and family law;
- Arab feminism and Islamic feminism;
- Women’s public and private roles and the interplay between public and private spheres;
- Muslim women in the ‘West’.
(Specific topics will vary year to year.)
Throughout the module we will rely on both academic sources and primary sources from and about the Arab world, including literature and film where appropriate. All sources will be available in translation where necessary. The focus of the module will be on contemporary life in the Arab world, with reference to historical texts and contexts and other areas of the wider Muslim world as necessary.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
The module will be delivered through weekly seminar/discussion sessions, complemented by a variety of online resources. In some weeks, you will be expected to listen to or watch pre-recorded lectures/webinars or other content before the sessions, which will build on the material presented in these online forms. In other weeks the module convener will deliver a short lecture at the start of the seminar to set the context for discussion and activities. The seminar sessions will involve a variety of activities, including: group discussion or tasks related to the pre-recorded lecture content; informal presentations of weekly readings; and group and whole-class discussions of readings and other materials. These sessions will involve active student participation through group work, presentations, leading seminar sessions, and discussion.
|Preparation for scheduled sessions||60|
|Completion of assessment task||66|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Fernea, E. W. & Bezirgan, B. Q (1977). Middle Eastern Muslim women speak. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Mernissi, F (1991). The veil and the male elite : a feminist interpretation of women’s rights in Islam. Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Books.
Badran, M. & Cooke, M. (1990). Opening the gates: a century of Arab feminist writing. London: Virago.
Ahmed, L (1992). Women and gender in Islam : historical roots of a modern debate. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Spivak, G. C (1988). 'Can the Subaltern Speak?', in Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture.. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
Ahmed, L (2011). A quiet revolution: the veil’s resurgence, from the Middle East to America. New Haven: Yale University Press.
A Barlas (2002). 'Believing women’ in Islam : unreading patriarchal interpretations of the Qur’¯an.. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Roded, R (1998). Women in Islam and the Middle East: a reader. London: : I. B. Tauris..
This is how we’ll give you feedback as you are learning. It is not a formal test or exam.Group project
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
Repeat type: Internal & External