REL 28.04 Gender in Islam
“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.
Distributive and/or World Culture
Offered17W, 17F: 2A