Women and Religion in the Islamic Tradition

In this course, we examine recent academic debates that have changed the way we understand women, gender, and Islam. In particular, we will read and discuss key texts in the history of Islamic law and anthropology. The legal texts present and analyze the male-dominated juristic discourse on women in the pre-modern period. They also offer us a social analysis of women’s lived relationship with the law. The anthropological texts examine contemporary Muslim women’s practices in order to question our own scholarship’s Western liberal assumptions about freedom, autonomy, and what it means to be a modern woman. The course aspires to teach students the various ways Muslim women have constructed and lived their religious tradition.